Imagine how $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan could have rescued American cities

One national goal set out in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is to “promote the General Welfare” of the American people. That should be our highest priority.

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Taliban fighters patrol a street in Kabul on Tuesday, Aug. 17

Getty

We are all appalled by the tragedy in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan civilians who helped the American military now will be killed or imprisoned by the Taliban. Yet we are witnessing an even greater tragedy here in America’s big cities.

For the last several years, more Americans have been killed in cities such as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia than U.S. servicemen killed in Afghanistan. Just recently in Chicago, a 70-year-old woman was shot and killed in her car. A 7-year-old child was killed. A police officer, Ella French, was killed while doing her job.

The United States spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan. We can only imagine what good that money might have done here had it been used for educational, mental health and public safety services in our nation’s biggest cities.

One national goal set out in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is to “promote the General Welfare” of the American people. That should be our highest priority.

Peter V. Grafner, Edgebrook

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Applauding Biden — and Trump

The United States’ pullout from Afghanistan is the most humiliating military action since the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975. Afghanistan’s security forces became dependent on American men and women doing their fighting and dying for them. They proved themselves to be cowards, throwing down their U.S.-supplied arms and allowing the Taliban to take control. Who knows now whether terrorism-sponsoring nations such as Iran will feel emboldened?

Was anything learned from the Soviet Union’s ultimate failure in Afghanistan? Was anything learned from our own nation’s failure in Vietnam? A key lesson of that war was to not get involved in military operations that will end only in quagmires, costing our nation trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of Americans.

I applaud former President Donald Trump for starting the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, and I applaud President Joe Biden for following through. My heart is filled with sorrow for the sacrifices of our brave soldiers. They served with dedication and courage for such a sad result.

Antonio Acevedo, Wicker Park

Job one now: Evacuate Afghans

The best thing we can do in Afghanistan now is evacuate as many Afghans as we can and resettle them in the United States or another allied country. It’s the humane thing to do. And it will cost just a fraction of the billions of dollars our nation spent year after year prosecuting this war.

Benjamin Recchie, Little Italy

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