The War On Terror: The Hidden Cost

Written by Callum Williams

On the 22nd June 2017, tragedy hit Manchester as a terrorist detonated a suicide belt in a heartless, horrific and tragic attack which cost 22 innocent peoples’ lives including an 8 year old girl. These horrific and heartless attacks are a grave loss, a consequence of terrorism and the ‘war on terror’. However, there is another grave loss – a hidden cost – caused by the ‘war on terror’, one the government desperately don’t want you to know about.

More than 1,400 innocent civilians – including children – were brutally killed by US drone strikes in March alone. Did you hear about these countless attacks on innocents? Of course you didn’t, because the establishment don’t want you to know. These people killed by drone strikes were innocent, normal people going about their lives peacefully, similar to the concert goers on June 22nd. If 1,400 people were killed by terrorism within a month, the media would be reporting it 24/7 – rightfully so – and the government would be preparing to go to war.

However, when it is innocents in another country, deaths we are responsible for, no-one knows or hears about it.

How is that fair?

How is that right?

How is that moral?

Advocates of drone strikes will say it stops terrorism, but it doesn’t. We – and the USA – have been bombing Syria for years and the prevalence of terrorism is rising. The problem is most terrorists these days are ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists. This means they are typically ordinary people who are vulnerable and then radicalised.

Our pointless ‘war on terror’ and bombing innocents doesn’t stop vulnerable people being radicalised. We spend billions on the ‘war on terror’. If we diverted that money into mental health and deradicalisation programs, it would save lives in two ways. Firstly, less terror attacks would mean less innocents’ deaths, and secondly, no air strikes would save thousands of innocent lives abroad. If we had done this years ago then, maybe those 22 victims from Manchester would still be here today.

However, when anyone suggests a peaceful passive approach to terrorism – like Jeremy Corbyn did – they are apparently ‘unpatriotic’, ‘Britain hating’ and a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ because they oppose killing innocents.

Why won’t we learn? War doesn’t stop terrorism; it perpetuates the problem. Look at Iraq: we foolishly launched a war which cost millions of lives, leading to ISIS and the ‘war on terror’ claiming millions of lives as well. By launching drone strikes we not only kill civilians, but we give the terrorist what they want: by retaliating not rectifying the situation, we give the terrorists the attention they want. War does not stop terrorism; violence will not defeat violence.

The only way we can stop modern-day terrorism is to not overreact, thus leading to detrimental consequences – like Tony Blair did – but to focus on education to prevent radicalisation. The only way to defeat terrorism is to unify and stick together. The terrorist’s aim is to cause division and destruction. We shouldn’t give them what they want by going on pointless vendettas of destruction which cost innocent lives but fail to prevent terrorism. We need to unify and carry on as normal, to show the terrorist that they can’t destroy us because together we are stronger than bombs, weapons and all of the world’s armies.

What happened in Manchester was a tragic, heartless attack on our way of life. But our response to terrorism is ineffectual and immoral. When people like Jeremy Corbyn suggested a peaceful solution to terrorism instead of mocking him, the establishment should have listened. Look where the ‘patriotic’ and ‘strong and stable’ method got us, a world with even more tragedy and innocents’ deaths. We need to unite together and seek a new approach to terrorism to send out the message that we will not be destroyed, that we will unify and defeat terrorism without caving into their desires. For a more prosperous future, we need to rethink our current approach to terrorism because it doesn’t work, Manchester was another chilling reminder of that.

About the author

Callum Williams


  • Wow this article is very interesting and meaningful. It raises some very serious issues and dilemmas and I agree that we need to change something.

  • The amount of people who die from terrorism is at an alarming amount and needs to decrease. Innocent lives should not be put at risk between the cross-fire.

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