Time to change our priorities


With the last US forces leaving Afghanistan in America’s longest war, it is time to reflect on our foreign policy over the past 60 years and recognize that it is time to change the way we use our tax dollars.

We spent $ 844 billion and lost 58,220 Americans in nearly 18 years in Vietnam to fight communism. And what did we achieve? Vietnam has a communist government.

The Persian Gulf War, which cost $ 117 billion and 383 lives, was fought primarily to protect the interests of US oil companies. Although this was seen as a success due to the international coalition that was formed to combat the conflict, the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power, along with later false information that Hussein had a supply of weapons of mass destruction, ultimately led to the Iraq war . This cost another $ 1 trillion and the lives of 4,410 soldiers. While this war formed the basis of democracy in the region over time, the country continues to be characterized by conflict and terror.

After all, we wasted the war in Afghanistan, $ 910 billion and another 2,285 lives defeating the Taliban, who will most likely regain control of the entire country after the US leaves. And these costs do not include the amount the government must spend on lifelong care for the wounded veterans of these wars, nor the interest payments on the money borrowed to fund these wars.

We spent far too much money and lost far too many lives, mainly to enrich the military-industrial complex, while our country’s infrastructure collapsed. Former President Carter said, when asked if China is overtaking us economically, “Do you know how many times China has been at war with anyone since 1979? None. And we stayed in the war. ”

Carter said the US was “the most bellicose nation in the history of the world” because it wanted to impose American values ​​on other countries, and suggested that China invest its resources in projects like bullet trains rather than defense spending.

Cyberattacks are America’s greatest threat today, and gun spending, which in many cases the military doesn’t even want, is pointless. Former NSC Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke said in 2001 that cybersecurity was the focus of our national security, but it has been largely ignored by the hawks in the Bush administration.

It is time to cut military spending and use our tax dollars to rebuild our infrastructure and provide a sustainable health system for our citizens.

Tom Thomason


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