Wars Without End

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America Must Stop Fighting Wars Without End

The U.S. military is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world. More than 165,000 military personnel serve outside the United States. 

We station in excess of 25,000 troops in South Korea; 35,000 in Germany; more than 55,000 in Japan. We have troops in Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt and Rumania.

In the past 30 years, we have been involved in armed conflicts in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti. Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, Uganda, Syria and Yemen. 

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Since the close of the Cold War, 13 nations have been added to NATO. The United States is now treaty bound to defend the safety, security and territorial integrity of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro.

The world has changed since the second World War, when NATO was necessary. The Soviet Union is no more. Russia is a shell of its former self. And yet we are issuing war guarantees to countries most Americans could not find on a map.

We’ve invested trillions fighting endless wars around the globe with no clear objective, no exit strategy, no definition of victory. Since 2001, more than 6,500 Americans have lost their lives fighting the two longest wars ever waged by the United States, at a cost in excess of $1 Trillion.

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How long can America remain the world’s policeman? How long can we afford to offer defend a Europe that refuses to contribute their fair share to NATO? What vital interests do we have in the many nations where troops are stationed? 

Few in Congress have dared suggest that we reexamine our role in world affairs, but in light of the enormous cost of blood and treasure the past 20 years, that time has come. Going forward, Congress should reassert its rightful role in deciding when and where we go to war. And when we don’t.

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