Thursday, April 15, 2010

War Is No Tea Party

If the Tea Partiers are really so concerned about taxes this April 15th, they might want to consider supporting those of us who want to reduce the Pentagon's budget and who want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're spending billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives in our war making, and there isn't any end in sight. Somehow I don't expect to see any rhetoric along those lines coming from those rallies this tax day, which is certainly a shame.

And the cost of those two wars is only going to get higher, according to the Los Angeles Times:

The Pentagon has increased its use of the military's most elite special operations teams in Afghanistan, more than doubling the number of the highly trained teams assigned to hunt down Taliban leaders, according to senior officials.

The secretive buildup reflects the view of the Obama administration and senior military leaders that the U.S. has only a limited amount of time to degrade the capabilities of the Taliban. U.S. forces are in the midst of an overall increase that will add 30,000 troops this year and plan to begin reducing the force in mid-2011.
[Emphasis added]

That certainly is an interesting timeline, one that coincides with the kickoff of the 2012 presidential campaign season. It's also just about the time the American public will finally notice the real cost of war as more and more American soldiers are shipped home dead or maimed after fighting what President Obama told us was the "Good War" when he was running for office.

And to accomplish this political callousness, the Pentagon has called in more Special Ops units, those ever-efficient men with their own special language for what it is they do:

With such an abbreviated timeline, the elite manhunt teams are the most effective weapon for disrupting the insurgent leadership, senior officials said. The officials contend that stepped-up operations by teams inserted in recent months already have eroded the Taliban leadership. Defense officials specifically single out the work of special operations forces in eliminating mid-level Taliban leaders before the February offensive in the Helmand province town of Marja. They say the forces have begun similar operations in nearby Kandahar province.

"You can't kill your way out of these things, but you can remove a lot of the negative influences," said a senior Defense official. "A significant portion of the leadership has fled over the border, been captured or removed from the equation."
[Emphasis added]

Now that's euphemistic acrobatics at its finest. It kind of takes the sting out of the word killing, and wallpapers over the increasing civilian deaths which will also occur, if the past year or so is any indication.

What a waste of money and of lives.

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