What is the importance of the war in Iraq relative to other current issues? This is a question I am often asked, especially as Americans continue to become increasingly aware that something is very wrong with the economy. The difficulty with the way the question is often asked relates to the perception that we are somehow able to divide such issues, or to isolate the cost of war into arbitrarily defined areas such as national security or international relations. War is an all-encompassing governmental activity. The impact of war on our ability to defend ourselves from future attack, and upon America 's standing in the world, is only a mere fraction of the total overall effect that war has on our nation and the policies of its government.
The cost of this particular war is enormous, and therefore it's of great importance. There is no single issue that is more important at this particular time. The war has, of course, made us less safe as a nation and damaged our credibility with allies and hostile nations alike. Moreover, years of growing deficits have been spurred on by the high price tag of war, and the decision to pay that price primarily by supplemental spending rather than traditional "on-budget" accounting.