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Too often, when we talk about terrorism, we frame it in terms of war. This makes it difficult to talk about the devastation terrorism wreaks on local communities.

In terms of warfare, the reclamation of Mosul from ISIS was a victory for Iraq and the world. But the city of Mosul and its residents have been devastated. Roads, electrical networks, and water sources are practically nonexistent; pictures of the streets look like they came from a World War II history textbook. From a humanitarian standpoint, Mosul is a crushing loss.

Talking about fighting terrorism is important, but talking about rebuilding communities ravaged by terrorism is even more important. The United States government, the media, and the American people should spend less time thinking about war and more time thinking about how to provide foreign aid that reconstructs places like Mosul. Because foreign aid focused on reconstruction not only ensures that terror will not take hold of a city again, it’s also the moral thing to do.

Adesuwa Agbonile, Kirkland