According to The National Priorities Project, The United States passed a landmark on May 30, 2010. On that day, the United States will have spent 1 trillion dollars on the Iraq and Afghan wars, and on June 7, 2010, the Afghan war will become the longest war the United States has waged.
Moreover, the cost of the war in Afghanistan is currently 1 million dollars per soldier per year, according to this November 14, 2009 New York Times article.
One million dollars is a large number, but one trillion dollars is an unimaginably larger number. It’s easy to gloss over when the politicians and pundits toss around these numbers.
The thickness of a dollar bill is 0.0043 inches. So a stack of a million dollar bills would be about 109.22 meters or 358 feet tall. That’s as high as an office building 30 stories tall, counting a story as being approximately 11.9 feet tall (about 3.6 meters).
But a stack of a trillion dollars would be 63,516.5633 miles (109220 km) tall. That’s 2.5 times the circumference of the earth. That’s what American taxpayers pay for the Iraq/Afghan war. And the champions of small government say nothing about this.
Did you know that the United States just by itself has a military budget greater than the rest of the world’s countries combined? Or did you know the US military budget is more than 10 times greater than that of either Russia or China’s? (Click here for the documentation of those figures).
There seems to be plenty of money in President Obama’s budget for these wars, for bailing out the banks that are too big to fail. But there does not seem to be enough money or political will to create a massive jobs program to put Americans back to work rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure Yet it was the promise of such programs that brought Obama’s historic victory, that put the first African-American in the White House.
Isn’t it odd that we have plenty of money for the organized mass murder that war actually is but not enough money to guarantee health care, housing, and a decent job for every US citizen?
The National Priorities Project maintains the excellent Cost Of War website, which is off-line for maintenance as I write this. However, this site shows the various tradeoffs, what the Americans could do and accomplish if the meat grinder of war, the mass slaughter carried on at our expense, in our name, against the will of the majority of us were not draining away our resources.
President Obama. Here’s a political challenge for you.
Bring the troops home now!
Failure to heed this demand of so many Americans will not reflect well on you 50 years from now, when historians look over the follies of early 21st century American history.
Here’s a link to a video from the Rethink Afghanistan Facebook page.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living – Socrates