The Deep, Hidden, Pervasive Costs of War

Today, front page headlines in my gentle, bucolic Bloomington, Indiana newspaper: “Boy, 11, faces murder charge” — for shooting his 6-year-old brother; and “Man sentenced to 85 years for robbery [of an ATV], murder” — in cold blood, to the head, leaving him for dead in his driveway in the rain. Then, on page 2: “Phelps waives right to jury trial” – of shooting and attempting to kill a fellow high school student.

How much has creeping U.S. militarization, especially since 9/11, infected the atmosphere of our entire culture? Since when is violence ever the solution?

Andrew Bacevich opens this video: “There is immense and urgent requirement to learn from the experience of the past decade . . .” The video would not load here. It is well worth watching:

Here is the text that accompanies it:

Nearly 10 years after the declaration of the War on Terror, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have killed at least 225,000 people, including men and women in uniform, contractors, and civilians. The wars will cost Americans between $3.2 and $4 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans, according to a new report by the Eisenhower Research Project based at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. If these wars continue, they are on track to require at least another $450 billion in Pentagon spending by 2020.

The Costs of War report by this major multi-university research project reveals costs that are far higher than recognized. Its findings are being released at a critical juncture. As Project Co-Director and Institute Professor Catherine Lutz puts it: “Knowing the actual costs of war is essential as the public, Congress, and the President consider the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and other issues including the deficit, security, public investments, and reconstruction.”

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