TWU Global Conflict Discussion
After more than a dozen years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has ended its combat mission in those countries. Observers agree that much has been accomplished in this period but also that the price has been high — over a trillion dollars spent and 7,000 U.S. troops killed.
Based on your understanding of these wars, do you think they were worth the price.
Do you have the same opinion of both wars, or do you feel differently about the
Iraq (Links to an external site.)
war than about the
Afghan (Links to an external site.)
war. I have included some links to an overview of why we entered these wars on the name of the country. Just click, and it should take you to the article.
With all that is happening in Ukraine, should the U.S. get involved unilaterally with troops on the ground? Explain your answer in detail.
Have the NATO nations done enough to support Ukraine? Explain your answer in detail.
What problems do you believe we could expect if we entered on the ground in Ukraine either unilaterally or multilaterally with NATO? Explain your answer in detail.
Reply to MC
Iraq and Afghanistan
The 2001 War in Afghanistan was a categorical failure on the part of the United States. The War in
Afghanistan was a war started in anger, waged in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The
initial objectives of the War in Afghanistan were justifiable on paper– destroy terrorist bases, root out
terrorist groups, and bring to justice those responsible for the brazen 9/11 attacks against U.S. civilians.
While the United States’ initial military operations against the Taliban were generally successful, the
disastrous effects of U.S. involvement as the war went on should not be understated. Not only did U.S.
nation-building efforts in Afghanistan fail after over a decade of attempted support, but the resurgence
of the Taliban after the first democratic elections in 2004 cast serious doubt on whether continued
occupation was even effective. Oversight on spending of financial aid to Afghanistan’s security forces
was woefully insufficient at best, and that lack of oversight enabled corruption. After almost two
decades, the result was an Afghan security force that was completely ineffective in resisting the 2021
summer offensive, when the Taliban once again established itself as the ruling force in Afghanistan.
Unlike the War in Afghanistan, the motivation behind the 2003 Iraq War was questionable from the
beginning. There were myriad possible justifications: Iraq’s failure to comply with the terms of the 1991
ceasefire, the Iraqi government’s stonewalling of U.S. attempts to bring known members of al-Qaeda to
justice, and general belligerence against the United States, including a 1993 assassination attempt
against President George H.W. Bush. Instead, the George W. Bush administration and the media made
weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) the focal point of the war. The supposition that WMDs were
being manufactured in Iraq for planned use by Saddam Hussein was shaky at best. Countless times
during the course of the invasion, the United States claimed to have found weapons labs in Iraq, but
most evidence of WMDs in Iraq were stockpiled munitions or equipment left over from the 1991
disarmament. No credible evidence was ever discovered of Iraq actively mass-producing WMDs after
1991. Unlike Afghanistan, after Saddam Hussein was deposed, Iraq’s new government found relative
stability and while insurgency was a major issue, Iraq’s security forces were effective enough that Iraq
remained reasonably stable after the U.S. withdrawal. Overall, the Iraq War was less successful than the
War in Afghanistan at the outset, but the result was much more favorable for the United States.
Russia and Ukraine
Ukraine is a sovereign nation and its people have a right to self-determination. The support Ukraine is
receiving from the U.S. and European powers appears, so far, to be sufficient. Sanctions against Russia
appear to be degrading the nation’s economic stability and Russian warfighting capability appears to be
less effective than predicted. As it stands, Ukraine has a fighting chance to hold off Russia long enough
for peace to be achieved through diplomatic means. Turkey is preventing additional Russian fleets from
reinforcing the Black Sea, Russian logistics and supply chains are under pressure from guerilla actions in
Ukrainian territory, and despite the Russian claim that their air force is a peer to NATO, they have yet to
establish air superiority over Ukraine. All that to say, Ukraine is in surprisingly good shape considering
Russia has certain absolute limits on what behavior it is willing to tolerate from other nations. These
limits are known as ‘red lines,’ and the crossing of a red line is sure to cause severe retaliation. So far,
NATO has pushed the boundaries of Russia’s red lines, providing billions of dollars worth of weapons
systems and platforms to Ukraine. I believe direct U.S./NATO involvement, including the presence of
troops on the ground or the establishment of a NATO-enforced no-fly zone would go well beyond
Russian tolerance. If the U.S. and/or NATO allies entered a conventional war with Russia, the RussiaUkraine conflict would bloom into an all-out war in Europe. Russia may have been overestimated as a
peer adversary by NATO powers, but a general mobilization of Russian reserves could very well
significantly boost their military strength. A war with Russia should be avoided at almost any cost-irrespective of the anticipated result– as it would certainly result in an unacceptable amount of death,
displacement, and destruction. While a world-changing nuclear war is less of a threat than many
imagine, especially considering the modern nuclear doctrine of proportional response, it is still a
looming threat that only adds to the list of reasons the United States and other nuclear powers should
not become directly involved in Ukraine.
