Since 9/11, The U.S. Has Been Involved In More Than 5 Wars … And They’ve All Been Disasters

Why Does America Keep “Losing” Its Wars?

Below, we demonstrate that the U.S. keeps “losing” war after war.

There are 3 potential reasons this might be happening:

  • Or is this a sign of the decline of the American empire … and we just can’t win a war anymore?

We’ll let you decide why you think this keeps happening. But if you don’t believe that the U.S. has been losing its recent wars, read on …

U.S. Keeps Messing Up

We noted last year:

Since 2001, the U.S. has undertaken regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

All 3 countries are now in chaos … and extremists are more in control than ever.


In Iraq, hardcore Islamic jihadis known as ISIS have taken over much of the country – shown in red as the new “Islamic State” or self-described caliphate – using captured American weapons:

USA Today notes: “Iraq is already splitting into three states“.

Christians are being rounded up and killed, and Christian leaders in Iraq say the end of Christianity in Iraq is “very near”. But as we documented in 2012, Saddam Hussein – for all his faults – was a secular leader who tolerated Christians.


Libya has also descended into absolute chaos. We reported in 2012:

Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya. Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.

(This is – again – in contrast to toleration of Christians under Gadaffi.)

The Guardian noted in March:

According to Amnesty International, the “mounting curbs on freedom of expression are threatening the rights Libyans sought to gain“. A repressive Gaddafi-era law has been amended to criminalise any insults to officials or the general national congress (the interim parliament). One journalist, Amara al-Khattabi, was put on trial for alleging corruption among judges. Satellite television stations deemed critical of the authorities have been banned, one station has been attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, and journalists have been assassinated.


Ever since the fall of [Gadaffi’s] dictatorship, there have been stories of black Libyans being treated en masse as Gaddafi loyalists and attacked. In a savage act of collective punishment, 35,000 people were driven out of Tawergha in retaliation for the brutal siege of the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of Misrata. The town was trashed and its inhabitants have been left in what human rights organisations are calling “deplorable conditions” in a Tripoli refugee camp. Such forced removals continue elsewhere. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained without any pretence of due process; and judges, prosecutors, lawyers and witnesses have been attacked or even killed. Libya’s first post-Gaddafi prosecutor general, Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi, was assassinated in the town of Derna last month.


When residents of Benghazi – the heartland of the revolution – protested against militia rule in June last year, 32 people were killed in what became known as “Black Saturday”. In another protest in Tripoli last November, 46 died and 500 were injured.

Under militia rule, Libya is beginning to disintegrate. Last summer forces under the command of the warlord Ibrahim Jadran took control of eastern oil terminals …. These forces which hijacked a oil tanker this month, prompting threats from Libya’s prime minister that it would be bombed until US forces captured it this weekend. Clashes have broken out in Jadran’s home town of Ajdabiya. In painful echoes of Iraq’s nightmare, a car bomb exploded at a Benghazi military base last week and killed at least eight soldiers, and Libya’s main airport was shut on Friday after a bomb exploded on its runway.

One of the great perversities of the so-called war on terror is that fundamentalist Islamist forces have flourished as a direct consequence of it. Libya is no exception, even though such movements often have little popular support. The Muslim Brotherhood and other elements are better organised than many of their rivals, helping to remove the prime minister, push through legislation, and establish alliances with opportunistic militias.

Ominously, Libya’s chaos is spilling across the region. The country is awash with up to 15 million rifles and other weapons, and a report by the UN panel of experts this month found that “Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons“. These arms are fuelling chaos in 14 countries, including Somalia, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger.


There is a real prospect of the country collapsing into civil war or even breaking up. Unless there are negotiated settlements to its multiple problems, Libya will surely continue its descent into mayhem, and the region could be dragged into the mire with it.

No wonder western governments and journalists who hailed the success of this intervention are so silent. But here are the consequences of their war, and they must take responsibility for them.

28-year CIA veteran Paul Pillar – who rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts – wrote in May:

Just when one might have thought the mess in Libya could not have gotten worse, it has.


Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states have evacuated their diplomats from Libya, the United States is preparing for possible evacuation of U.S. personnel, and the country appears on the brink of a larger civil war.


Those in Libya closest to being called secular liberals seem to be associated with military officers of the old regime.


The intervention already has negatively affected U.S. interests, particularly in providing a disincentive to other regimes to do what Gaddafi did in negotiating an end to involvement in terrorism and an end to production of unconventional weapons.

And things have only gotten worse since then … and Benghazi has fallen to the jihadis.

(It should be remembered that the U.S. helped sew the seeds of chaos in several ways. Not only did we engage in direct military intervention against Gadafi, but also – as confirmed by a group of CIA officersarmed Al Qaeda so that they would help topple Gaddafi.)


Opium production is at an all-time high under the American occupation of Afghanistan.

And the New York Times reports this week that the Taliban are currently making huge gains in Afghanistan … in some cases expanding even beyond their traditional areas of influence prior to 2001:

The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.

