The cost of the war in Afghanistan, which is going into its 10th year, is difficult to calculate because it is still escalating. But it could well have a direct and indirect cost of $2 trillion in the end — and that’s if President Obama withdraws troops quickly starting next summer. This is money, much of it borrowed, that we are spending to pursue a war in a place where no invader has ever been successful — not Alexander the Great, not the Mongolians, not the British, not the Russians.
It is not easy for me to move back and forth between costs in dollars and costs in human life. How do you estimate the cost of a gallant young American soldier lying dead on the sands of a foreign desert at age 18 or 28? For that matter, what is the cost of killing a young Afghan or a young Iraqi? And what is the cost of America’s standing in the world sinking in the eyes of too many of our fellow humans?
I would like to see the House and Senate remain in Democratic hands, because I think the Democrats are better equipped to address the country’s most pressing national issues, including the economy and the wars. And I am still hopeful, despite prevailing opinion, that the party may prevail in Tuesday’s election.