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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Civil liberties”

U.S. Has Spent $6 Trillion On Wars That Killed Half A Million People Since 9/11 – Report

The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

Some of the Costs of War Project’s main findings include:

  • 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, including armed forces on all sides of the conflicts, contractors, civilians, journalists, and humanitarian workers.

  • It is likely that many times more than 370,000 people have died indirectly in these wars, due to malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation.

  • 200,000 civilians have been killed in direct violence by all parties to these conflicts.

  • Over 6,800 US soldiers have died in the wars.

  • We do not know the full extent of how many US service members returning from these wars became injured or ill while deployed.

  • Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been reported as required by law, but it is likely that at least 6,900 have been killed.

  • 10.1 million million Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani people are living as war refugees and internally displaced persons, in grossly inadequate conditions.*

  • The US military is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries, vastly expanding the counterror war across the globe.

  • The wars have been accompanied by erosions in civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad.

  • The human and economic costs of these wars will continue for decades with some costs, such as the financial costs of US veterans’ care, not peaking until mid-century.

  • US government funding of reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan has totaled over $170 billion. Most of those funds have gone towards arming security forces in both countries. Much of the money allocated to humanitarian relief and rebuilding civil society has been lost to fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • The cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals about $5.6 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars, which will add an estimated $8 trillion through 2054.

  • The ripple effects on the US economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increases.

  • Both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rank extremely low in global studies of political freedom.

  • Women in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from political power and experience high rates of unemployment and war widowhood.

  • Compelling alternatives to war were scarcely considered in the aftermath of 9/11 or in the discussion about war against Iraq. Some of those alternatives are still available to the US.

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Democracy And Woman Power

For too long, women were viewed as victims — of discrimination and illiteracy, of violence, and confined to deferential positions in society because of once-unbreakable cultural and religious traditions. But as the tide of democracy sweeps the globe, women are becoming a growing force on the world stage. We are seeing a new voice of activism emerge, which is speaking out to defend freedom and advance civil liberties and human rights.

Read Here – The Diplomat

End The War On Terror And Save Billions

As we debate whether the two parties can ever come together and get things done, here’s something President Obama could probably do by himself that would be a signal accomplishment of his presidency: End the war on terror. Or, more realistically, start planning and preparing the country for phasing it out.

For 11 years, the United States has been operating under emergency wartime powers granted under the 2001 “Authorization for Use of Military Force.” That is a longer period than the country spent fighting the Civil War, World War I and World War II combined. It grants the president and the federal government extraordinary authorities at home and abroad, effectively suspends civil liberties for anyone the government deems an enemy and keeps us on a permanent war footing in all kinds of ways.

Read Here – The Washington Post

Drones: The Morality of War From the Sky

President Obama, who is putatively a civil libertarian—or, at the very least, the preferred candidate of most civil libertarians—has achieved something remarkable over the course of his term. He has led an expansive war against America’s enemies using lethal flying robots that not infrequently incinerate innocent civilians, and he’s been rewarded for it. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted earlier this year, 83 percent of Americans support Obama’s drone policy.

Read Here – Businessweek

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