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Friday, February 18, 2011

"The Solution in Afghanistan: Get Out"

The human and financial costs of the war in Afghanistan "are unacceptable and unsustainable":

The solution in Afghanistan: Get out, by James P. McGovern and Walter B. Jones, Commentary, Washington Post: No one, it seems, wants to talk about the war in Afghanistan. This week the House debated a budget bill that is touted as reflecting new fiscal restraint, yet borrows tens of billions more for the war. In an hour-long State of the Union address..., President Obama devoted less than one minute to the conflict. Given the investment and sacrifices our country has made for nearly 10 years, the phones in our offices should be ringing off the hook with calls from those who are tired of being told that the United States doesn't have enough money to extend unemployment benefits or invest in new jobs.
But by and large, Americans are silent. The war wasn't even an issue in the November elections... Whatever the reasons, there is no excuse for our collective indifference. At 112 months, this is the longest war in our history. More than 1,400 American service members have lost their lives...
This war has already cost us more than $450 billion; combined with the war in Iraq, it is estimated to account for 23 percent of our deficits since 2003. Where is the outcry from the Tea Partyers and the deficit hawks? Fiscal conservatives should be howling that this war is being financed with borrowed money. Those who support the war should be willing to pay for it.
And where is the liberal outrage? Those of us who are tired of being told that we can't afford green jobs, unemployment or health care should be screaming...
What are we giving up...? ...Joseph Stiglitz told the House Veterans Affairs Committee in September that the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan ... is likely to total $4 trillion to $6 trillion.
Simply put, we believe the human and financial costs of the war are unacceptable and unsustainable. It is bankrupting us. The United States should devise an exit plan to extricate ourselves from Afghanistan, not a plan to stay there four more years and "then we'll see." This doesn't mean that we abandon the Afghan people - rather, we should abandon this war strategy. ...

    Posted by on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 12:24 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Iraq and Afghanistan | Permalink  Comments (51)


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