The U.S. War on Terror: Lessons Learned Twenty Years After 9/11

Wednesday September 8, 2021 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM (MDT)

01 September 2021

On Wednesday, September 8th from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. (MDT), Professor Fawaz A. Gerges of International Relations at the London School of Economics will present 'The U.S. War on Terror: Lessons Learned Twenty Years After 9/11'. 


"On the 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks, it is worth asking what if America had acted radically and imaginatively eschewing imperial overreach? Instead of launching a War on Terror, the greatest strategic disaster in America’s modern history, US leaders could have used 9/11 as a catalyst to bring about a more tolerant, peaceful and prosperous world, the anti-thesis of Al-Qaeda’s worldview? Imagine if America’s leaders had invested a small fraction of $5.9 trillion cost of the Global War on Terror in helping to promote transformative change, including eradicating abject poverty and supporting a Marshall Plan for the Muslim world. As the United States abruptly ends its war in Afghanistan, the Taliban has returned with a vengeance, and Afghans feel betrayed. America promised security and freedom, but the Afghanistan it leaves behind is broken, on the brink of civil war and state collapse. The War on Terror has fuelled the very groups it was designed to destroy. It was a war of choice, not necessity, and it has been costly in blood and treasure. While we cannot turn back the clock, as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, part of America’s national conversation should be to reflect on what went wrong. There is a need to hold the “terrorism industry” that emerged in the wake of the attacks accountable for peddling fear and distorting reality."