My answer to What were the immediate effects of 9/11?
Answer by Ken Larson:
Cause and effect relationships that have led to the longest period of warfare in U.S. history and massive loss of human life. These relationships must be carefully analyzed so they do not occur again.
An observer of our military actions over the last two decades in the Middle East could in no way have predicted the splintered, irrational, “Turn-Your-Back-And-You-Have-Two-New-Enemies”, scenario the US faces today.
Perhaps a look back over our shoulder, examining cause and effect relationships along the road is in order.
CAUSE: The US fights a just and honorable war assisting many Middle East allies and other countries free Kuwait.
EFFECT: Saddam Hussein is driven from Kuwait and the country is returned to its rightful government.
CAUSE: The US does not leave the Middle East after rescuing Kuwait, but rather, stays in peripheral countries militarily “To Protect Our Interests” with an imperialist attitude resented by cultures that have an ingrained,religious hatred for that type of presence by foreigners.
EFFECT: The rise of Bin Laden and many more like him today and the deaths of 3,000 Americans on our soil, attacked in our homeland because we did not leave the Middle East.
CAUSE: The US reacts to 911 by setting up an elaborate Homeland Security apparatus and beefing up the National Security Agency by orders of magnitude, technologically, while putting in place a carefully concealed legal apparatus to counter terrorism.
EFFECT: The US has no outside terrorist incidents of a 911 magnitude since the Twin Towers fell in 2001 but Americans develop real concerns about our government and its role in controlling our lives as whistle blower disclosures regarding the apparatus of intelligence operation reveal potential constitutional issues.
CAUSE: The US invades Iraq fed by false, intentionally staged intelligence, fronted by agencies and industries bent on economic gain. The US sets about war fighting and nation building programs that seek to displace a culture that had evolved through conflict and war lords for hundreds of years and is tied to the absolute requirement that religious practices be part and parcel of government, a principle the US has rejected as unworkable since our Constitution was written
EFFECT: Failure to build anything substantial in the form of a nation over a 15 year period. The deaths or crippling of our finest soldiers, dramatic increases in our national debt and a cynicism among our citizens with respect to the $Billions that have gone into the pockets of corporations supporting our huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and wasteful USAID Programs by companies that spend more lobbying Congress than they pay in taxes.
CAUSE: The present Middle East unrest due to ISIS/ISIL and other splinter groups we thought had been scattered to the winds.
EFFECT: UN Security Council meets with many nations talking and less than a half dozen nations carefully and selectively participating in an air war against terrorism while the remainder watch the outcome. Our military and corporate defense establishment (MIC) shout, “Sequestration to reduce military spending must end!” and estimates two years will be required with more American boots on the ground to train an Iraq force that we had already trained for a decade before the Iraq government disbanded it.
CAUSE (PROJECTED): A political battle like none seen in recent times driven by concerned American citizens and their view of the US role in the Middle East, our burgeoning national debt approaching $20 Trillion and the fact that the culture in that part of the world has had a very difficult time figuring out how we can help them over the last two decades while we near energy independence from oil and require some nation building of our own in the homeland.
EFFECT (PROJECTED): A leader and a political climate that will permit prudence, tough decisions, carefully avoidance of bad intelligence and overreaction so that we do not continue to sink into the oil and blood soaked desert of Middle East cultural revolutions as global corporations consuming the MIC and USAID tax payer dollars prosper, parking their assets overseas while our young become indebted for generations.