All Articles Tagged "afghan war"
(Washington Post) — President Obama charted a middle course Wednesday for ending the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, outlining a departure plan that will remove troops faster than his commanders had requested but more slowly than many of his political allies would like. In a prime-time address from the White House, Obama said he will bring home 10,000 U.S. troops by the end of the year and 23,000 more by next summer, a withdrawal window that will conclude two months before voters decide whether to give him a second term. The first troops will leave Afghanistan next month. “Tonight,” the president said from the East Room, “we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding.” In contrast to his 2009 decision to send additional forces to Afghanistan, Obama appeared to give greater weight this time to the growing impatience of a war-weary public and a skeptical Congress, whose members have been demanding a rapid drawdown and a narrower mission after nearly a decade of battle.
By J. Smith
Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs. We can sure start a lot of wars, but we can’t seem to finish them. Instead, presidential administration after presidential administration has continued to pour money into combating “America’s public enemy number one”, only to watch the Drug Enforcement Administration completely fail to stop drug use or the global drug trade.
“Almost every year the DEA budget and staff are expanded, never mind if the organization is succeeding or failing at its mission. This isn’t the DEA’s fault. The illicit trade in narcotics is a black market that cannot be eliminated in a free society. But what do legislators continue to increase its size?” The Atlantic asks of the failed department’s Daddy Warbucks. “It’s especially frustrating when one recalls that presidential candidates have campaigned on the folly of the status quo, been elected to office and fail to make significant changes,” the magazine reports, in reference to presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, both of whom ran on campaign promises to overhaul federal drug policy and reassess this “war”, but both failed to do so.
Instead of continuing to “nation build” in the Middle East while our own nation falls apart due to overspending on programs like this domestic “war,” which leans resources toward punishment instead of treatment for the health issue that is drug abuse, our focus should be placed elsewhere. Our war efforts should be against poor school systems and gun violence in poor neighborhoods and the mounting deficit. If you can’t win a war after 40 years, the first step should be reassessment, not financial reward.
(Huffington Post) — Some 90,000 leaked U.S. military records posted online Sunday amount to a blow-by-blow account of six years of the Afghanistan war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings as well as covert operations against Taliban figures.
(MotherJones.com) — If you’re an average American taxpayer, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have, since 2001, cost you personally $7,334, according to the “cost of war” counter created by the National Priorities Project (NPP). They have cost all Americans collectively more than $980,000,000,000. As a country, we’ll pass the trillion dollar mark soon. These are staggering figures and, despite the $72.3 billion that Congress has already ponied up for the Afghan War in 2010 ($136.8 billion if you add in Iraq), the administration is about to go back to Congress for more than $35 billion in outside-the-budget supplemental funds to cover the president’s military and civilian Afghan surges.