Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

June 23, 2014

BRIAN HOWEY: Iraq war: Nearly 9 years of valor and malfeasance

It's an appalling disaster of American governance

We should remember Staff Sgt. Richard Blakley of Plainfield. And Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Smith of Anderson, Spc. Gregory Paul Sanders of Hobart and Sgt. Craig A. Boling of Elkhart.

These were Hoosiers who answered their nation’s patriotic call to duty, left their families behind, went to the Iraq war and paid the ultimate price. As did Pvt. Robert L. McKinley of Kokomo, Sgt. Kyle William Childress of Terre Haute, Cpl. Cody A. Putman of Lafayette and Sgt. Brock A. Babb of Evansville.

Today, we watch in horror as an army of terrorists, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, sweep down from the failed state of Syria into the teetering state of Iraq, stealing millions of dollars from banks in Mosul and slaughtering thousands of “infidels” in their midst. The Iraqi troops we spent billions of dollars training and equipping laid down their arms, climbed out of U.S. built Humvees, slipped out of their uniforms and fled, leaving a cache of military hardware for the invaders.

What is so painful about all of this is in addition to the nearly 100 Hoosiers and 4,300 Americans who laid down their lives in Iraq, the more than 32,000 who were wounded, the estimated 134,000 Iraqi civilians killed and millions who became refugees, we spent an estimated $1.7 trillion on a clueless adventure. We owe another $490 billion to Iraq war veterans in benefits.

A Brown University Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies estimates the ultimate cost could grow to $6 trillion. Reuters reported that a 2011 study found U.S. medical and disability claims for veterans after a decade of war totaled $33 billion. Two years later, that number had risen to $134.7 billion.

Imagine if that $1.7 trillion had been invested in infrastructure, education, research and development at home?

The National Priorities Projects, a non-profit research group, puts the cost of the Iraq “military action” at $816 billion, saying this figure could have provided 4.75 million students Pell Grants of $5,550; equipped 4 million households with wind power; hired 65,000 new police officers; supplied 5 million veterans with VA medical care; and paid 100,000 elementary school teachers each year for a decade.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 'Reads' panel narrows titles Howard County Reads, a program introduced in 2004 to cultivate a love of reading and promote a sense of community, is another step closer to selecting a book for its 10th anniversary.In February, county residents began nominating a favorite for consi

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • Work program requires buy-in from industry Good help is hard to find.That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers.

    August 1, 2014

  • Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas

    July 31, 2014

  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

  • A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm

    July 30, 2014

  • LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll