This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As I watched the Republican National Convention, several times I heard exhortations that the United States should intervene in Iran and Syria, despite the fact our troops are stretched thin and worn out from more than a decade of multiple deployments.

Both Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States should be willing to flex its military muscle in those countries.

If the Republicans win this upcoming election, I hope they will reinstitute the draft, so that a relative handful of volunteers don't shoulder the military burden for the entire nation.

I also hope the GOP will rethink its threat to reduce funding to the Veterans Administration, as that agency's services are needed now more than at any time since Vietnam or World War II.

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget would spend 13 percent less on veterans than President Barack Obama's.

Additionally, cuts scheduled to take effect early next year (the "fiscal cliff"), the result of Congress's inability to reach an agreement about the debt ceiling, will cut billions from the military, including the VA. As a member of the House, Ryan voted for that.

Carl B. "Ben" Clark


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