Sadly, the terrorists are winning.
The terrorists are winning. They have caused many deaths and injuries, and done a great deal of damage to our country.
Steve Kroft, on 60 Minutes in November of 2014, said: “There are a lot of people in the United States right now who think the country is falling apart, and at least in one respect they’re correct. Our roads and bridges are crumbling, our airports are out of date and the vast majority of our seaports are in danger of becoming obsolete. All the result of decades of neglect.”
In the years between the September 11 terrorist attacks and 2014, the United States spent a total of $1.6 trillion financing military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters of the global war on terror — according to calculations made by the Congressional Research Service.
Meantime, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the country’s infrastructure a D+ grade in its annual report card. The 2014 Department of Transportation report finds that to maintain the condition of U.S. highways and bridges at 2010 levels through the year 2030, between $65.3 billion and $86.3 billion per year would be required. If all “cost-beneficial investments” were made, between $123.7 billion and $145.9 billion per year would be required.
For example, 70,000 bridges that have been deemed structurally deficient.
Public spending on infrastructure has fallen to its lowest level since 1947. And the U.S., which used to have the finest infrastructure in the world, is now ranked 16th according to the World Economic Forum. This affects our nation’s business’s ability to compete. It places the lives of drivers at risk every day.
If we take the middle ground between the civil engineer’s ‘maintenance’ level and the ‘all’ level, i.e. about $100 billion/year, we have spent about 16 years worth of infrastructure maintenance on fighting terrorism.
Since the September 11th attacks, 6,882 servicemen have died, 52,412 were wounded, and it’s estimated that 320,000 have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) and it’s estimated that 400,000 suffer from PTSD.
Does anyone think that, had terrorists succeeded in any direct attacks on American soil, that close to 7000 people would have been killed, over 50,000 injured, and hundreds of thousands left to deal with PTSD and TBI? Does anyone think that, had terrorists succeeded in any direct attacks on American soil, that they could have done as much damage to our infrastructure as has been caused by neglect?
So, the terrorists are winning. They have caused many deaths and injuries, and done a great deal of damage to our country. We just won’t admit it.