Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Cost of War

When you go to war, you have to understand that it is a drain on any government’s treasury.  Usually, the citizens left behind either get higher taxes or the government goes deeply into debt.  That is why it is preferable that government’s make sure that the few wars they fight, are short as possible.  The ultimate objective of war is to kill more of your enemy men than they kill your men until they are completely eliminated or have surrendered.  This is a simplistic and crude definition, but an accurate one by all accounts.
George Will lit a fire among many conservatives this week with his column calling for pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Michael Savage questioned what liberals thought about the war and why those radical left-wing peacemongers were strangely silent now that the Democrats pretty much control the government.  Their hypocrisy was expected, though, by many of us on the right because we know that our foes are not handicapped by rational thinking.
Despite George Will not being a true conservative, who supported Obama (I think) during his ascension to the secular humanist’s heaven, I happen to agree with him.  You see, being a young upstart, I am tired of all the wars we are fighting and what I ask for is that the baby boom generation stop the endless wars we face and allow their children to inherit a nation that is not overextended financially.
We are currently engaged in a war in Afghanistan, Iraq, poverty, terrorism, drugs, and private property rights.  All of these wars cost mounds and mounds of taxpayer dollars each year.  The Iraq Conflict has cost us 3 trillion dollars.  That’s 3 trillion dollars that may not have gone to the national debt, now already too big to handle by most standards.  Can you imagine if any individual citizen had 1 billion dollars in debt?  How big of a failure would you view such a person?
We have been in Iraq and Afghanistan for too long.  The objectives were reached and then the Bush administration decided to move the goalposts.  Because an entire nation that has never had any semblance of representative democracy can be changed.  The only reason the United States has been so successful with our Republic so far is because we fought for it ourselves.  We had no one on the outside to liberate us from King George.
The cost of these wars has been astronomical.  The military makes up roughly 1/3 of the total United States budget, which amounts to a little over 1 trillion dollars.  If you are a true conservative, then you have to admit that this is way too much money being spent on defense, especially when our government refuses to enforce the border laws and instead chooses to prosecute and imprison border guards for doing their jobs.
While I firmly believe that the greatest threat to our nation’s financial future is the welfare system, I also believe that we should really tone things done with our military.  I would bet that if we cut our military budget in half, we would still have all the necessary resources to totally obliterate our enemies ten times over.  Not only that, but we would have extra money to roll into the national debt.
Still, I have to deal with so-called conservatives who consider any kind of reduction in the military’s budget to be the equivalent of what a liberal thinks when you make cuts to any other government program.  Apparently, they would rather bankrupt us all through constant wars rather than through all the welfare programs out there.  The bottom line here is that a true conservative seeks to reduce the excessive size and scope of the Federal government, not maintain a constant state of paranoia.