Just a few days ago I addressed my growing concerns relative to American involvement in Afghanistan (August 12). The SundayAugust 16th morning political program, “Face the Nation,” covered the topic with two experienced ex-political figures, and they did little to reduce my frustration regarding our involvement. America’s presence in Afghanistan is not only extremely expensive to our treasury, but it is increasingly deadly to our precious American military personnel.
Ex-Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Ex-Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN) clearly outlined the dilemma facing our country. These are two of the most experienced veterans of America’s foreign policy, and their opinions expressed yesterday scared the hell out of me. Those questionable words “Nation Building” kept falling back into the discussion, and it was noted that we have been directly involved in this never-ending Afghan conflict for nine years already, with no end in sight. Remember, too, that involvement in Afghanistan was hugely responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union after their years of fruitless conflict.
I urge you and all Americans to become better informed relative to the complexities of our intervention and voice your opinions or suggestions to your Washington representatives in both Houses of Congress. The world-wide impact that the poppy fields of Afghanistan have are only one issue directly influencing our daily lives, and the regional political ramifications are too numerous to list.
Again we are reminded that American involvement will last for many years, and Hagel and Hamilton even addressed the formulation of an exit strategy. Mired in the Health Care debate, the growing financial burden of Afghanistan is nearly silent, out of ear-shot for the moment, but it better be placed on the front-burner of Washington’s discussion plate VERY soon. In the meantime, American men and women will continue to be severely injured and sadly make the ultimate sacrifice, while we continue to fail in providing a clear battle plan.
Clearly, we must do our best to keep the aptly named War on Terrorism in the lands where the religious fanatics promote hatred to us and other developed nations, but we must also have as clear and concise a plan as possible to squash them. We have been in Afghanistan for nine years and on the 39th parallel in Korea for 58 years. Can we learn from this comparison?
As Washington political operatives persist in running for cover, we keep pouring good money after bad and welcome home a growing number of flag covered caskets to grieving families across the fruited plains. This predicament reminds me of an excellent World War ll movie titled “A Bridge Too Far.”