WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Macgregor, a retired US Army colonel and a historian, said that the US failed to practice ‘economy of enemies’.
"We turned tens of millions of people into enemies whose only focus in life was to survive another day," He said.
Fifteen years ago, al-Qaeda, which carried out the attacks, was a small, unrepresentative Islamic-extremist movement whose members were mostly confined to the Waziristan region of eastern Afghanistan, Macgregor recalled.
In response, US forces inflicted massive suffering on the combined 63 million people of Afghanistan and Iraq, the former officer pointed out.
"The populations in both countries were unconnected to the small number of foreign al-Qaeda fighters in Waziristan who were responsible," Macgregor explained.
"The first action after 9/11 should have involved closing our borders and ports, grounding aircraft and finding out who was actually in the United States that could have conspired with the perpetrators," he stated.
US policymakers under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have never been held to answer for their failures, Macgregor insisted.
"Where there is no accountability there is no performance," he said. "The appointed and elected leaders who squandered blood and treasure on self-defeating military occupations and wrongheaded policies were never held accountable."
Macgregor has a doctoral degree in international relations from the University of Virginia. He commanded the Battle of 73 Easting, a decisive tank fight during the 1991 Gulf War.
Middle East analyst and historian Helena Cobban agreed that the policies the United States undertook following the 2001 attacks have proven to be a mistake, both in their conception and results.
"Bush should have followed the example set by Presidents [Franklin] Roosevelt and [Harry] Truman at the end of World War II," Cobban said. "They insisted on a focused legal process to target the leading wrongdoers who ordered the criminal policies that were carried out."
Such policies were "as foolish as it would have been, in 1945, to try to punish all the Germans," Cobban said.
Since 2001, US policies have brought enormous suffering on millions of innocent people, she added.
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