Remember during the presidential campaign when Afghanistan was the “good war” according to the Democrat party. The Afghanistan war was the war we had to win in order to win the war on terror. Well, that was then; this is now.
The public support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped as the war has dragged on. I understand that, but even though the war has lasted a long time, the number of casualties in Afghanistan (and Iraq) is very low compared to the number of casualties in World War II (even though that was a much shorter war). I realize that every casualty is important, and I also realize that although the number of casualties is lower, the number of seriously wounded veterans returning home is higher. We are at a point where we need to decide as a country whether or not we are going to cut off terrorism at its root or simply deal with major attacks within our country as they happen (which they will if we abandon Afghanistan). We have abandoned Afghanistan before (the book THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini is a fictionalized, but realistic story of what happened next). If we abandon Afghanistan again, we will have lost any credibility we might have had as an ally in that part of the world.
The opposition to the war in Vietnam was due in large to the fact that there was a draft. I believe that many of the protesters of that war were spoiled children who simply did not want to be drafted and go to war. They were used by the political forces opposing that war to eventually force America to abandon the Vietnamese people and allow a mass killing to take place in that part of the world. Since there is not a draft now, organizing opposition to the War in Afghanistan has been more difficult for the opposition. Now, however, there is a new approach.
Bloomberg.com reported today that:
“Higher-income Americans should be taxed to pay for more troops sent to Afghanistan and NATO should provide half of the new soldiers, said Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.”
There are a few things wrong with this statement. NATO may not have half the soldiers to send. American, China, Russia, and Iran are the only countries in the world making large military expenditures. Even if they were members of NATO, somehow I don’t think China, Russia, or Iran would be likely to help us in Afghanistan. Secondly, according to Infoplease.com, the cost of the war in Afghanistan in 2009 will be approximately $173 billion dollars. According to the Wall Street Journal on April 4, 2009, the cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will be close to $375 billion. According to The Heritage Foundation, the true cost of the Stimulus Bill (when you consider that the increased funding for programs the left loves like Head Start, Medicaid, COBRA, and the Earned Income Tax Credit will probably not be cut back) will probably eventually total $3.27 trillion. (Follow the link to The Heritage Foundation to see the chart showing how they got that number.) Meanwhile, the Democrats are working on passing a healthcare bill that will cost at least $848 billion over 10 years.
Mr. Levin, I don’t think the War in Afghanistan is the major contributor to the spending problem.