Commentary: A small few are making big wartime sacrifices

The Anchorage Daily NewsDecember 7, 2009 

President Obama has made his decision: He will send another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. That will bring the total to roughly 100,000. Once again, this tiny minority of Americans — the professional military and their families and friends — will be asked to make huge sacrifices on behalf of the entire nation. For the rest of us, life will go on as normal. We will attend our loved ones' birthday parties, school plays and sporting events. We will have holidays together. We'll go to sleep at night without wondering whether we have talked to a husband or a wife, a father or a sister, for the last time.

We'll be free to blissfully ignore the hardships our military and their families endure in our name.

As the war effort ramps up, we won't pay an extra penny to support it. From the beginning, we have been content to let our leaders put the financial cost of the war on the national credit card and hand the bill to our children and grandchildren.

As a nation, we are not "all in." It is war on the cheap — for most of us.

True, Afghanistan is a different kind of "war." It can't be won on the battlefield. The enemy is too smart to engage our vastly superior forces in the open. It is a low-intensity, asymmetrical war, a war that can only end when the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas see it in their interest to end it.

Until then, our task as a nation is to make sure those areas are not sanctuary to those who would plot against us.

Simple to say; tough to do.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.

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