My shift is ending at the base I guard. It seems the ten-year anniversary of the 9-11 attack will pass without any incidents here, so close to D.C. and a brief walk away from the Pentagon. The world has never really been a safe place, but that message was driven home ten years ago: you are vulnerable. You can be killed not only as a U.S. service member deployed overseas, but as a man, woman, or even child with the temerity to live in these United States.
We are now fighting a war we can neither win nor withdraw from. We are inspected in minute detail when boarding flights, with laughable and pointless restrictions on how much shampoo or toothpaste we are permitted. We may be fondled by security personnel, or strip-searched electronically. Our conversations may be recorded without a judge first granting a warrant, and our government holds many prisoners without granting them the customary rights and protections of prisoners of war or charging them with a crime. While we may withdraw in the not-so-distant future from Afghanistan, leaving it to inevitably return to utter chaos, there seems to be no way to "break contact" with terrorists.
We have fought,and some of us have died fighting in this conflict to protect our families and our way of life, but it seems the longer we fight, the the more we lose. I don't have a solution. So, just after this decade anniversary, we find ourselves looking back on immense quantities of money spent on the conflict.
Our economic policies have finally caught up with us as our population ages, leaving us far too few workers to support the pyramid scheme of Social Security. We are the world power, but our options will rapidly shrink as the amount we owe to foreign governments increases, with no real way to pay it. Our way of life mostly remains, but for how long?