Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just put that war on my tab, please...

President Obama plans to give a speech Monday night about military action with NATO over Libya.

I like Obama, but hate that we're still getting ourselves involved in military actions when we have been at war for a decade, with little to show for it but a lot of money spent and people killed and maimed.

I'm not a pacifist. I believe there is a time to fight, and that is when attacked. I believe that in order to hold some sort of moral high ground we go to war when directly threatened and when there is no other recourse. We held that moral high ground after our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, and we invaded Afghanistan to root out Al Qaeda and their protectors, the Taliban. We lost the high ground when political neocons and George W. Bush lied us into a major war in Iraq.

Deposing dictators like Saddam Hussein seemed like a good idea at the time, but at what total cost? And will we still be paying for trying to depose a dictator like Gaddafy 10 years from now? Will future historians deem it worth the money and lives?

So our NATO allies, including some mideastern states like Qatar, are helping us enforce a no fly zone over Libya. Will they be bearing the brunt of the cost, or will we American taxpayers just put it on the tab, where we've put so much else?

My mind was blown when I saw that three B2 Stealth bombers flew from the United States in a 36-hour roundtrip flight to bomb Libya. How much did that cost? I was also astounded to hear that the first day of the campaign we shot 112 missiles from our ships into Libya, at a cost of about one million dollars per missile. What did the missile attack accomplish, and was there cost effectiveness?

I can't believe that so few people seem to worry about the costs of all this military action, especially when they're bawling their eyes out over every other expense the United States government incurs. They scream "Socialism!" and have a fit when it's suggested that government might help pay for medical care. My immediate thought is if the government pays for wars, why can't they pay for universal health care? My guess is that you could put every American on an insurance plan, paying the full cost of their healthcare, and it still wouldn't equal the costs of mounting a military campaign against another country.

No comments: