Nate Anderson, executive director of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), was a featured speaker at the Winter 2020 Stand Together Summit on Saturday, Jan. 25, in Palm Spring, California. Nate, a former Green Beret and CVA deputy director, discussed why addressing foreign policy is so important and how this community is committed to ending endless wars.
America must have a strong military, Nate said, but our country must be more realistic about what military force can achieve. Bipartisan foreign of the past 18 years has led to seemingly endless wars — creating moral, fiscal, constitutional, and security crises.
- Veterans make up a huge population of individuals who are being left behind by the current approach to foreign policy. Our endless wars are responsible for more than 1 million life-altering disabilities, leaving many veterans and their families suffering.
- Over 14,700 Americans have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 970,000 veterans have returned from recent wars with injuries. American taxpayers have spent more on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – over $6 trillion – than on military operations in World War I and II combined. Yet, global terrorism has been on the rise since 2001.
- The voices of veterans are also not being represented in the current debates regarding a more realistic approach. In fact, 69% of veterans and most of the public support ending the war in Afghanistan.
- Our vision: America must have a strong military that can overwhelm a foreign enemy while also restraining military action to what it can realistically achieve. And we must do more to advance American interests through diplomacy and by leveraging our economy through trade.
Concerned Veterans for America—a part of the Stand Together community—has launched efforts like End Endless Wars, a national campaign to elevate the voices of veterans, military families, and concerned citizens to transform how our country engages in foreign policy by emphasizing realism and restraint. The group plans to have an active presence in key states and is working with a coalition of non-traditional partners, including groups like VoteVets and former U.S. Senator James Webb (D-Va), to amplify the growing support to bring American troops home.