Saturday, September 8, 2012

Our wars are not a factor at the political conventions

Some voters and foreign-policy experts tried to make the 2012 presidential campaign a referendum on foreign policy. They are failing: they can't get the candidates to focus on Afghanistan, Iran, or the Pentagon budget despite the enormous cost in lives, money and resources. We have accepted a national amnesia about these very controversial wars. The focus on domestic issues has diverted the country and silenced most national security discussions. At the campaign conventions wars are not even worth a mention, especially from the Republicans who ought to critique the Democrats in charge. Both parties seem to suggest that the troops should have been withdrawn years ago but that position seems inconsistent with Obama and Romney strategies. Why not pull out these veterans or justify their presence and danger in these long and inconclusive struggles? Is it worth noting that none of the men on the two tickets has served in this military, breaking an eighty (80) year precedent. And we don't have a military draft that would strentghen the political power of the average soldier. Our willingness to fight wars on many continents carries with it the responsibility to fight only when absolutely necessary and to end the hostilities with the fewest casualties at the earliest time. Four years ago, the Republicans had an almost exclusive hold on the wars and veterans issues. Now, the continuing wars are not even worth a mention or serious discussion as fighting continues. Don’t we care anymore?

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