EMBLEM: "It's time to rethink the cost of wars"

Tracy Emblem

- Progressive Post Guest Contributor

The National Priorities Project estimates that it cost the U.S. taxpayers $1.05 trillion to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through the end of Fiscal Year 2010.

In March, the Obama administration appeared again on Capitol Hill to ask for another $33 billion to support the “surge” in Afghanistan.

Why have we so readily forgotten that Americans were told there were "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq as the reason for our military invasion when this turned out to be false. Like Iraq, there is absolutely no guarantee our troops will be withdrawn by 2012.

From the Russian-Afghanistan experience, we should readily expect it will take much longer than the six years we previously spent in Iraq.

Recently 356 members of Congress - 189 Democrats and 167 Republicans - voted to keep the wars funded without any debate. Why?

The Iraq and Afghanistan "occupations" have caused hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties from insurgents and military engagement, while thousands of women and children have been displaced. Repeated military deployments have also wreaked havoc on our own soldiers and families.

Nearly three-hundred thousand U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq for a third or fourth time.

We can no longer afford to blindly accept that these “wars” are "just" or "necessary" when U.S. soldiers and families are suffering the effects of prolonged war.

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