Lincoln County Journal

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Concerns on national defense, political ambition

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

I usually do not comment on the rhetoric coming out of Washington, D. C. nowadays, but a couple of things last week are very troubling and the lack of cooperation and communications between the two parties only heighten my concerns.

We are going to pull completely out of Afghanistan, not even leaving a small corps of soldiers there to help train the Afghan military. This is because Afghanistan President Karzai refuses to sign a security agreement. This country has been the site of turmoil for many years and intervention by other countries included the USA and Russia have failed. This will continue to be a breeding ground for terrorist groups. I guess I’m really not upset that we are pulling out so much as my thoughts go to the families who had loved ones gave up their lives. It would seem to me that my loved one sacrificed in vain.

The other troubling news, and even greater, concern is the proposed military cuts which would bring our military personnel to just over 400,000. This level equates to about the total we had prior to World War II. With the trouble spots around the world (Middle East, Iran, Syria, North Korea) and now possibly the Ukraine, will we be safer with a smaller but more technologically savvy force? The world seems to be moving into a more hostile environment and will pose a greater threat to our security at home. Especially when Congress continues to be reluctant to address immigration issues. If our security is compromised around the world, should we close military bases and bring those soldiers and sailors back to form a more impenetrable border of security along our shores and borders with Canada and Mexico? Are we finally posing the question indirectly ‘are we tired of being a policeman around the world?’

I continue to hear from many politicians but do not see any incentives and/or penalties which will turn the tide of jobs going overseas and return employment back to our shores. Budgets are being pared down on the backs of those who least can afford it. Rising cost of living are demanding more dollars away from families and the American Dream is quickly getting out of the site for many Americans. I haven’t heard that the Washington politicians have given away any of their perks as of yet. There should be a way which Americans can have a voice in the benefits of their elected leaders. It used to be the vote but lobbyists have negated that in the most part.

Filing for Congressional seats have now began in Missouri and throughout the nation. Both sides will be demeaning the other and telling us how their respective party has worked for the low and middle class. Filing for local county seats has also begun. I know many of the candidates here at the local level. Their work being closer to home undergoes greater scrutiny. Residents you have until March 25 to file for offices subject to the August Primary. Locally, politicians are driven to serve others. At the higher level, I wonder what their true motives are. Perhaps term limits would be good for Congress.

By Bob Simmons