On August 30, US time, the war in Afghanistan ended for America. What a relief! I was born in 1946, so in my lifetime the US has gone through the Korean War, the War in Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the war in Afghanistan. That means that for fully half my life we have been sending our treasure to fight in foreign lands. And many of our American soldiers have died in these engagements, 58,000 just in Vietnam alone.
And through all that we did not win one of those wars. I guess Korea was a stalemate, Vietnam was an utter loss, the Gulf War accomplished nothing, and we left Afghanistan two trillion dollars and 2,800 lives poorer with nothing to show for it.
I'm OK with the size of the US military. The budget for that part of our government doesn't seem out of proportion to the purpose it serves. The US being strong helps to keep countries unfriendly to us away from our shores. And it helps to keep our allies safe as well.
But I don't discount the notion that the military industrial complex has a lot to do with our foreign policy with respect to how we deploy those resources. I don't think anyone can dispute the fact that the mess we have in the middle east, having attacked Iraq that ultimately resulted in twenty years of conflict between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was an action largely encouraged by Dick Chaney and his people for the benefit of Haliburton and other military contractors. How much tax money has been spent on our Middle East conflict in the past twenty years? The number is incalculable, but I'm quite certain it would be enough to send all of our kids to college or trade schools with enough left over to fix all our roads and bridges.
And the generals are not going to stop it - how will they justify their existence if we do not have war? That's a lot of duplicity going on by a bunch of self serving men and women who have much to gain through conflicts such as these.
As I said, I'm good with the notion of having a strong Army (military), I'm just not OK with war. The bottom line of why I have chosen to speak on this subject is because I want to express how good it feels to not be at war for the time being. It means our fighters are not in conflict and are relatively safe. It means fewer bombs going off, fewer deployments, less money being flushed down the drain. It means relative peace. It feels really good; now we can go back to the war between Democrats and Republicans. It too is important conflict, but at least our fighting men and women are safe for the time being.