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After bin Laden: It is Time to Stop the War Machine

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War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.

~President Jimmy Carter .


The amount of money that had been dedicated to the hunt for bin Laden and his Islamic compatriots is astounding.   Now that we "got him",   the American Military machine, instead of standing down, has been reinvigorated with new purpose and rededicated to routing out the remaining factions of Al Qaeda within Pakistan and Afghanistan.   What this means to us Americans is quite poignant:   More money to the military machine and more growth of the police state under the Patriot Act's guise of protecting our borders.  


It has been reported that "Washington has massively ramped up its drone campaign against militants in areas near the Afghan border, and argues they are highly effective in the war against al-Qaeda and its Islamist allies."   Not two days passed after the death of bin Laden before America sent an unmanned drone into North Waziristan, Pakistan to eliminate an "Al Qaeda stronghold".   The result of this action was the death of " 8 militants ".   Pakistani leaders are now stating that America is an assaulting their sovereignty with these actions and now, as a direct result of our continued foreign affair nightmare, another war has begun and more money from We the People and more young men and women's lives will go into the War Chest.  


At this point in our rich (now monetarily poor) history, we are faced with a situation that is so very destructive to the future of our country, that even the most conservative of our citizens should take pause to realize its detrimental, economic implications.   According to The Huffington Post ;


" Broken down individually, the government has spent $806 billion for Iraq, $444 billion for Afghanistan, $29 billion for enhanced security and $6 billion on "unallocated" items. The vast majority of all the money appropriated has gone to the Department of Defense, and of that money more and more is being spent on Operation & Maintenance (O&M) funding, which went from $42 billion in FY2004 to $79 billion in FY2008. Only $67 billion (or 5 percent) went to the State Department or USAID. Only $8 billion (or 1 percent) went to veterans' care, via the Department of Veterans Affairs."


Additionally, President Obama has outlined his budget for the 2012 fiscal year about which The Post also gives us the following stats:


"The president is asking Congress for $671 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal 2012, which starts Oct. 1. The budget calls for $553 billion in the "base budget" and $117.8 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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Steven Forrest is a Project Architect living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently, he is working to implement Green Building initiatives in several communities across Florida. Given the current situation in America and the continued (more...)
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