Backgrounder: Sept. 11 terror attacks, anti-terror war

12:33, September 11, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Terrorists hijacked four U.S. planes on Sept. 11, 2001, among which two struck the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York, one hit the Pentagon in Washington, and the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania.

The string of attacks killed some 3,000 people, and caused a loss of hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars.

The United States said al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attack and decided to launch an anti-terror war.

On Oct. 7, 2001, the U.S. military kicked off an anti-terror war in Afghanistan, where bin Laden was believed to be. Within two months, U.S. troops toppled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Afterwards, the U.S. government dispatched more forces to the volatile country to hunt down bin Laden, but to no avail.

On March 20, 2003, the U.S. government launched the Iraq War, as it accused Iraq of owning weapons of mass destruction and colluding with bin Laden.

Although the Saddam regime was overthrown, the U.S. pretext for launching the war turned out to be baseless.

The nine-year-long anti-terror war hasn't brought real security to the United States. On the contrary, homegrown terror suspects frequently appear in the United States, and impose a continuous threat.

Al-Qaeda, a sore point for the United States, seems to have grown stronger instead of being eliminated.

Moreover, the U.S. anti-terror wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not only caused huge civilian casualties and political turbulence in the two countries, but cost the United States itself dearly as well.

So far, more than 1,220 U.S. service personnel have lost their lives in Afghanistan. However, that is far short of the 4,400 who have died in Iraq.

The cost of U.S. military operations in Iraq was about 748 billion dollars, and spending related to the war in Afghanistan reached 300 billion dollars.

After taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama began to adjust the country's anti-terror strategy. On May 27, the president released his first National Security Strategy report.

The new strategy unveiled by Obama is more multilateral than that of the Bush administration, but its ultimate purpose is still to safeguard America's interests, secure its lead position in the world and seek absolute security with the backing of its absolute superiority.

On Aug. 31, Obama announced that the seven-year U.S. combat mission in Iraq ended. However, the wars on terrorism triggered by the Sept. 11 incident are far from over. At present, the United States still has some 50,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • The romantic myth of the Aegean 
The Aegean Sea is between the Greece Peninsula and Asia Minor Peninsula, dotted with many beautiful scenery islands, like a paradise on earth.  The ancient city of Troy in the east coast of Aegean, Turkey, and Mycenaean sites in the west bank of Greece, which have been archaeological discoveries, now are the must visit places in journey of the Aegean Sea. Above, these desolate dilapidated stone, the sunny blue sky and white clouds and vessels roaming at sea, arriving and departing travellers, add more romantic to the sea and the islands.
  • Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Li Baodong (R) welcomes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the United States. Sept. 29, 2011. The Chinese permanent delegation to the UN held a reception on Thursday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of China's returning to the UN. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
  • Chinese ambassador to Bulgaria Guo Yezhou delivers a speech during the reception in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Chinese Embassy in Bulgaria held a grand reception here on Thursday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Xinhua/Wang Meng)
  • A model presents creation by Mexican designer at Mexico Fashion Week, Mexico City, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
  • Tourists walk in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin, capital of Germany, Sept. 29, 2011. Fine weather on Thursday added to the mood of outdoor leisure for residents and tourists in Berlin. (Xinhua/Ma Ning)
  • Dancers from National Ballet Troupe of Spain perform during a rehearsal for the press at Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, Sept. 29, 2011. The troupe will put on Dualia and La Leyenda, two folk dances here from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)
Hot Forum Discussion