Worried about the deficit? Perhaps we should look at one of its major causes.
It’s time to ask if we’ve got what we paid for from these two wars. Did we get Bin Laden? Have we reduced the number of terrorist attacks? How would we know? If we’ve been successful at all it would seem to be the result of normal police work and sting operations.
(When John Dillinger left home to rob banks in the midwest we did not invade Indiana.)
In Viet Nam we declared “victory” and got the hell out. It’s time we considered the same thing in Afghanistan and Iraq. The military-industrial businesses are the only ones who have profited from these wars. The rest of us, in human and financial costs, have been losers.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal deficit will climb to something close to 1.5 trillion dollars this fiscal year.
Oddly, but painfully, that number is remarkably similar to another figure, the war related costs of our imperial engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan…1.29 trillion dollars.
The tragic human cost of these two endless wars is the 1441 U.S. dead in Afghanistan, and 4419 dead in Iraq. Over 35,000 servicemen and women have been seriously wounded. (Washington Post)
It’s very difficult to get a wholly accurate estimate of the number of Afghan and Iraqi citizens who have been killed or seriously wounded, but the figure (largely estimates) at Unknown News is well over one million. That combines dead and injured civilian casualties in both wars.
Allowing that that number may be exaggerated, let’s reduce it by a third. That would mean that over the ten years our two wars have lasted more than 600,000 civilians have been killed or injured.
The deaths and injuries due to global terrorism between 1995 and 2003 numbered 30,517. Not even counting the deaths and injuries to the armed services of all combatants it appears that our anti-terrorist wars have been twenty times more deadly than the terrorism they were intend to halt.
Are we safe yet?