You think the war in Iraq has been dragging on too long? How about the one that's been going on for 40 years with costs recently running about $40 billion a year?
But after all these battles and all these billions, what's been accomplished?
Drug abuse among American youth has been on the decline for the past decade, and counter-drug efforts in recent years have resulted in record seizures of drugs. Yet in 2004, the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control has numbers, nearly 31,000 people died from drug abuse and related illnesses. At the same time, America's streets are swimming in cheap, plentiful and powerful narcotics.
Many experts believe it's time to come up with a new strategy. Currently, the biggest drug use in America stems from homegrown marijuana and prescription drugs. If that's the case, critics ask, why does the United States continue to spend billions in anti-drug efforts that end up pushing production from one Latin American country to another?
Those on the political right like to beat up on liberals for continuing big, wasteful programs long after it is clear they aren't working -- the war on poverty comes to mind. In fact, their answer is usually, "Let's just spend even more money." But conservatives have their blind spots, too.