CIA Director: War on Terror will never end

War on Terror US Army Image Credit: Poxnar

War on Terror US Army
Image Credit: Poxnar

Washington, DC (TFC) – Central Intelligence Agency boss John Brennan took part in a question and answer session at Harvard last week. The most important thing to take away from the event is that the nation’s top intelligence official does not believe the war on terror will ever end.

The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) was surprisingly candid (for a man who lies for a living) when he answered questions regarding the likelihood of the disastrous War on Terror ever ending. He ham-handedly attempted to stick to the tired old clichés and talking points, but he was open and honest about one fact: America’s sons and daughters will continue to die under this ill-conceived foreign policy for “millennia” to come. To be sure, there were plenty of statements regarding how terrorists are evildoers, that they hate us for our freedom, that we have to fight them over there or we’ll fight them here, and that it’s technology’s fault; but observers could tell that even the DCI didn’t believe the intended soundbytes.

Defense One, a military-industrial complex trade magazine that partners with the Council on Foreign Relations, provided some wonderful quotes:

“If I look across the board in terms of since 9/11 at terrorist organizations, and if the United States in all of its various forms. In intelligence, military, homeland security, law enforcement, diplomacy. If we were not as engaged against the terrorists, I think we would be facing a horrendous, horrendous environment. Because they would have taken full advantage of the opportunities that they have had across the region.”

If the US didn’t pick countries to invade by throwing darts at a map of the Middle East, arm enemies of the United States, destabilize governments, engage in torture, drone strike civilians, back tyrants, and generally create mayhem all over the Middle East, we might have a horrendous environment indeed. The DCI casts Chris Farley to play the Central Intelligence Agency as he bumbles around the Middle East completely unaware of the destruction that follows him wherever he goes and the fact that the “opportunities” the terrorists have had all over the Middle East follow US intervention.  It’s as if he refuses to recognize the fact that the US ousting of Saddam Hussein created a power vacuum in Iraq or that the US policy of arming radical Islamic elements in Syria created the force to fill that power vacuum by creating the Islamic State.

He goes on:

“We have worked collectively as a government but also with our international partners very hard to try and root many of them out. Might some of these actions be stimulants to others joining their ranks? Sure, that’s a possibility. I think, though it has taken off of the battlefield a lot more terrorists, than it has put on.”

At least the DCI is aware that if the attempted assassinations of 41 men by drones result in 1147 people being killed, there exists the likelihood that the policy might be fanning the flames of war. Each one of those 1106 extra casualties had a family. Even if only one family member from each of those killed joins the insurgency or becomes radicalized, the DCI’s estimate of taking more off the battlefield than it has put on is completely inaccurate.

The agency’s torture program in Iraq was a leading cause of foreign fighters filling the battlefields of Iraq. The program has yet to yield any real intelligence.

When questioned on when the War on Terror will end, Brennan said:

“It’s a long war, unfortunately. But it’s been a war that has been in existence for millennia, at the same time—the use of violence for political purposes against noncombatants by either a state actor or a subnational group.

Terrorism has taken many forms over the years. What is more challenging now is, again, the technology that is available to terrorists, the great devastation that can be created by even a handful of folks, and also mass communication that just proliferates all of this activity and incitement and encouragement. So you have an environment now that’s very conducive to that type of propaganda and recruitment efforts, as well as the ability to get materials that are going to kill people. And so this is going to be something, I think, that we’re always going to have to be vigilant about. There is evil in the world and some people just want to kill for the sake of killing…This is something that, whether it’s from this group right now or another group, I think the ability to cause damage and violence and kill will be with us for many years to come.

We just have to not kill our way out of this because that’s not going to address it. We need to stop those attacks that are in train but we also have to address some of those underlying factors and conditions. I’m not saying that poverty causes somebody to become a terrorist, or a lack of governance, but they certainly do allow these terrorist organizations to grow and they take full advantage of those opportunities.”

The DCI refuses to acknowledge any legitimate policy concerns of the opposition, which is of course setting the stage for an endless war by removing the possibility of changing the political climate. Without entertaining the idea for a policy shift, the only option left is war. So as long as mass communication exists and the US continues to funnel arms into the region, the war will continue.

In short, the United States has no intention of achieving a victory. The war will go on as long as there is money to made by continuing the policies that are fueling the fire of anti-American sentiment. The DCI has inadvertently admitted that our soldiers are not dying for mom and apple pie. They are dying for Exxon, Boeing, and Halliburton.

George Orwell once wrote:

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact”