In reading the many stories about the Veterans Affairs hospital scandal, it’s hard to miss the fact that none of the quoted politicians dares to mention the elephant in the room: This is what happens when you fight wars of convenience, especially when you cut taxes to the rich at the same time [“VA chief resigns amid health-care scandal,” Nation & World, May 30].
War is the most expensive activity (in every sense) a government can undertake. The same members of Congress that are so gung-ho about our military incursions are the ones who insist that the government is “too big” and that budgets should always be cut.
It turns out that this is not only shortsighted but frankly stupid. Simply following the Constitution and requiring a formal declaration of war in order to deploy our military would require that the immense consequences of war be considered and debated before we create a situation in which we are shocked to find out that we have created more injured and disabled young men and women than we apparently are willing to pay for.
Mark Leemon, Seattle