7 wars

The Week counts and lists the number of wars the United States is currently involved in.

we’re currently at war in (at least) seven countries across the Greater Middle East: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Pakistan…

It would be shockingly easy for the White House and Department of Defense to do whatever they wanted with no meaningful democratic oversight at all. Our wars are fought thousands of miles from American shores with an all-volunteer force drawn from a tiny percentage of the population. Meanwhile, the country has spent the astonishing sum of $250 million a day on war-making for each of the nearly 6,000 days since the 9/11 attacks 16 years ago. Instead of raising taxes to pay for it, Congress has cut taxes, insulating the American people entirely from the cost and handing the bill to future generations of Americans in the form of debt.

Other people fight, other people suffer, other people pay — it’s a recipe for political ignorance and indifference. All the American people know is that there hasn’t been another 9/11. And that one must always, no matter what, “support the troops.” Together these sentiments translate into: “We dare not say anything critical about whatever the military is doing.” That holds for members of Congress no less than for average Americans. Rather than raise questions or concerns, we’re expected to defer. And for the most part we’re all too happy to comply with this debased and degraded form of civic duty.

I have a proposal – fund these wars through a sales tax levied very clearly on everything we buy. Every time you buy a bag of groceries, your receipt would tell you how much you contributed to the war effort. This way, those of us not fighting or sending other people to fight would at least think about it every day, and maybe be willing to speak out against it or at least make the politicians clearly explain to us why it has to be this way.

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