The United States played a significant part in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It was worth
the price of losing many military troops (about 7000 thousand) and spending over a
trillion dollars on the conflict. Being one of the powerful countries driving peace,
concord, and efforts to combat terrorism, it only needed to invest more to ensure
stability in both countries. America is also a significant country in military technology
and economic resources. With all of this, it has always been a substantial contributor to
the budget of the United Nations. Having this capacity meant it was prepared to meet
any enemy wherever in the world or to put an end to any nefarious activity that
appeared to be a threat (George, n.d). The Americans could apprehend and punish the
war’s ringleaders in both campaigns while occupying the terrorists’ key strongholds. The
American investment was worth the money because it could restrict terrorist activities
and the deaths of innocent civilians in both conflicts, resulting in peace and harmony.
Both conflicts, in my opinion, were comparable because of many reasons and incidents
that occurred. During both wars, there were wicked parties that disrupted global peace.
Sadam Hussein, for example, backed terrorists in Iraq who attacked neighbors and killed
thousands of his people. As a result, he posed a threat to his people. In contrast, there
was a conflict between the Taliban and the government in Afghanistan, resulting in
many innocent people’s deaths. The Americans did not have many allies in both wars
because they feared it would obstruct their decision-making (Barry, 2018). The majority
of the military weapons and specialists were Americans, who took part in more
significant numbers. The terrorist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan had resources to assist
their War against Americans and other parties. In Iraq, gasoline, and gas provided funds
to finance criminal activities, whereas opium supported al Qaeda and the Taliban in
Afghanistan. Congress provided utmost support against the terrorist groups’ use of
weapons of mass destruction during both American invasions in the war. Terrorists in
Afghanistan and Iraq defeated NATO soldiers in both countries.
Whatever happens in Ukraine, the United States should not enter the conflict unilaterally
by sending troops to the ground. This is because Russians and Americans still hold a
grudge since the end of the Second World War. As a result, the two superpowers are
still locked in a cold war. To the Russians, the American incursion in Ukraine means
direct confrontation, resulting in war. Notably, Russians and Americans have nearly
comparable military technology and people. Ukraine’s democracy and the United States
should also respect sovereignty. Since gaining independence in 1991, it could choose its
path and whoever to ally with, and Americans should avoid making decisions for them
at all costs. In addition, the influx of Americans into Russia and Ukraine will increase the
cost of living for Americans. There will be a rise in taxes to satisfy the war demands of
Ukraine, such as the development and supply of weapons and the deployment and
sustaining of military soldiers during the peacekeeping mission.
As Ukraine continues to defend itself against Russia, NATO has continued to provide
political and practical port by coordinating Ukrainian requests for help and assisting in
delivering humanitarian and non-lethal aid. Most NATO allies have responded to
civilians’ humanitarian demands by opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees (NATO,
2022). Throughout the battle, it has also supported the people of Ukraine and their
legitimate parliament, administration, and democratically elected leader. Ukraine is also
receiving financial assistance from NATO member countries. Individual countries
contribute guns, medical supplies, ammunition, and other critical equipment to the
Ukrainian government to reinforce it. The alliance has suspended all civilian and military
collaboration with Russia. It also contained a slew of harsh economic sanctions against
Russia’s government. The coalition has pledged its unwavering support for Ukraine’s
territorial integrity and sovereignty within internationally recognized borders. It has also
urged the Russian government to follow international humanitarian law and remove its
forces from Ukraine so that civilians can access basic human needs.
If the United States joins the Ukraine-Russian conflict, it will result in tremendous
destruction and global economic inflation. Since World War II, the United States of
America and Russia have been engaged in a cold war. The invasion of Russia in Ukraine
is one means of taunting the United States to see how it responds and attempting to
retaliate to become a superpower. Whether through NATO or unilaterally, the charge of
the United States will have a global impact, particularly on developing countries (Cfr.org,
n.d). The global economy will grow due to the war, which will affect the manufacturing,
importation, and exportation of goods. Since the United States will raise taxes to fund
military operations against the Russians, the world will become more economically
sanctioned. The invasion of America into the Russian-Ukraine War will result in a third
world war. They will now have to evaluate their military capabilities and military
technology as superpower countries around the globe rather than seeking peace in
In conclusion, war generates property destruction and tension among superpowers
worldwide. Because they all desire respect from one another, they always go against the
established international peace policy. The best that can happen is for peace preachers
to travel across continents and for strict disciplinary measures imposed on governments
that breach the peace. War results in the mass slaughter of innocent people, the
inaccessibility of fundamental human requirements, and economic stagnation.
Barry, B. (2018, October 31). Harsh lessons: Iraq, Afghanistan and the changing character
of war |. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved April 25, 2022,
Council on Foreign Relations. (n.d.). Timeline: U.S. War in Afghanistan. Council on
Foreign Relations. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-warafghanistan
George W. Bush Library. (n.d.). Global War on terror. Retrieved April 25, 2022,
NATO. (2022, March 17). Relations with Ukraine.. Retrieved April 25, 2022,