The Cost of War - The Missourian: Opinion

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The Cost of War

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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:32 pm

America can’t afford another war. Yes, close observers of our government in Washington, D.C., believe we may be headed for a war with Iran. Take a look at Pat Buchanan’s column on this page for an interesting analysis of what may happen.

Wars are costly, both in human lives and the cost of waging one. We have extended ourselves in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While our presence in the two countries is becoming less and less, the costs will linger for a long time. We all know that Israel and Iran have been near a war for years, but we must guard against being dragged into it. We constantly reaffirm our backing to Israel, but we must limit it. We must not allow the war mongers to trap us into an all-out, win at any costs, war with Iran. We can’t afford it.

The Associated Press did an outstanding job in analyzing the cost of our wars. The AP said if history is the judge, we will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as “service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.”

An analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans — 148 years after the conflict ended!

America has arrived at the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. It’s called President George W. Bush’s war. According to some observers, the truth is the administration of Bill Clinton actually was preparing for such a war. Regardless, more than $40 billion a year are going to compensate veterans and survivors from the Spanish-American War from 1898, World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, two Iraq campaigns and the Afghanistan conflict. The costs are rising.

It is believed because of the advances in treating war wounds, on battlefields and at home, veterans are going to live longer and disability costs will rise.

The post-service compensation costs have totaled more than $50 billion since 2003, not including expenses of medical care and other benefits provided to veterans, which are expected to increase. Filings for disabilities compensation are at all-time highs, with about 45 percent of those from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking compensation for wounds and injuries, according to the AP study.

There are so many health side effects of war that there seems to be no end in sight to compensate veterans. Coming more and more to the front are mental health cases. Veterans are entitled to compensation for service connected health problems. It could be argued that we don’t do enough for them.

All of this should be among the factors our leaders consider before beginning committing this country to another war. America can’t afford another war! Period!

/opinion