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Politics & Power

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Paying The Costs Of War

With President Obama announcing that we will be sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan the cost of the war is expected to increase by billions of dollars. Also with the expansion of troops in that war more U.S. soldiers will be asked to once again go back into combat after having spent years on the ground fighting in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The questions becoming more and more frequent in Washington are about how we will pay for it and what toll it is taking on the troops on the ground that are in some cases on fourth and fifth deployments to a combat zone. Some have suggested it is time for a national war tax to pay for the wars while others have brought up the idea of reinstituting the draft. While we fight two wars and struggle to pull ourselves out of the deepest recession in over 60 years these ideas may have some merit.

If you took a trip back in time to World War II you would see that when our nation responded to the biggest challenge of that day all Americans did their part to support the effort. We were coming out of the Great Depression and were fighting a war that was global in scale but we never gave up and found ways to come together for the good of the nation. From scrap metal collection to food rationing and war bonds Americans pitched in to make sure we were successful in our efforts to win the war. At the end of the day we won the war and stopped the rise of totalitarian leaders like Hitler and Mussolini who threatened the lives and freedom of millions of people around the world. The victory in WWII was one of Americaís finest hours where we achieved a common goal through shared sacrifice. Tens of thousands of young men fought the battles while the people at home worked to support our troops.

Now America faces another situation where we need to come together to win an important battle for the people of our nation and the world. The battle for the future of Afghanistan is a battle for the stability of the entire region and the world at some level. Sharing borders with former Soviet republics, Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan is crucial to the stability of a part of the world that sits on the vast majority of the worldís oil supplies. Letting that area fall into chaos could be disastrous for the entire world economy and lead to nuclear conflict between long-time enemies in the region.

We need to learn from our mistakes and finish the job this time in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When the U.S. supported the effort to remove the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980ís we failed to stay in the country long enough for a stable government to be established after the Soviets left, which gave rise to the Taliban who would later give safe haven to Al Qaeda givng them a base of operation from which they could plan the attacks on America. In some ways it was the premature withdrawal of America from Afghanistan in the 1980's that led to the attacks on 9/11/2001. If we donít make sure there is a stable government and economy in place when we depart from Afghanistan this time we could be doing more harm to ourselves all over again.

As we face the real threat of a nuclear Iran and instability in the nuclear nation of Pakistan, having a solid friendly presence in Afghanistan is crucial to keeping the entire region from becoming a larger threat to world stability. While this war is unpopular and the execution of it has not always taken the long view we cannot simply walk away from the region and expect good to come of it. Now is the time to take the long view and prepare to make the sacrifices necessary to win not only the war but the peace that follows the war. We need to invest our time and resources in the future of the region. What we cannot do is decide that we are more concerned with spending too much money than doing the job right.

The idea of a war tax is not necessarily a bad thing nor is reinstituting the draft. The important thing with either of those things is that they be done with care and consideration for the future of our nation. We know that stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan is important to the future of our interests in the region and therefore we should be willing to pay for it. Nobody likes more taxes but sometimes you need to pony up and pay for the things that need to be done. You don't like to pay the plumber when your pipe breaks but you do it because it needs to get fixed. If you don't get the pipe fixed it will mess up other things when the leak floods out your house. This is really no different. We also need to make sure that we pay for the wars we fight and not pass on the costs to our grandchildren. Buy now pay later hasn't been too good to us of late and we should take that to heart in making national fiscal policy.

We need to make sure that the burden of war is not shouldered by too few soldiers either. You can't keep asking the troops to go back into the war zone and expect them to come out unscathed. It takes a toll on them and they need some relief. These wars have already dragged on longer than World War I or World War II both of which involved the drafting of soldiers to fill the need for troops. With the war in Afghanistan into its ninth year it has been going on nearly as long as we had combat troops in Vietnam and they are increasingly battle weary. They cannot be asked to carry this on much longer without more assistance and volunteer recruitment may not be enough to do the job. If a draft is needed to protect the interests of the American people then we need to institute the draft.

The bottom line is that the people of this nation need to contribute to our freedom and protecting our interests abroad. When that means paying taxes or sending our troops off to war we need to be willing to do it. Itís the cost of the freedoms we all enjoy and it can seem pretty unfair at times but thatís life and nobody ever said life was fair.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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