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Weighing Up Pros and Cons: U.S. Considered Nuking Afghanistan After 9/11

1-Stuart J HooperStuart J. Hooper
21st Century Wire

How might this have changed the course of history?

Watch a video of this report here:


German official and current German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner, says “the papers were written” and “they really had played through all possibilities” including a nuclear strike on Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

Steiner was part of a faction in the German government that believed the U.S. would “overreact” to 9/11 and rejected giving the U.S. “unconditional support” after the attacks, but was overturned by his higher-ups.

Instead of nuking Afghanistan, the U.S. invaded the country and ousted the Taliban, accused of harbouring al Qaeda terrorist forces, from power.

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A soldier in the streets of Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Cpl. James L. Yarboro)

Consider the question posed at the start of this report, how might this have changed the course of history? Obviously dropping nuclear weapons can never really be considered ‘better’, but we can examine why a protracted war had far more benefits for the Military Industrial Complex than a nuclear war.

Nukes certainly would have meant for a far shorter conflict, potentially concluding in a matter of days instead of over a decade. But, how much of a difference would it have made to the total number of innocents dead? Since the start of the war an estimated 360,000 people have been killed. Depending on the weather conditions, chosen targets and a number of other factors, this is likely to have been massively reduced, or, massively increased.

At their highest estimates, the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed 226,000 people; less than the number killed by the conventional war in Afghanistan.

The number of coalition force deaths would likely have been zero, as opposed to the 3,393 who died in the invasion along with tens of thousands of others who were injured and maimed.

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This would not have happened after a nuclear strike. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Kyle Davis)

A consequence of this huge reduction in the duration of the conflict would have had an equally huge reduction on the cost of the war too. A constant stream of taxation expenditure to the arms industry and private contractors, now totalling $1 Trillion, would have been entirely unnecessary. Imagine the great work that money could have done if it had been spent domestically.

The Military Industrial Complex, with its tight grip on U.S. government officials, obviously weighed up arguments very similar to those presented here and ultimately concluded that to nuke Afghanistan would have been a huge, wasted opportunity to increase both their power and profits.

It is for this very reason that the likelihood of seeing a nuclear conflict initiated by the U.S. is incredibly low, and would require an extremely adverse set of circumstances were it to occur.

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READ MORE 9/11 NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire 9/11 Files