What War on Terrorism? It’s a War for Terrorism.

What War on Terrorism? It’s a War for Terrorism.

Scott Horton
Show Date
September 12, 2021
Foreign Policy

To the American public, it may have seemed like the War and Afghanistan came to an abrupt end last month – a month earlier than the Biden Administration's self-imposed deadline of the 20-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks. To those who followed the "forever war" more closely – like my guest, Scott Horton – the botched withdrawal of troops from the country is just another in a long line of blunders in an even longer "War on Terror" that continues largely unabated. Foreign policy, like economic policy, seems to be bound by the same inextricable law of unintended consequences, whereby policy failures end up justifying further interventions, mishaps, and pretext for even bigger government programs. The only question is whether the US will learn from its mistakes this time, or set off on another damaging campaign.

The story of the United States' involvement in the Middle East is a long one, that dates back to at least the Carter Administration. Scott Horton, director of the Libertarian Institute and host of Antiwar Radio, has meticulously documented the long litany of errors and self-reinforcing planks of the misguided War on Terror in his writings, videos, and radio broadcasts over the years.

He joined me to offer a one-hour retrospective on the War in Afghanistan, with an emphasis on the patterns and principles that have characterized our broader foreign policy failures over the past 45 years. From Scott, I've learned that the failures can be boiled down to one word: blowback. For the full story, you'll have to read two of his most recent books, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism (2021) & *Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan* (2017).