War budget

How far will the United States go? The time has come to ask the Bush Administration about the war on terrorism, its aims and costs. Senate majority leader, Senator Tom Daschle (D–S.D.), began the task gingerly enough on February 28: "I think there is expansion without at least a clear direction." This came after several weeks of "mission creep." The Pentagon has now sent troops to the Philippines essentially in pursuit of a group of bandits; that move was followed by talk of sending U. S. Army Special Forces to Georgia (the nation, not the state), to Yemen (where there are now 200 to 400 U.S. troops), and perhaps to Somalia and Colombia. Colombia? The United States has long provided non-combat military assistance and support for its war on drugs. Recently Colombia’s long-running and vicious civil war has taken another downward spiral, and the government has called for greater U.S. assistance. It would be dangerous and futile to involve U.S. troops in this bloody struggle under the rubric of the war on terrorism, or any other rubric. Meanwhile, the status of President George W. Bush’s often cited "axis of evil"—Iran, Iraq, and North Korea—remains confused and ambiguous. Are we or are we not targeting any or all of them? Last month, the president assured his Asian hosts that the United States would not attack North Korea. But what about Iran? What cause could the president offer for an attack on Iran? That leaves Iraq (about which more below).


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