Tuesday, September 13, 2011
End The WAR: Cut the Deficit
As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone, the question on the minds of many Americans becomes, When is the war going to end? Personally, I have been asking this question since the war began, but now I am joined by many other fellow American citizens in these hard economic times. Whatever your opinion regarding the conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan- denoted “War on Terror”- it is evident that resolution would decrease our national debt and greatly decrease the troubling deficit. It is estimated that the war will cost over 3 trillion dollars total. Some sources even project the cost to be closer to 4 trillion.
When we think of war cost, we might think military payroll, transportation and housing; and also guns, tanks, bombs, aircraft, ships, missiles, and medical expenses for the troops. But there are many more costs attached to this war. There are the ongoing costs for veterans who might live sixty or seventy more years who have suffered debilitating mental and physical war wounds. Those costs can amount to billions.
There are billions of dollars being spent on not-so-obvious bills, like energy. The heat in the Afghanistan desert can reach up to 125° F, and air-conditioning is costing billions just to keep our troops somewhat comfortable. And in an NPR interview, the former chief logistician for Gen. David Petraeus explains:
"When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we're talking over $20 billion," Steven Anderson tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin.”
There is also the issue of where the money is coming from. Unfortunately for the United States, it is all being borrowed, much of it from China. “We have borrowed virtually all of the money that has been used to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and that has been very expensive, adding at least $1.5 trillion to our national debt," Linda Bilmes, an economist with Harvard University told the Huffington Post in a July interview.
President George W. Bush started the war in Iraq on the premise that Sadaam Hussein had concealed “weapons of mass destruction.” In the spring of 2005, it was officially announced that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, the troops remained and the costs continued to soar. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and the war continued, on the premise of finding Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive.” Bin Laden was found and killed earlier this year. Why are we still fighting? Who or what are we looking for now? If there is no clear answer to this question, let’s get out before any more lives are lost. Let’s get out to save our troops, our economy, and our dedication to higher moral principles.