With the House authorizing another $30 billion to fund the war in Afghanistan in the same week that the Senate blocked an extension on vital unemployment benefits, it's worth taking a moment on this celebratory day to reflect on where we've been as a country, where we are, and where we're going from here.
Are our priorities abroad in sync with the conditions at home? 15 million Americans are unemployed, and some experts now warn of a possible double-dip recession as the global economic situation remains unimproved and as countries around the world adopt austerity measures. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, we have lost over 1,000 Americans over the course of nine years and there is still no end to the conflict in sight. Economically, this has cost us $280 billion. For the families of those we've lost, there is no dollar figure to suffice.
Below is a slideshow with some of our leading experts on Afghanistan. They present a variety of perspectives and prescriptions for what we should do. Feel free to join in the conversation in the comments section below, and don't miss Brave New Films' Rethink Afghanistan July 4th Video calling for independence from war.