Cleaning up that corruption would produce a better military for less money – a worthy endeavor. But the president simply wants to shrink it – a more dangerous endeavor.
That leads to the final point: The president and his people can say that a war is over all they want, but it is not over until all sides agree that it is over. Did we somehow miss a surrender ceremony involving the Taliban or al Qaeda?
Sure, we can quit the battlefield. Doing that reminds me of when I was a grade-school kid and another kid started following me home after school, harassing me, demanding that I fight him. This was long before anti-bullying committees existed, and kids were supposed to "work out" stuff like this on their own.
I wasn’t much of a fighter. I told the kid that and even told him I didn’t care that he called me a sissy. None of it mattered.
Finally, one day I threw down my books and went at it with him. Much to my surprise - and his, I’m sure - I knocked the wind out of him and managed to push him down while he was trying to catch his breath. Big moment. All of a sudden he wanted to be my best friend. Only then was it really over.
Sad to say, nations are like that, too, except that they are vastly more dangerous than fifth-graders.
We’ve supposedly learned that lesson multiple times in the past. Looks like we’re going to have to learn it again. We can only hope it won’t be even more painful.
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org