Donald Trump made a national address last night at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. The topic was the endless conflict in Afghanistan. Rather than dramatically change the strategy of the previous office holders, Trump elected to continue the endless war.
We will soon be entering our 17th year in Afghanistan, continuing the longest war in U.S. history. And despite those many years of occupation, Afghanistan (to the outside eye) appears to have made only marginal progress on basic measures of safety.
We’ve spent now trillions of taxpayer dollars on weapons and war machines, money that could’ve gone to our education system. As a nation, we spend 16 percent of our budget on defense and homeland security, money that could potentially be rerouted to rebuilding our national infrastructure.
As we entangle ourselves in these conflicts, we also should remember the human cost. Thousands of civilians and hundreds of soldiers continue to die needless deaths, while war pigs like Erik Prince rake in billions of dollars worth of profits.
I do not believe the way to peace is through armed conflict. I do not believe that drones dropping bombs will eradicate terrorism, it will exacerbate it. I believe the way to peace is through education and equality, through protest and persistence, through a commitment to justice and the courage in standing for principles.
Those values are hard to obtain with bullets or bombs.