September Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation

September 11th 2001 is a day that will forever be ingrained in every American’s mind. The attack on the twin towers caused many Americans to fear for their lives and their safety in this country. The American people looked to their government and Commander in Chief for some sort of direction to combat terrorism. President George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 declared the War on Terror against al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations. This would officially send America to its very costly, indefinite, and difficult war spanning multiple countries in the Middle East. Fighting this war is different than traditional warfare because it is more about fighting an idea than a single country’s soldiers or regime. Because of this obscure threat, it complicates the war in many different ways. Some of the key points with the War on Terror include al-Qaida, extraordinary rendition, torture, Guantanamo Bay, and the Patriot Act.The purpose of the War on Terror was to try to stop the threat of terrorism in America but also other Western powers. The main countries with radical Islamic terrorist groups were Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. Within each country, there were individual agendas that needed to be fulfilled. The War in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran are the main ones that had the most troops and money involved. It is estimated that over the course of these wars, over 6,845 Americans have been killed and over 900,000 have been injured. (Goodman) The main campaigns with the most casualties were Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, Operation New Dawn in Afghanistan, and Operation Inherent Resolve on the Syrian-Iraqi border. (Smith) Hundreds of millions of the taxpayers’ money has been spent on this ongoing war, and thousands of soldiers have died protecting their countries for what they believe to be righteous causes. An endgame does not seem to be close. The War on Terrorism needs to be brought to an end as millions of people are being killed, civil liberties and human rights are being violated, and the costs of the war will continue to rise as there is no endgame in sight.As in any war, the lives lost are a reminder of how many lives were dedicated to the cause worth fighting for. In this one however more civilian lives were lost than military, although marginally. By the numbers up until 2011, at least 227,000 people have died since 9/11 and 116,657 have been civilians, but different reports show different numbers. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Armed Forces have suffered 4,487 deaths and 32,223 were wounded in action as of May 2012. As seen by these studies the people suffering are more so the families of the innocent civilians than those who fought in the conflicts, and a lot of them were not killed by soldiers. As shown by sites like WikiLeaks many civilian deaths are caused by mines or drones. These numbers show the amount of devastation caused by the War on terror and more than ten years later these numbers are still rising. Ultimately there are still over 50,000 troops in Afghanistan and there are still plans to remain there for a while.Al-Qaeda is a household terrorist organization name that almost everyone knows. Their most recognize for conducting the attacks of September 11, 2001. The attack killed nearly 3,000 people and injured thousands more. They have already completed numerous attacks both foreign and domestic against United States personnel. The Origins of Al Qaeda can be traced to when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the 1980’s. This was crucial to defeat the Soviet Union. One vital person came about through this, and his name as Osama Bin Laden. The “Osama” spelling is deprecated, because there is no letter “O” in Arabic. (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) He is the proclaim founder of the group Al Qaeda. Osama believing that the war with the Soviet Union was a holy battle between Islam and the infidel. “Osama Bin Laden’s experiences as a logistical coordinator and financier for the Afghan and Arab resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during the 1980s are thought to have provided the backdrop for his belief that Muslims could take effective military action inspired by select Islamic principles”(Blanchard). While Bin Laden was in Saudi Arabia, he was exposure to teachings of conservative Islamist scholars. With his experience in Afghanistan, and knowing of Salafist. He convey a new concept known as “defensive jihad”. Using this philosophy, Bin Laden encourages each Muslim to take it upon themselves to fight what it perceives as attacks on Muslims across the world. (UMD) After the Gulf War, he express his resentment for having US and other non-Muslim troops in Saudi Arabia. This enforced his belief of jihad, and promoted violence against the Saudi government and the United States.