Sec. of Defense Panetta: We Are At War

Sec. of Defense Panetta: We Are At War

As we go about our daily business, free from terrorist attacks and warfare in our homeland, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget one every important thing: we are at war. We have troops spread throughout the world fighting terrorism in other places in order to keep us from having terrorism in this place. 

We have men and women laying down their lives in the desert so we don’t have to lay ours down in these streets.

Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta hammered this fact home on August 14

I realize there are a lot of other things going on around this country that can draw our attention, [from] political campaigns to droughts, to some of the tragedies we’ve seen in communities around the country. [Therefore,] I thought it was important to remind the American people that there is a war going on.  

There are still 84,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and our military suffered 41 killed last month alone. Yet the public has largely overlooked the fact that the war continues. Or, to put it as the Brookings Instittue’s Thomas Mann did, “The public has tuned out Afghanistan and it is unlikely they can be re-engaged in the next three months.”

We should all  remember that our troops are in harm’s way in Afghanistan at this very moment, and we should all be grateful for their sacrifice. 

Although this is often turned into a political issue, it ought not be only that. The troops need and deserve our support.

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