The Pentagon Admits: The “War on Terror” Will Never End

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat.

– Glenn Greenwald from his recent article:  Washington Gets Explicit: Its “War on Terror” is Permanent 

So last Thursday at a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, we found out what many of us already knew.  That the “war on terror” is never going to end.  Indeed, it was never supposed to end.  This never-ending “war” on a fantastical enemy provides the American oligarch class with too much money and too much power to ever make it worthwhile for the establishment to shut down.  It matters not to them that this civil liberties destroying fraud has been going on for my entire post-college life and, if they have their way, for the remainder of it.  It matters not to them that the “war on terror” itself has done more to destroy the Constitution and vital essence of this nation than any terrorist act ever could.  No, it matters very little indeed.  What matters to them is money and power, and the “war on terror” provides them with boatloads of both.

My favorite excerpts from Glenn’s article are below:

On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for this “war” – the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) – should be revised (meaning: expanded). This is how Wired’s Spencer Ackerman (soon to be the Guardian US’s national security editor) described the most significant exchange:

“Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, ‘At least 10 to 20 years.’ . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today – atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted. Welcome to America’s Thirty Years War.”

That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the “war on terror” will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week’s big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined. The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of “endless war”. Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so.

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat.

In response, I wrote that the “war on terror” cannot and will not end on its own for two reasons: (1) it is designed by its very terms to be permanent, incapable of ending, since the war itself ironically ensures that there will never come a time when people stop wanting to bring violence back to the US (the operational definition of “terrorism”), and (2) the nation’s most powerful political and economic factions reap a bonanza of benefits from its continuation. Whatever else is true, it is now beyond doubt that ending this war is the last thing on the mind of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner and those who work at the highest levels of his administration. Is there any way they can make that clearer beyond declaring that it will continue for “at least” another 10-20 years?

And then there’s the most intangible yet most significant cost: each year of endless war that passes further normalizes the endless rights erosions justified in its name. The second term of the Bush administration and first five years of the Obama presidency have been devoted to codifying and institutionalizing the vast and unchecked powers that are typically vested in leaders in the name of war. Those powers of secrecy, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and due-process-free assassination are not going anywhere. They are now permanent fixtures not only in the US political system but, worse, in American political culture.

Each year that passes, millions of young Americans come of age having spent their entire lives, literally, with these powers and this climate fixed in place: to them, there is nothing radical or aberrational about any of it. The post-9/11 era is all they have been trained to know. That is how a state of permanent war not only devastates its foreign targets but also degrades the population of the nation that prosecutes it.

This war will end only once Americans realize the vast and multi-faceted costs they are bearing so that the nation’s political elites can be empowered and its oligarchs can further prosper. But Washington clearly has no fear that such realizations are imminent. They are moving in the other direction: aggressively planning how to further entrench and expand this war.

Newly elected independent Sen. Angus King of Maine said after listening to how the Obama administration interprets its war powers under the AUMF:

This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today.” 

Former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, who testified at the hearing,summarized what was said after it was over: Obama officials argued that “they had domestic authority to use force in Mali, Syria, Libya, and Congo, against Islamist terrorist threats there”; that “they were actively considering emerging threats and stated that it was possible they would need to return to Congress for new authorities against those threats but did not at present need new authorities”; that “the conflict authorized by the AUMF was not nearly over”; and that “several members of the Committee were surprised by the breadth of DOD’s interpretation of the AUMF.” Conveying the dark irony of America’s war machine, seemingly lifted right out of the Cold War era film Dr. Strangelove, Goldsmith added:

Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made.”

Nobody really even knows with whom the US is at war, or where. Everyone just knows that it is vital that it continue in unlimited form indefinitely.

1984 really was an instruction manual for the people in power.  Terrifying.

In Liberty,

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  1. So, I guess you are with the terrorists.

    • so I guess your an idiot.
      1)the FACT is that WW2 was resolved in LESS time. and the suicide rates in the military DICTATE that it is well past time to bring the boys home PERIOD, there DONE time to decomission and rest up for at least 10 years as use to happen in the past.
      2)the plan(as such) layed out in the neocons own words in there paper “a plan for a new american century” FAILED the moment that russia was able to interviene in syria.
      3) it failed because the conquest of iraq was allowed to degenerate in to a rape fest that ate up the narow time frame that was avalable wile russia recovered from there forced conversion to “capitalisim” and could not field there navy. a navy which has now moved in force to there base in crete , well with in striking distance of the conflict in syria.
      and last but not least by any measure 4)the plan its self was a crime to start with (preemptive war is an international crime against humanity) wich was why they had to lie and make up excuses to invade in the first place, lies and excuses that have now been exposed as total propaganda , a crime against the american people as federal law prohibits the gooberment from propagandizing
      We the People.

      it was people like your self that enabled hitlers crimes.
      we the people MUST do what the german population FAILED to do and reign in this out of control facist “adventure” and hold the criminals that perpetrated it to account , failure to do so will eventualy lead to a disaster WORSE than what was inflicted on germany after ww2 and ww1 combined.

  2. Top Post KAM! The “MIC” as I call it, the military’s industrial complex…
    Is the hardest part of the matrix to fathom .. We get the way the
    FED phucks us. We get the lobbyists ponzi.. The GMO food stuff job.
    The banksters bailouts the billionaire HS dropouts
    Tune in or tune out during this social mind melt !! When u accept the
    MIC every day you wake up you basically acknowledge
    “It’s sunny, the markets up, and we just droned 3 kids
    Somewhere and I want a chesse steak”

  3. Role Of Russia & China In Changing The World Order By Sheikh Imran Hosein:

  4. Marcus Tullius Cicero, who fought and died for the Roman republic, would ask a simple question when he wanted to know the beneficiary of some political moves, “cui bono?” “who profits?” Based on that question, what was disclosed in that hearing would have been obvious to any intelligent, thinking person. Let’s hope that the American sheeple.catch on.

  5. either WE the people put a stop to this or some out side force WILL and we the people will be held responsable just as the german population was punished for hittler’s crimes.

  6. 9/11?
    Cui Bono?
    Bit players are important, but don’t get caught up in the bit players.
    (Don’t miss the forest for the trees)
    The ‘hundredth monkey’ is closer than we might think.
    Dangerous times.


  7. There is one sure way to end a war without end. Even all war! The most potent, political, progressive, non violent direct action ever imagined possible, which any human being can take, had been described and published on the web. And this was designed for purpose.

  8. Fuck you, you prejudiced, dogmatic pro-government lackey. Who’s paying you to smear shit online?

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