Readers write: Cost of war, military service, and turkey time

Letters to the editor for the Dec. 23, 2019 weekly magazine. Readers discuss cover art, military service, and U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Cost of war

Regarding the Nov. 11 Monitor Weekly cover story, “Legacy of the longest war,” and the question it posed, “Do the positive changes wrought in Afghanistan by the U.S. involvement there outweigh the cost in blood and treasure?”

The United States and its people are now and always have been generous and charitable. I’m happy for the progress in Afghanistan. But we’ve spent way too much blood and treasure there while neglecting our own needs. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to fix our country’s roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure. Charity begins at home.

Paul Sedan
San Francisco

US military service

The cover story “The moral burden of war” in the Dec. 2 Monitor Weekly provides much insight into the challenges military veterans have confronted after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Monitor story could be followed up in two important ways: firstly, an evaluation of why young men and women find military service attractive when career choices abound and US employment rates are high; and secondly, by promoting greater transparency with regard to military recruitment. Those serving as recruiting officers must be forthright and honest regarding the consequences of combat experience.

Alistair Budd
Newport, Wales

Turkey time

Regarding the Nov. 25 Monitor Weekly: What a wonderful piece of cover art for the issue. Not only does it capture the season and our traditions, but it adds a certain New Yorker-esque feel of sophistication to the Monitor. I would enjoy similar covers in the future as they not only add an air of sophistication and humor, but can be pointed and make a statement as well. 

Famously, The New Yorker published a cover depicting a Manhattanite’s view of the world, showing what a parochial worldview New Yorkers have – the “Island at the Center of the World” writ large and small. The Monitor Weekly, with continuing cover art, could show not a limited worldview, but a global one. These pieces could make societal and political statements, as well as capture moments and traditions worldwide that are too complicated for a photo.

Again, thank you for this marvelous cover.

Edward Hobart Tonkin
Erie, Pennsylvania

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