Vodpod videos no longer available.Larry Mendte, February 8, 2011
The debate in Congress starts again in earnest this week on how to cut the expected $1.5 trillion Federal deficit this year. And in all of the discussions about cutting social security, cutting medicare, cutting education, cutting scientific research, everybody is ignoring the elephant in the room, or should I say, the map: Afghanistan.
Remember Afghanistan? We’re still at war there. This week it will be 9 years and 4 months, making it by far the longest war in American history. It is also the most neglected war in American history, as there is rarely any media converage or Congressional debate about it.
And money keeps pouring in, and men and women keep dying, while much of America looks the other way. It is project that in 2011 the war in Afghanistan will have cost us $120 billion. That would be a nice chunk out of the deficit.
But that, of course, is not the greatest cost. Since the war began, 1,473 American men and women died in Afghanistan, fighting for this country, almost half of them died just last year. Six have died already this month. Most of their names have not been released.
But they did release the name of Army specialist, Ryan Gartner of Dumont, New Jersey. He was only 23 years old. How many more men and women have to die in a war that has lost its purpose.
So as we talk about wasteful spending, Afghanistan should be topic number one. It is costing us way too much: Ryan Gartner, and 1.472 others are proof of that.