Washington, DC – A new report released today by the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) concludes that the Global War on Terror has failed to achieve its goals and caused immeasurable harm both at home and abroad. “The Failures of the War on Terror” provides evidence detailing how terror attacks, groups, and fighters have increased substantially over the last 20+ years and explains why the war-based approach to terrorism has failed to achieve its goals and should be discarded.
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“Since the attacks of 9/11, FCNL has been warning that war is not the answer to addressing terrorism. It should not take decades and tens of thousands of lives to reach the clear and obvious conclusion that the Global War on Terror is a failure. But we are now 21 years into it and there is no course-correction on the horizon,” said FCNL General Secretary Bridget Moix. “One does not need to be a Quaker or person of faith to see this war was lost years ago. When will our leaders admit failure and stop the endless violence?”
The comprehensive report lays out numerous facts that illustrate just how far from “success” the United States is. For example, annual terror attacks worldwide have increased fivefold between 2001 and 2018, and the number of terrorist groups is at its highest level since 1980. Three years after Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger entered into a 2017 U.S.-supported joint force to combat terrorism, the number of attacks from terror groups in those countries increased sevenfold.
“Continuing the same war-based, military-first approach to terrorism will never produce different results. We don’t want to report on 25 or 30 years of failure in the war on terror.” said Heather Brandon-Smith, FCNL’s militarism and human rights legislative director. “The first thing you do when at the bottom of a hole is stop digging. We need our leaders to stop the unending violence and prioritize non-military counterterrorism tools, including diplomacy, peacebuilding, and law enforcement, to respond to threats to our security.”
From 2018 to 2020, the United States conducted militarized counterterrorism operations in 85 countries worldwide, including air and drone strikes in at least seven. This was up from 80 countries in the prior two years. More than 9,000,000 people have been killed in the post-9/11 wars, including more than 329,000 civilians. Over that same time, militarized counterterrorism has fueled more violent conflict, mass displacement, rising Islamophobia, and human rights abuses – all while wasting trillions of tax-payer dollars.
The Failures of the War on Terror can be viewed here.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org .