RNA - This includes combatant deaths and civilian deaths in fighting and war violence. Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with both opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well.
The report also notes that over 60,000 US troops were either killed or wounded in the course of the wars. This includes 6,951 US military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. According to the Brown study, these conflicts are “inhibited by governments determined to paint a rosy picture of perfect execution and progress.”
And by these governments it means Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and a host of others who continue to wage wars on Syria and Yemen, and who purchased US arms to the tune of $192.3 billion in the year ending September 30 - a result of looser restrictions on sales coupled with high-level efforts to close deals and prolong wars of choice amid international apathy and inaction.
This terrible situation will get worse, because President Donald Trump wants to make the US, already dominant in the global weapons trade, an even bigger arms merchant to the world, despite concerns among human rights and arms control advocates. This grandiose thinking in the Middle East is putting the entire world in danger too, and it has become deeply entangled with lingering resentments from the world community.
According to Fars News Agancy, this is often stated explicitly. At the United Nations many members say it is very obvious that it’s exceptionally important for war-party Washington to accept that the reason they lost the war of choice in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen is because they were wrong, and because they chose a coalition of allies who are corrupt, who are allied with terror groups, who are extremely disliked by the nations they rule or invaded, and who symbolize all of the worst failings of the United Nations and humanity. If they inflate the importance of the purported Iran meddling in their affairs it is to excuse their painful defeat. They see Iran bashing as a way to undermine efforts to end America’s endless wars and support for the tyrannical regimes.
The evidence is overwhelming that America is still playing a very harmful role, an unacceptable role in the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and that playing at war with Iran through economic warfare is Trump’s way of helping the failing terrorist groups, appeasing disappointed allies, and also an effort to try to undermine in a significant way the anti-terror alliance of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Russia. The alliance is not, as they claim, a self-interest group relying only on its members. They are drawing support from the world community - unlike the US which is loathed and isolated, which relies on fake news and reports from terror groups and media lackeys to claim otherwise.
Let us not forget that the dire situation across the region, marked by the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War, fractured societies, proliferation of non-state actors, and unbelievable human suffering, could still be resolved through policy reversal and a surge in diplomacy for peace. In any true sense, it is America’s arms sales, misadventures, threats of new war, as well as the self-appointed roles as the warden of world order, the guarantor of other nations’ security, the shepherd of the world economy, and the custodian of the global commons, that can once again open the doors to foreign intervention and manipulation, breeding instability and sectarian bloodshed.
What is clear is that America’s one-man foreign policy and wars of choice are not the answer to the region’s never-ending woes. They only prolong the humanitarian crises for America’s regional designs and wishful thinking. This being the case, it falls upon the United Nations and the international civil society to step up their opposition to America’s wars of choice, sanctions and paranoia upon the people of Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. They must help to put these failed states back on their feet again. It’s a responsibility for us all.
Perhaps President Trump thinks he is different. Perhaps he wants a fresh start only because his predecessors didn’t do well. Perhaps he thinks that America’s war machine and institutions are still superior in a multi-polar world. Whatever he thinks, it still doesn’t change the fact that he is doomed to repeat the same failed delusion and increasingly the same unenforceable foreign policy of his predecessors at huge humanitarian costs.