This article offers precious few facts or useful statistics.
It might be helpful for Times readers to know how many soldiers have been seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan: Per the DoD in early 2009, Traumatic Brain Injury alone affected as many as 360,000 soldiers, with 45,000 to 90,000 who “warrant specialized care” (USA Today, 3/4/09).
Times readers might also want to know that the Army broke its record for soldier suicides a few years ago and has continued to break that record in the years since (American Forces Press Service, 11/17/09).
In post-9/11 America, it’s become fashionable to sing the praises of “our heroes” while ignoring their actual plight. The effect is that we support the WARS but not the WARRIORS.
Meanwhile, our young men and women continue to kill and die, maim and be maimed, in wars that make no sense whatsoever from a strategic perspective (bin Laden’s strategy was to goad the U.S. into war, turning mainstream Muslims against us and creating the circumstances in which the U.S. would bankrupt itself — he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams thanks to the unthinking savagery of our leaders and the fecklessness of our institutions, including the MSM).
TEN YEARS after 9/11, private contractors continue to waste BILLIONS in fraud and abuse — between $30-60 billion wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, per the Wartime Contracting Commission (PBS 8/31/11). I’ve watched this commission over the years, starting with SIGIR, and the number of reforms that have been implemented to stop this egregious waste is ZERO.
The situation is obscene. I would never have imagined that we were capable, as a nation, of ignoring such massive waste in lives and treasure as we have since 9/11. We’ve sacrificed our children, butchered hundreds of thousands of innocents, shredded the Bill of Rights, and nearly bankrupted America — just so a handful of war profiteers can get filthy rich.
And we’re not the least bit safer.