Congressman Dan Crenshaw asserts that America has had a very cost-effective, small footprint” in the Middle East that helped it take out ISIS terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Noah Shepardson of Reason reported on Crenshaw’s belief that America’s interventionist policy keeps it safe.
During an interview with Fox News’ Dana Perino on Monday, the Navy SEAL veteran, called for a “forward presence” in the Middle East to confront radical Islam and defend the “homeland.” Crenshaw cited the elimination of Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden in 2011 and last Saturday’s death of Baghdadi as evidence that the U.S. has had successes in carrying out its War on Terror for the last 18 years.
Crenshaw does express some empathy for “frustration” over the prolonged military presence abroad, but he sustains that it’s needed to defend America from “an ideology that truly wants to kill us.”
However, these global democratic crusades have come at an enormous price. A study by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs revealed that the U.S. spent or is obligated to spend $5.9 trillion dollars for wars after 9/11 through the fiscal year of 2019.
These figures take into account any war-related spending that “are consequences of these wars.” It includes Department of Defense spending as well as “war-related spending by the Department of State, past and obligated spending for war veterans’ care, interest on the debt incurred to pay for the wars, and the prevention of and response to terrorism by the Department of Homeland Security.”
Putting these numbers in perspective shows that War on Terror spending is more than one-third of the present national debt.
However, overlooked costs in human life and time are quite significant when analyzing the War on Terror. The Watson Institute found that 6,951 U.S. soldiers and at least 244,000-266,000 Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan civilians have perished as a result of direct war violence as of October 2018. Shepardson also points out that the Watson Institute study “doesn’t even include the more than 500,000 lives lost in the Syrian conflict.”
Perino called to attention that never-ending wars in the Middle East have turned into a “generational fight.” Perino stated, “There are many people joining the military today who weren’t alive on 9/11.”
In essence, an entire generation of Americans have lived in an era where they have witnessed nothing but war and the debt and destruction that accompanies it.
Given the D.C. establishment’s infatuation with global democratic crusades, these wars will likely go on without any end in sight. Defense contractors will be jumping for joy, but regular Americans will have to foot massive bills as well as the social costs of having to re-incorporate battle-scarred veterans into society.
This is a lose-lose for the American heartland.