America , the world’s cop
I strongly favor our ability to provide a national defense but, there are at least three points that concern me regarding this issue: 1. Our intrusion into any other countries’ civil affairs. One wonders how we would feel if another country decided that they needed to invade our borders because they deemed that we were not treating a segment of our citizens fairly or in an inhumane manner. 2. Putting our boys and girls in harm’s way, resulting in the deaths of many. In addition to the death toll we need to recognize the high cost of rehabilitation of those who have been wounded both physically and psychologically. 3. The cost to the tax payer and the impact it has on the budget deficit.
Our intrusion into other countries: The valid argument here is that people are being killed for what we determine are good reasons. It is unfortunate that there are still evil rulers that see fear and murder as a valid weapon to secure and retain power. We all hope for a world where this is not the case. How and where do we draw the line on intrusion into another country’s affairs? Will our intrusion insure that the next ruler will be an improvement? Will our intrusion prevent it from happening again in another (or the same) country?
Killing and maiming our boys and girls: In Iraq there have been 4,419 deaths, and in Afghanistan – 3,347. The wounded represent more than 5 times these numbers. According to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2013 was 350. Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that from 2001 to 2013, 406,496 people died by firearms on U.S. soil. (2013 is the most recent year CDC data for deaths by firearms is available.) This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide, with suicide representing approximately 2/3rds of the total deaths by gun and extremely few in defense of home and property.
The cost to the tax payer:
The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans and expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest. The war in Afghanistan has cost the United States nearly $1.2 trillion — or $1.172 trillion, to be exact — since its inception in 2001 through July 31, 2012, according to the U.S. Defense Department.