There is very little in the way of a rational argument supporting the idea the Iraq War was in any fashion a success. By just about any measure imaginable, it was an outright failure. And the situation in the country continues to get worse, as indicated by just a sample of recent attacks:
- 51 dead and over 200 wounded by wave of car bombs.
- 31 dead in outbreak of violence.
- 30 dead and 70 wounded by car bombs.
- Series of bombs kill 34.
- 38 killed by bomb.
- 15 killed by suicide bomber.
- 40 killed by bombs.
And those reports are from the month of July alone. As one article notes, “more than 2,500 Iraqis have died in attacks since April.”
This is also not counting the legacy of depleted uranium used by U.S. forces in Iraq which is causing huge increases in birth defects in cities such as Najaf and Fallujah where very heavy fighting occurred.
It appears Afghanistan is now headed for the same type of violent situation. Civilian casualties are on the rise according to the UN, as noted by the CSM:
The report said that Afghan civilian casualties are rising, noting an increase of 23 percent in the first half of 2013…According to the report, between January and June of this year, 1,319 civilians were killed, while 2,533 more were injured. Women and children casualties are also on the rise, increasing by 61 and 30 percent, respectively.
It’s not impossible for these countries to make miraculous turnarounds and be thriving democracies with strong economies one day. But that day is not in the foreseeable future and it would appear the U.S. occupations of both may have set that day back much further as the level of violence grows in each.
Which now begs the question: should the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan be considered a failure equal to that of Iraq?