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With the news that Fallujah is back in the hands of al-Qaida, it’s fair to say the 13-year-old U.S. war in Iraq resulting in some 37,000 casualties has been lost.

A series of bombings by terrorists in Baghdad over the weekend killed more than 20.

As U.S. forces continue to draw down in Afghanistan with the Taliban, allies of al-Qaida, still occupying most of the country, it’s difficult to see what was achieved in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

The longest war in U.S. history has resulted in some 21,000 casualties, with 73 percent of them coming since 2009, during the leadership of Barack Obama.

The 2004 battle for Fallujah alone, conducted as a street-by-street, house-by-house ground campaign resulted in the deaths of 95 American soldiers with 560 wounded.

Each of these wars was waged by the U.S. as a financial cost of billions per month.

It’s time to ask the obvious question: Was it all worth it?

Neither war had clear goals from the start. What began as vague “wars against terrorism” certainly didn’t defeat terrorism. Terrorism is on the rise in both countries.

That’s what happens when you fight wars against a “tactic” of war rather than a clearly defined enemy.

Not that long ago, Obama told Americans al-Qaida was “on the run.”

It appears today al-Qaida is sprinting toward victory on both fronts.

Not only is al-Qaida winning back ground it lost in Iraq and Afghanistan during these never-ending conflicts, it is also surging in Lebanon and Syria – with the help of the U.S.

Obama made the strategic decision to aid Muslim Brotherhood rebels in Syria. The weapons and other supplies America gave these fighters is now all in the hands of al-Qaida’s network, resulting in more violence in Syria, with much of it spreading to Lebanon.

One can only wonder how much worse the situation would be had Obama’s wild and irresponsible plan to attack Syria directly been approved by Congress.

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It’s true that Syria is run by a dictator – a second-generation tyrant named Bashar Assad. But in the Arab and Muslim world, good guys are in short supply. As bad as Assad is, he actually was a stabilizing factor in the Middle East, an enemy of al-Qaida and a protector of religious minorities – especially Christians.

Christians are being massacred and chased from their homes in Syria, as the fighting and bombings and intimidation by al-Qaida spreads into Lebanon.

It’s complicated, isn’t it?

But it gets worse.

Syria is aligned with Iran. In fact, Assad would have been toppled by now had Iran’s Hezbollah guerrillas not been aiding Assad’s army. Hezbollah is the most significant military force in Lebanon, overshadowing the Lebanese army.

Iran represents a serious threat not only to Israel but to the U.S. because of its nuclear weapons program. Iraq has plunged into Iran’s orbit thanks to the U.S. war there. That’s why al-Qaida, a Sunni terrorist network, is at battle in Iraq as well as Lebanon and Syria.

But the U.S. has no strategy for victory or even containment of any of these forces.

It’s a mess. There are no easy answers. But the U.S. continues to follow a half-hearted strategy doomed to failure at a cost of American lives and billions a month in financial costs.

George W. Bush made mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. But those mistakes have been compounded by Obama whose campaign for the presidency in 2008 was a “peace” platform.

America, more than ever, is still stumbling and bumbling in its military policy in all these fronts. Meanwhile, the terror and misery of the populations in these countries is worsening.

Does anyone understand what the U.S. is still doing in Afghanistan and Iraq?

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