U.S. troops are just now leaving, and so the worst may be still to come. In addition – as we discuss below – the U.S. previously imposed regime change on Afghanistan … and the results were bad.

History Repeats

The U.S. carried out regime change in Iran in 1953 … which led to radicalization in the country. Specifically, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. (He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies). As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.

If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. Iran has been known for thousands of years for tolerating Christians and other religious minorities.

Hawks in the U.S. government been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades.

Hillary Clinton and then-president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser have both admitted on the record that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Afghanistan in the 1970s by backing Bin Laden and the Mujahadin … the precursor to Al Qaeda.

And look how that turned out.


The U.S. has heavily backed the Islamic rebels in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country. The result?

As shown by the map above, they’ve taken a third of the country as part of their “caliphate”

And the jihadis are now busily crucifying, beheading and slitting the throats of Christians. (Yup, Syria was previously known for tolerating Christians.)


We can probably add Ukraine to the list of regime changed countries falling into chaos and murderous extremism, given that:

Since then, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine have descended into still more hellish levels of chaos.

The U.S.-backed government in Ukraine is starting to lose the civil war.

Many of the U.S.backed rebels in Syria have joined ISIS. And most of the weapons given to the “moderate” rebels have ended up in ISIS and Al Qaeda’s hands.

Mother Jones adds Yemen to the list:

So here’s my scorecard for American military interventions since 2000:

  • Afghanistan: A disaster. It’s arguable that Afghanistan is no worse off than it was in 2001, but after losing thousands of American lives and spending a trillion American dollars, it’s no better off either. [Since the government has put a gag order on all military information, it’s hard to know what’s really going on.]
  • Iraq: An even bigger disaster. Saddam Hussein was a uniquely vicious dictator, but even at that there’s not much question that Iraq is worse off than it was in 2003. We got rid of Saddam, but got a dysfunctional sectarian government and ISIS in return.
  • Libya: Another disaster. We got rid of Muammar Qaddafi, but got a Somalia-level failed state in return.
  • Yemen: Yet another disaster. After years of drone warfare, Houthi rebels have taken over the government. This appears to be simultaneously a win for Iran, which backs the rebels, and al-Qaeda, which may benefit from the resulting chaos. That’s quite a twofer.

What a sorry track record …

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  • Big Bear

    Perhaps we’re asking the wrong questions. Maybe these wars are in fact going along perfectly, but serving different ends than the ones proposed. As far as maintaining vast outlays of public funds on the largest military-industrial-financial complex on earth (larger than all the rest by a factor of 10, isn’t it?) — these wars are obviously a great success: as far as numerous “defense (!) contractors,” investors and bankers are concerned, they are a continuing tremendous bonanza, one that has been going on now for 75 years — quite a run. And in terms of international diplomacy, the countries that have been “destablized” are ones that were not cooperating with international finance and the predatory extractive regime of the multi-national corporate oligarchy. So maybe, when we look at it from the perspective of the operators of the race, this “track record” deserves a whole bunch of gold medals.

    • nomadfiles

      Winning has declined in importance. Profiteering is now the purpose of war. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose but that you play the game. War is money.

      • Undecider

        Profiteering is something done along the way and not the primary objective. The ‘War on Terror’ has been quite the success. They would just be a lot more successful if they had better control of the media.

        • Jason Voorhees

          The ‘War on Terror’ has been quite the success. Could you please elaborate a little more on what you mean by ‘success’ ?

        • nomadfiles

          “The ‘War on Terror’ has been quite the success.”
          What a strange thing to say. As measured in what? Brown bodies? Destabilized nations? Loss of civil liberties? Aside from increasing the defense budget and lining the pockets of arms manufacturers and banksters, what was successful about it? Did we win while I wasn’t looking?

        • leilaleyla

          If “war on terror” means “war for terror,” then I agree, it’s been a brilliant success. I’m just not sure how the media could be used to sell that particular idea.

    • Alfredo Sanchez

      I thought 4 sure it had something to do with the US dollar being pegged to oil through the US petro dollar (Isn’t that America’s achilles ankle?), Saddam Hussein trading oil in Euros and that Qaddafi fellow, (both US puppets) threatening the fiat currency system by trying to found a currency based on the gold standard.

      Too much?

      I’d just wished they tell us the truth.

      ex. “we need to invade to save the US dollar”
      public. “oh, well in that case knock your self out, I mean better them than us right, no one wants hyper inflation and devaluation of the currency.”
      case closed.

  • Southernfink

    Good article, consider the possibility that its not so much about winning wars as it is also all about waging economic warfare, hence the various deceptively termed and secretly negotiated Free Trade Agreements – once they are in place it does not really matter who runs a particular nation, while they can always invent another reason and go back in when things get out of hand.

    Its all part and package of the current global corporate coup d etat.

