President Obama has decided as our commander-in-chief to commit roughly 30,000 more troops to the war in Afghanistan. This has drawn all sorts of complaints from the right (due to a timetable) and the left (quagmire). I am not here to write about politics. I am dismayed sometimes by how both right and left seem more loyal to their party than to our nation or what’s going on in the world but I doubt this blog will change any of that. Our society is what it is.
The effect of these deployments though will affect us all. If successful, it will lead to a more peaceful world. If not, the conflict will go on. But under both scenarios we are going to have more troops wounded, more civilians displaced and hurt, and more disabled veterans for whom we are all responsible.
What we need is for our society to think of this conflict, for better or for worse, as “our war.” This isn’t President Obama’s war. It wasn’t President Bush’s war. It is our war. We are the ones who supported both presidents, one conservative, another liberal, who have prosecuted a “War on Terrorism.” Like it or not, it is the war of our generation.
If it needs to be ended, then we need to end it. If it needs to be supported, then we need to support it. But what has often happened, and causes grief for all concerned, is to write it off as something someone else is responsible for which does not affect us personally. But it does. It affects many many lives (including our own). And it will continue to do so.
There are going to be a lot of our and our allies military forces away from home for Christmas. Even more will be gone for Easter. Let’s keep this war in our thoughts, in our prayers, and in our discussion of what the best way is to move forward from here.