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general

The invisible war

I was reading this article, thinking I’d see something cool straight out of an action movie, when I was floored by the following:

A helicopter crashed Tuesday while bringing reinforcements to the team, killing all 16 service members aboard.

The Pentagon, which believes the helicopter was downed by a rocket-propelled grenade, released the names of the eight soldiers and eight sailors Saturday.

It was the worst single-day death toll for U.S. forces since the Afghan war began nearly four years ago.

(Emphasis mine.)

I think it says a lot about the wealth and power of our country that we can be at war for four years and not have it significantly affect daily life–to the point that we can even forget about it.

I mean, wow. Four years. And we’ve been in Iraq for awhile, too.

It’s pretty sobering.

But it also makes me think that if we put our true potential to work–i.e., drafted everyone who can fight and sent them over there–that we’d be finished instantly.

There’s no way I want that to happen. I’m just saying that given our obvious power, it’s ludicrous that people are still fighting us. A war of attrition is certainly not desirable, but we would absolutely win one. Which is, of course, why terrorism arose–to give those with no chance of winning a regular war the ability to win through fear and coersion.

And so, as I’ve noted before, our victory hinges upon our society’s ability to stomach some losses and setbacks in the name of stamping out terror.