March 6, 2002

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Wednesday, March 06, 2002

March 6, 2002

It's going to be a long war. The President has said so, as have the generals. The death of nine Americans in Afghanistan this week is part of the price we have always had to pay for freedom. As Ralph Peters, a combat veteran and author wrote in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, "There will likely be more American casualties in Afghanistan. That's war, folks. You suck it up and keep on marching."

At least one thing must not be forgetten: we are also paying the price of neglect. We've neglected our military. President Clinton sharply reduced spending to pay for his domestic programs. You can't do that. And we sharply reduced our intelligence gathering capabilities. "Who is the enemy and where is the threat?" The Left shouted after the end of the Cold War, which they never wanted to fight in the first place. Now we know who the enemy is, though we are sometimes having trouble finding him.

War is not pleasant and most of them are not wrapped up in a few weeks without casualties. We had better remember that if we want to win this one. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.