Pentagon responsible for Iraq and Afghanistan wars: Former US defense secretary

More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country

Christopher C. Miller, a former acting head of the Pentagon, said on 9 February that senior military figures in the US should be held accountable for the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his newly released memoir, Miller, who held the position of US secretary of defense from November 2020 to January 2021, wrote that “the US military-industrial complex has grown into a hydra-headed monster with almost no controls on the American war machine.”

In an interview with The Hill, Miller expressed the view that “We invaded a sovereign nation, killed and maimed a lot of Iraqis, and lost some of the greatest American patriots to ever live — all for a goddamned lie,” and that the Pentagon’s senior leadership urgently needs to be held accountable.

Estimates of Iraqis killed as a result of the 2003 US invasion range from hundreds of thousands to over one million.

Miller, who took over as acting defense secretary under President Donald Trump, said that what bothered him most was “the recognition that so many sacrifices were ultimately made in the service of a lie, as in Iraq, or to further a delusion, as in the neoconservatives’ utopian fantasy of a democratic Middle East.”

According to US journalist Don DeBar, Miller’s comments show “that he was naive, obeyed orders, and finally hit his limit of cognitive dissonance.”

“He came back when Trump appeared to offer a challenge to the paradigm that he walked away from. He has a level perspective towards the absurdity of the January 6th narrative, although he retains some of his original, almost religious fixation on US military power,” DeBar told Press TV.

Meanwhile, a report released last November by the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice revealed how the US Department of Defense (DoD) has been allowed to covertly deploy troops and wage secret wars over the past two decades in dozens of countries across the globe through the use of little-known legislative provisions known as ‘security cooperation authorities.’

Among the nations in West Asia affected by US violence enabled by these provisions are Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen; however, they also include many African and Latin American nations as well.

‘Security cooperation authorities’ were authorized by the US Congress in the years following the September 11 attacks. They constitute a continuation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which authorized the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The AUMF has been stretched by four successive governments to allow the US military to fight wars abroad under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

As a result of these security cooperation authorities, the US military has intervened violently in dozens of countries, with the Pentagon often declining to inform Congress or the US public about their secret operations under the reasoning that the incidents are “too minor to trigger statutory reporting requirements.”

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