... which is (a) why 9/11 happened in the first place, and (b) why the
powers that be
want Hillary in the White House.


America Has Spent Nearly $5 Trillion on Wars Since 9/11

By Eric Levitz <http://nymag.com/author/Eric%20Levitz/>
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Since the September 11 attacks, the United States has spent $3.6 trillion
on wars. When you add in the amount of war funding that the departments of
State, Defense, and Homeland Security have requested for next year — and
then the estimated costs of our present commitments to veterans — the
overall price tag comes to $4.79 trillion, according to a new report
Brown University’s Watson Institute.

For $4.79 trillion we could forgive all outstanding student-loan debt
the United States, provide universal preschool
all American children, buy ourselves a high-speed rail system
and still have a couple trillion left over for a rainy day.

What, precisely, did we decide to buy instead?

The ostensible answer is that we purchased greater national security. After
all, the vast majority of that war funding was spent in Iraq and
Afghanistan — interventions that were launched to combat the threat of

But a recent note
the Soufan Group, a strategic security firm, argues that the threat posed
by terrorism is greater today than it was 15 years ago:

Fifteen years later, the geopolitical consequences of the September 11,
2001 attacks have not diminished with each passing anniversary. Quite the
opposite, the global terror threat has compounded and cascaded. In the
aftermath of the deadliest terror attack in history, the U.S. and its
allies laid out several goals and policy responses; chief among the goals
was the prevention of another 9/11-scale attack; the denial of terrorist
sanctuaries such as Afghanistan; the destruction of al-Qaeda; and
countering the violent extremist ideology of bin-Ladinism. As the 15th
anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, only one of these goals—the
prevention of an attack nearing the scale of 9/11—has been met. While the
prevention of another such attack is a significant achievement, many of the
other post-9/11 concerns are considerably worse now than in 2001.

Now, a firm that sells strategic security services has plenty of incentive
not to conclude that the war on terror has already been won. But it’s hard
to dispute the assertion that extremist ideologies and terrorist
strongholds have become more prevalent in the last 15 years, even as
America has spent trillions trying to counter them.

And, of course, the true costs of our counterterrorism efforts are measured
in more than dollars.

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