Here are excerpts from recent editorials in Oklahoma newspapers:
The Lawton Constitution. May 27, 2018.
President Trump should take the time to read reports released last week by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and the Pentagon’s inspector general. The commander in chief should then re-direct U.S. efforts.
The Special Inspector General’s report, according to USA Today, said the $4.7 billion effort over the last 17 years to stabilize parts of war-torn Afghanistan has mostly failed. It says the funds spent on programs in areas cleared of insurgents was largely wasted. Some was siphoned by corrupt officials, while some of it paid for projects that did more harm than good.
Of the $4.7 billion spent, $2.4 billion went to programs administered by USAID, and $2.3 billion was spent by Pentagon’s Commander’s Emergency Response Program.
“All told, the U.S. government has appropriated about $126 billion to rebuild the country, most of it to train and equip security forces.”
The report indicates more than 2,200 U.S. forces have been killed and a dysfunctional country remains.
The Pentagon’s report, the newspaper said, found little progress in providing security for the Afghan people.
Mr. President, it is time to cut your losses just as you did in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when you closed an unprofitable hotel/casino. Rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and job development here at home are more important than any continued efforts in Afghanistan....___Tulsa World. May 29, 2018.NFL football players must stand respectfully during pregame performances of the national anthem if they are on the playing field, a league rule announced last week says.Players who don’t want to comply may stay in the locker room or elsewhere; but if they mount political on-field protest by kneeling or sitting during “The Star-Spangled Banner” their teams may face fines.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says league owners approved the rule without any team voting against it, but the NFL Players Association says the rule wasn’t part of collective bargaining, and it will fight any attempt to penalize players.We think everyone should respect the national anthem. It’s a uniting symbol of our nation and the wrong moment for individual political statements.We also think that one of the things that makes America great is its ability to allow discontent, even when the means are distasteful to the majority. We should all wish for a nation that evokes genuine patriotic behavior, not one with rules to compel it.We see grandstanding by people on both sides of this issue. Colin Kaepernick could have made his protests in a variety of ways. He chose “The Star-Spangled Banner” with an eye to the attention that would get him. President Donald Trump’s extreme reaction to player protests was demagogic and didn’t advance anything except, perhaps, his political popularity.The NFL’s actions last week were at least as much about trying to repair its own public image as they were about patriotism; but they’re within the rights of the team owners.