Paul Lachine

El precio del 11 de septiembre

NUEVA YORK – Los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2011 realizados por Al Qaeda tenían la intención de dañar a Estados Unidos, y lo consiguieron, pero en formas que Osama Bin Laden probablemente nunca se imaginó. La respuesta del presidente George W. Bush a los ataques puso en riesgo los principios básicos de Estados Unidos, socavando su economía y debilitando su seguridad.

El ataque a Afganistán posterior a los ataques del 11 de septiembre fue comprensible, pero la posterior invasión de Irak fue totalmente ajena a Al Qaeda, a pesar de que Bush trató de establecer un vínculo. Aquella guerra que se eligió llevar a cabo se convirtió de manera rápida en muy costosa, alcanzando órdenes de magnitud que fueron más allá de los $60 mil millones que se afirmaron al principio, ya que una colosal incompetencia se encontró con tergiversaciones deshonestas.

De hecho, cuando Linda Bilmes y yo calculamos los costos de la guerra de Estados Unidos hace tres años, la cifra conservadora alcanzo entre $3 a $5 billones de dólares. Desde aquel entonces, los costos se han elevado aún más. Debido a que casi el 50% de las tropas que regresan cumplen los requisitos para recibir algún tipo de pago por incapacidad, y hasta el momento más de 600.000 de ellos han sido atendidos en instalaciones médicas para veteranos, ahora estimamos que los pagos por incapacidad y asistencia médica en el futuro alcanzarán en total una cifra que se encuentra entre los $600 a 900 billones. Sin embargo, los costos sociales, que se refleja en los suicidios de veteranos (que han superado los 18 por día en los últimos años) y las desintegraciones familiares, son incalculables.

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