    Amazing how well ISIS plays into the neocons hands, divide and concur.

    • Big Bear

      Why, you might almost conclude it was designed for the purpose! (nudge nudge wink wink)

      • Southernfink

        The fallacious GWOT the secret FTA’s and the data harvest are three different parts of the same program.

        They have quite a few things in common when you look at their objectives, the main one is ensuring corporate profits.

        The purpose of each is obviously to complement the other, they certainly do not obstruct each other (^^,)

        Knowing that the invasion of Iraq was waged based on a series of deliberate lies — gives rise to a conspiracy.

        Cheney and that map of Iraq oil fields also gave the game away.

        The present situation in Ukraine and the reasons for initiating economic sanctions against Russia were never based on solid and independently verifiable evidence either — the jury is still out on that one, see the August 8 agreement but the damage is done and is not about to be corrected.

  • Ray Matusak

    The object is to create conflicts to enrich the War Profiteers, not win, lives don’t matter, should have listened to Ike, they’ve been playing us, the Tax Payers, for the Chumps we are

  • Jo

    Zionists have turned Merca into their bitch Golem. The craven attack on the
    USS Liberty has made that clear to even the dullest of Mercans. It does not
    matter that the central planning chosen racer banksters in their Ponzi crappers
    on Wall St have turned the rigged “markets” into a foul sewer that
    has polluted the so-called Western capitalist system or that the so-called
    Federal Reserve is no more than a private counting house pumping out company
    scrip for the indentured Mercan masses. That is the game and Mercans have no
    option but to play it or be wiped out by their masters. Like Merca’s serial
    “lost wars” for Zion, the goal is “creative destruction”,
    an oxymoron to anyone who is not a psychopath but for the genocidists in
    Washing town and occupied Palestine all perfectly logical to their NAZI minds.

    For the Red Shield legions of undead that have sucked humanity dry to the
    phalanxes of ethnic and rednecked Mercan sub working class fighting the wars of
    Zion and the carpet-bagging war profiteering leeches that own USSA all is
    marching along according to plan. That the sheeple can’t grasp the big picture
    from the media effluent poured into their “living rooms” is hardly
    surprising considering that the elite have been working on this for centuries
    and “smart” phone jabbing zombies don’t see what’s in front of their
    noses let alone the road ahead that the anglozionazi elite are building.


  • I vote choice #1:

    “Is this chaos an intentional way to implement regime change and grab resources?”

    I’m pretty sure that’s correct.

  • Occams

    It’s not about winning, losing – or in our case – total failure, it’s about scaring Sheepus Americanus into submission, feeding the industrial war machine with endless conflict, and politicians getting rich off their investments in the ‘IWM’, and from ‘globalist expansionism’ – or, as ‘we’ like to call it; ‘spreading democracy’. The US government has just now called Libya a ‘successful model of intervention’.

    Sheepus Americanus is too distracted with The Bachelor, iPhone releases, Black Fridays, beer and football, and other faaaaaaar more important things to care, and Bush’s ‘Islamaphobia’ has helped create a collective ‘who cares’ attitude.

    • And those who dare to try and pay attention to the “news”, are distracted by 24×7 reports on: THE MOOOOZLUMS/IS/ISIS/other false flags.

  • Carl_Herman

    Thanks, GW, as always for your leading analysis on so many vital issues.

    This is what we’ll receive in variations of themes in death, war, fear, looting, debt, disease, destruction, pollution, domination, control, etc. until enough of the 99.99% sound their song for justice, and call out “Emperor’s New Clothes” Truths.

    It’s a game of basic education that enough of us must pass before we graduate beyond what we have.

  • disqus_lsSGzxBypZ

    Does Deuteronomy 28 ring a bell?

  • nonyabiz

    Bitcoin (or other similar peer to peer based currencies) is the answer. It will take power away from the center and give it back to the people. Then war will be no more and poverty will be alleviated.

  • 5 dancing shlomos

    for whom?
    the u.s. destroying all israel’s enemies.

  • toejam

    Has the slaughter of Christians continues apace in Middle Earth. The American Christians continue to set their church pews sucking their thumbs while their 501(c) 3 pastors babble on about nothing.

  • Undecider

    Well, the War on Terror has progressed without too much in the way. Granted, the “Elites” are behind a little. If we can just hold back their efforts at mass vaccination, we’ll be able stymie much of their plans.

    • nomadfiles

      oh… 🙂

  • Tom

    The agenda for the US who are run by banksters is to topple any regime that rejects the US dollar as the basis for international trading and in particular for oil sales/purchases. Both Saddam and Gaddafi wanted to replace the US dollar in their oil trading – Saddam proposed to use the Euro and Gaddafi to create a new currency – the gold dinar – for trading Libyan oil. The US banksters didn’t care what mess was left after changing regimes in both Iraq and Libya – all they wanted was to kill off the plans to replace the US dollar as the basis for trading Iraqi and Libyan oil.