The US has paid a terrible cost in Afghanistan, but the value earned in return—protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks, preserving representative government in Afghanistan, and protecting U.S. interests in a volatile region—is priceless.
The president's weakness on national security need not be the final word on defense. It is the duty of Congress to provide for the common defense, and it is the duty of the opposition to make arguments that might correct the course of failing policies, which is exactly what the GOP needs to do now.
In the post-Iraq era, even conservatives and Republicans have internalized the no-boots-on-the-ground catechism. But conservatives should not will the ends without willing the means, or divert their eyes from military realities.
In this conference, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, mental health and disability experts, and an economist will discuss current hurdles to rehabilitation, and suggest alternatives that could more effectively expedite the reintegration of veterans into their families, communities, and workplaces.
The budget announcements this week from Defense Secretary Hagel seem to have awoken the media to the fact that the US military is not what it used to be, a reality that unsettles both those who believe the US should maintain a perponderance of military power and those who rely on the US to keep a vaiety of dangers at bay.