By Dr. Glenn Mollette
America was involved in Vietnam for 20 years. Our presence started small but by 1965 had significantly escalated. 3.1 million troops saw combat and at least 58,300 were killed. We spent over $120 billion from 1965 to 1973 which led to an oil crisis and rampant inflation. Are you better off today because America fought in Vietnam? Are you safer?
America spent over $2 trillion fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, we hurried and pulled out of Afghanistan leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in vehicles, buildings, bases, and weapons to be used by the Taliban. The country is now in shambles. Girls are not allowed to go to school beyond the sixth grade. Women are treated horribly by the Taliban. What did we do to help Afghanistan? Are they better off now? Are we better off for our 13 years in that country?
We invaded Iraq. We lost over 15,000 active service members and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Take a look at Iraq and Afghanistan today. What did we accomplish?
We approved $113 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2022 alone. Most Americans do not want Russia to succeed in conquering Ukraine. Efforts to help Ukraine have been supported by most Americans. How far do we go? How much can we afford? How long are we able to keep this up? Does this become another Afghanistan? American troops are not there, yet. When will this happen?
When do we start fighting in Taiwan? China wants to control Taiwan. Taiwan is rich in resources and technology. Like Russia wanting Ukraine because of its proximity and resources, China figures it just makes sense for them to control neighboring Taiwan.
China is reportedly on the verge, if not already sending military arms to Russia. As America depletes our own defense stockpile of missiles, tanks and more, China knows we will have less to send to Taiwan. We have recently sent 200 soldiers to Taiwan and more will be going. It is scary to ponder how many more will be going in the next year or two.
In the middle of all this, who is really profiting from America’s forever wars? The Military Industrial Complex will continue to make hundreds of millions of dollars with no end in sight. Manufacturers of mass weapons used in war have no end to their financial gains. Politicians who own stock in these massive companies only stand to get richer and richer. How many thousands of shares of stock in these companies do our long-term Senators and Representatives own? Stopping or slowing our military aggressions around the globe would mean their stock would go down and their massive financial fortunes would be diminished.
Politicians should not be allowed to buy stock while in office. Before running for a political office they should be required to cash their stock out so they are not financially persuaded to promote the success of certain industries.
We don’t want Ukraine to fall to Russia or Taiwan to China. However, what will our country have left to fight with after we have spent billions of dollars defending them? If your livelihood comes from investments in the massive military weapon sales industries , then you are probably spending most of your time counting your money.
Glenn Mollette is the publisher of Newburgh Press, Liberty Torch and various other publishing imprints; a national columnist – American Issues and Common Sense opinions, analysis, stories and features appear each week In over 500 newspapers, websites and blogs across the United States.