I was extremely saddened to hear that our country will commit some 30,000-plus of our most able and gifted men and women to fight an everlasting war in Afghanistan.
But some people can only understand the cost in monetary terms. Let's look at Asheville's cost, according to statistics compiled by the National Priorities Project (nationalpriorities.org).
Since 2001, when the U.S. first started fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, taxpayers in Asheville have paid approximately $44.2 million (an average of $5.5 million per year). This doesn't count funds spent in Iraq or other defense purposes, by the way.
This much money spent in Asheville could have paid for:
• health care for 9,461 persons for an entire year
• renewable energy for 35,046 homes for a year
• 1,131 public-safety officers for a year
• 828 music and arts teachers for a year
• scholarships for 8,777 university students for a year
• Pell Grants worth $5,350 each for 8,257 students for a year
• 418 affordable housing units could have been built
• health care for 21,068 children for a year
• Head Start places for 5,995 children for a year
• 916 more elementary school teachers for a year
• 676 port container inspectors for a year.
So even if you think that you take no position on our continuous war in Afghanistan, but you do care about education, health care, the environment, high taxation, national debt, the arts, jobs, law and order, or simply common sense, you need to also take a position against the proposed surge of troops in Afghanistan.
If the dollars mean nothing to you, count the countless loss of lives among loved ones here and in Afghanistan because of the United States' stubborn persistence in a country that has destroyed empires for at least half a millennium.
Is there another way to protect our country? Or are we simply helping create new and more angry terrorists willing to give their lives to get even with us someday?
— Rachael Bliss