Letters to the Editor

Defense spending: Draining dollars from national parks

A recent editorial noted the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks.

While funding for the parks will be examined in detail and debated in full as it should be, national security actions we’re engaged in continue without active debate about how much of this huge expenditure is justified.

The Afghanistan war provides a good example. There is no evidence that our original plan to establish a democratically elected, fully functioning central government will ever succeed.

Plus, terrorist action planning doesn’t depend on availability of remote locations to future Osama Bin Ladens. These actions are now inspired by radical Islamist spokespeople from anywhere in the world. And their most potent argument for recruiting followers is their claim that America is making war on Islam.

It doesn’t matter that it isn’t true. Having U.S. troops on the ground in Muslim countries for 17 years and counting is proof enough for their recruits.

In this context, the neglect of our national park system should be considered collateral damage of our excessive national security spending.

Patrick Hurley, Tacoma