Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

War costs

January 20, 2012

Advertisement

To the editor:

My nephew from Oklahoma was home for Christmas on a two-week break from his second tour in Afghanistan. He leads his National Guard squad on the edge of the northern mountains. He was diagnosed with PTSD after his first tour; he’s gone back by now.

Last week, I played golf with one of my kid’s friends I’ve known forever. He spent a year in Iraq. I asked him about the soldier who killed the park ranger in Washington. Both of them, he says, should be listed as casualties of the war.

I am Vietnam-aged, but unlike Curtis Bennett (Public Forum, Jan. 18), I managed to miss the party, mostly good for me. Consequently, I cannot hope to imagine the experience or motivations of the soldiers shown urinating on their slain enemies. Nor can most of you.

I doubt these men would have projected themselves into these images five years ago when they were high school students, or younger. I cannot guess what they will see when they look back in 40 years.

We’ve been fighting a war on the cheap. Because we lack the political will to expose all of our children to the danger of a draft, for 10 years we have turned our heads and looked the other way. We’ve put the burden on a few and their families. We satisfy ourselves with patriotic homage four or five days a year and with fly-overs at ballgames. Then we recoil from an image of the reality of a war we made.

Comments

Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

When is Obama going to raise his domestic security force to rival the might of our Armed Forces? Those costs will be enormous both fiscally and constitutionally. I.H.O.

0

George Lippencott 2 years, 3 months ago

For those enamored with the fact that our current military is voluntary you might consider that we have sent these men/women to an average of three combat tours or 36 months in combat. Have we asked that of anybody else in our history? I wonder how many knew what was coming when they first joined?

0

Lateralis 2 years, 3 months ago

Except you lose brothers, sisters, fathers and husbands in doing so. Changing hearts and minds of the oppositions starts with diplomacy and trade. NOT perpetual warfare.

0

Shane Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

I understand what Fred is saying. We devastated Japan and today that country is one of our closest allies. We devastated Germany and today that country will not attack the USA. We devastated Vietnam and I believe that country would not attack the USA, today. Plus if we put 30% of GDP into devastating and overrunning a country then the problem is fixed in a shorter time period.

0

its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

An interesting link:

http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/costs_of_major_us_wars.htm

Current year and adjusted figures.

Note the "Domestic Security" figure.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

Now about these 35,000-50,000 disabled USA troops.

The trillions in spending will not stop anytime soon maybe 50-60 years until these soldiers pass on and their spouses.

Yes this is the cost that rarely if ever is mentioned. Of course politicians do not talk about this matter. Money of course will never replace what many of these soldiers lost. Being exposed to depleted uranium powder sets them up for cancer in years to come.

Stop this damn war and bring the troops home.

The war is accomplishing little if anything. How would any of us feel if we were in Iraq,Pakistan,Yemen or Afghanistan and the worlds most powerful military were killing our fathers,mothers and children who had nothing to do with nor condoned the 9/11/01 action?

Haven't we been advised that most of the culprits and money were from Saudi Arabia?

Bring the troops home!

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

"The war in Iraq was a waste of time, lives and treasure. The war in Afghanistan is over. We found our enemy, ruined his day and now let's come home. I am not convinced that 11 terrorists flew highly sophisticated aircraft precisely into one of three buildings nor can I believe that their impact caused the twin towers to collapse. But that is the official report and we all must live by it. But the war is complete, the terrorists are dead, the military has no mission to improve Afganistan or help them govern themselves. Bring the troops home. "

Ditto

0

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 3 months ago

This is a very good letter and the points are well stated.

It is a war.

I recall the words of my Uncle who was on Tarawa and 6 other Island campaigns in the South Pacific. When I asked him what was the most important thing he learned after surviving that hell he said without hesitation, "never volunteer."

0

ThePilgrim 2 years, 3 months ago

It is a volunteer army. And like never before we have sent reservists and National Guard in as primary combat troops. I was in the military and neither of these groups got the same training as regular troops. They went through basic, some brief overview of their "job classification" and went home. Jessica Lynch is the perfect example of what happens when you send poorly trained and poorly equipped troops into battle. In Desert Storm the reservists backfilled active duty troops in the US bases and far from the front lines. Not in these wars. I have nothing but respect for our soldiers. It is too bad that our leadership does not have respect for them by using them in a war for "black gold, Texas tea".

0

Liberty_One 2 years, 3 months ago

"We" didn't make this war. Some of us were very loudly against this war, for many different reasons. One of those reasons is that wars like this only make more enemies, and pictures like the one mentioned hurt our safety even more.

Also, a draft is just kidnapping and slavery by the government. Don't sugar coat it, that's what it really is. Back in colonial times, the British sent naval seamen around Boston to press-gang men into service, basically kidnapping them and forcing them to be sailors (slaves) against their will. The people rioted, capturing some British officers to use as hostages for exchange. A draft is morally no different than this, just not as obvious and direct.

0

Brock Masters 2 years, 3 months ago

As I've previously commented I support those young soliders for much the same reasons you stated in your letter.

I do reject your notion that we place the burden of war on a few. It is a volunteer army and they volunteer. It is their choice not their burden.

I am not opposed to a draft, but if we ever have one it must be a fair one that includes everyone including women and the privleged.

Finally, we must not choose to engage in a war. We must only engage in war when we are compelled to engage with no other options. And when we do, it must be with clear objectives and the primary ones to defend our country and defeat our enemy with whatever means we have available.

No nation building. No building democracies. No defending countries that are not our true allies even though they may have oil.

Okay, y'all. I've given you a lot to like and hate....have at it.

0

its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

The real scary thought is what if we REALLY had a war to wage-----a seriously deep engagement? With the military being scaled back year after year, and if a potential WWIII, if you will, happened----what would we do? We would be in a world of hurt like we've never known. I agree Afghanistan needs to go in the history books for more than one or even two reasons. Think about one commodity: oil. That's all everyone in the world is salivating for more and more of.

0

Lesa Weller 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Skepnek, your letter touched me deeply. How do we cross these great hurdles in society's seemingly divided and widening disparities? With the knowledge we gain each day, comes a responsibility to not just grieve (of course we must do that), but to react with the energy our grief creates. How do we continue to open our eyes without being overcome by the realities, but be stirred to action with the strength to face them head-on? Thank you for your letter.

0

Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

The war in Iraq was a waste of time, lives and treasure. The war in Afghanistan is over. We found our enemy, ruined his day and now let's come home. I am not convinced that 11 terrorists flew highly sophisticated aircraft precisely into one of three buildings nor can I believe that their impact caused the twin towers to collapse. But that is the official report and we all must live by it. But the war is complete, the terrorists are dead, the military has no mission to improve Afganistan or help them govern themselves. Bring the troops home.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.