To cut defense spending, quit buying wars

I’ve got a kid — one of my son’s gang of high school pals, they are all our kids — flying back seat in an F-15 in Afghanistan right now. He’s using a $50 million piece of equipment to try to blow up individual bad guys, which pretty much says all you need to know about how stupidly expensive this war is considering the results we’re getting: One more dead bad guy there who couldn’t hurt us here if he tried.

Really, why ARE we in Afghanistan? And for eight – nine years now? Cripes. We’re spending $8 billion a month on this idiocy while budget writers here talk about cutting off funds for Medicare for our own senior citizens to reduce the deficit.

I have a better idea how to reduce the deficit: Defund the Afghan war in the 2012 budget. Save $1 trillion over the next ten years and, yes, if we let it, that war could easily last that much longer. Defunding now gives the generals until Sept. 30 to pull everyone out, bring them home, end of story.

Gladly, it’s not just me with this idea. A growing bipartisan concensus in Congress (click) feels the same way.

Really, what is the point? To save the poor suffering Afghans from a brutal Taliban regime? All the Afghan people have had for 2000 years is brutal regimes. The one we’re supporting is corrupt and brutal. So will the one that overthrows it. That’s how they do things in Afghanistan.

We can’t change that.  We can change how we deal with our own people. An extra $8 billion a month would come in might handy to do that.

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11 Responses to To cut defense spending, quit buying wars

  1. hawg says:

    give 8 billion dollars to republicans they want to kill bad guys with it.
    give it to democrats they’ll want to kill unborn babies with it.
    either way it’s gone.

    why not just give it all back to US taxpayers and we’ll spent it how WE see fit? how fair is that?

  2. Owain says:

    Charles. Have you forgotten what happened Sept. 11, 2001? Are you really that dense?

    We are in Afghanistan because after we helped the Taliban expel the Russians, we left them in charge instead of trying to help the Afghans develop a more moderate form of goverment. I guess the thinking was, well, “Why not leave the country in the hands of a murderous militant radical branch of Islam? What’s the worst that could happen?”

    9/11 happened. So, to prevent them from continuing to do things like that, we went into Afghanistan, brought down the Taliban government, and destroyed the Al Qaida training camps, chasing them into the border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, containing them. Yes the war in Afghanistan has dragged on, but it has been over there, not over here. Following WWII, the US occupied Germany and Japan, and remain there to this day. That has been expensive too, but we haven’t fought another war with either Germany or Japan in 65 years, so that worked out reasonably well.

    The situation in Afghanistan will not be easy to solve, nor will it be cheap, nor will it be quick. You want something quick, go to MacDonalds. Leaving either the Taliban or Al Qaida to their own devices, however, is not a good idea . That is a lesson we learned with tragic results.

    Remember 9/11. I shouldn’t have to say that, but it seems some people have short attention spans.

  3. Wondering that myself... says:

    Thank you Charles for putting this out there. Our thoughts exactly, very well written, all good points, and you are commended. Why then do we have two comments on this that 1) turned it into a political spin on pro life, and 2) ????? Yes, 9/11 happened, and no matter how cute that little history lesson from the big smart engineer is, why should our good senior citizens and handicapped people lose their Social Security and/or Medicare to solve Afghanistan’s problems? Why do people who think they are so smart miss the points outlined in your piece? Thank you again Charles for being the voice of reason.

  4. ctrentelman says:

    wondering — thanks, i generally ignore people whose answer to afghanistan is 911– yeah, the guys who did it were coordinated out of there, but they could just as easily have been coordinated out of libya, sudan, egypt, Israel or anywhere else — it’s an internet world.

    If we were really concerned about who did 911, we’d occupy saudi arabia — 19 of the 20 were from there, and it was saudi money that paid their fare.

  5. Owain says:

    “…why should our good senior citizens and handicapped people lose their Social Security and/or Medicare to solve Afghanistan’s problems?”

    I didn’t respond to Charles’ point on Medicare because if I responded to every boneheaded remark that Charles makes, that would be a full time job in itself, and I already have a full time job.

    Since you ask, presuming you are talking about the Ryan deficit reduction act, let’s take a look at that, shall we? This article does a pretty good comparison: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_real_death_trap_is_obamacare_E5NOBQd05dtW4V48o6KM3H

    First, no one currently on medicare will see their benefits change, so that addresses bonehead Charles comment. No one is suggesting that we cut off funds for Medicare for our current senior citizens to reduce the deficit. Further, according to the article, “Under his (Ryan’s) proposal, anyone now 55 or older would get to choose whether to stay in traditional Medicare or switch into the newly reformed Medicare program once it’s up and running in 2022.” That gives people 10 years to prepare for the changes. Ryan’s plan is hardly pulling the rug out from under today’s seniors.

    By contrast, “The Congressional Budget Office reports that, from 2012 to 2021, the Democrats’ health-care overhaul will take a colossal $797 billion out of Medicare and related federal health programs to spend on ObamaCare.”

    So Ryan’s plan does NOTHING to Medicare for the next 10 years, and in the same period of time, Obama will be looting Medicare for nearly $800 billion dollars, and you guys are calling Ryan the bad guy?

    Sounds like you guys NEED a big smart engineer around here to point out obvious things like this, because the Journalist isn’t hacking it.

  6. Wondering that myself... says:

    Owain, give it up. Shouldn’t you be working while you are at work?

  7. Owain says:

    Run out of arguments?

  8. Wondering that myself... says:

    Good one for you but not good enough!

  9. Owain says:

    How so? If you can rebut my arguments, have at it. If not, you are looking more than a little weak.

  10. Wondering that myself... says:

    Grow up, no one is arguing with you because we don’t argue with brick walls!

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