As of 10:06 a.m., Sunday, May 30th, the United States will have spent $1 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As we approach this milestone, Americans of all political stripes should take a moment to consider what war spending on this scale means, not just in dollars spent, but in terms of opportunities lost to strengthen, invest in, and improve our country. While each of us intrinsically knows that wars have consequences, we are rarely presented with such a stark example of how the choice to pursue war at the expense of priorities at home impacts each of us.
What could we have purchased with this $1 trillion? Today, we might be enjoying the fruits of a green economy, spurred by New Deal-like investments in wind and solar. Perhaps we would have created a single-payer health care system and used this $1 trillion to provide health security to every man, woman, and child in the United States for an entire year. Or, we might have made the smart investments in our domestic law enforcement capabilities and homeland security apparatus to provide true protection from Al Qaeda and others who would wish us harm. Sadly, we'll never know, because our political leadership never explored alternative means of achieving peace, such as emphasizing rigorous regional diplomacy, and instead overextended our military forces abroad. MORE...
Monday, May 31, 2010
Memorial Day and "A Trillion Dollar Turning Point?"