Use Reason, Not Violence

The biggest thing I learned in college is that the military option currently used by the U.S. government is a poor option. The idea is to use ones head to reason ones way out of trouble and not the use of violence. General Petraeus has some learning to do, and the only thing we can do is be very, very patient until he does. Apparently Petraeus did not learn the lesson of Vietnam. I don't think he read the book, "All Quiet on the Western Front" either.
What has been the classic problem of Europe, China, India, and is becoming the problem of the U.S.? Overpopulation pressure. When there are too many mouths to feed for a finite level of resources, the military looks awful inviting. Hitler came to power because he promised the German people bread and "Lebensraum" (elbow room). Before Hitler's rise to power in the inflationary Weimar Republic after WWI, it cost a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. The Germans were starving.
Europe is trying to learn its lesson by having smaller families so the kids don't have to go off to war and get shot. The U.S. has similar problems today trying to feed a 100 million people increase in 30 years. Most of these are immigrants. There is a significant rise in hate groups promising bread and elbow room. Our government is having a tough time dealing with a near Depression which could produce another tyrant. This is a potential problem.
I see the conservative side which says let's not have large welfare families, so we don't have to send the kids off to war for elbow room, nor do we have to deal with a great increase is crime. I also see the liberal side which says let's give the kids something, help them out so they don't get locked into crime and despair which causes the rise of a dictator.
The government has finite resources and abilities to help the people. It's limited in what it can do. I know, because I worked for the government and found my limits too.
So let's talk about solutions. Obama believes we should all at least graduate from high school and recommends at least two years of college. I agree. I've got three and a half years of college. But rather than put populations in the military and waste lives and resources, I think we could do better by putting people into community service. I say, if people have trouble securing jobs in the private sector, give them community service jobs where they can directly benefit the country. I lived on my disability and gave back 20 years of community service. It didn't hurt a bit.
There's the emotional issue of "pulling the plug on Grandma." I don't think this is an issue. Grandma can do whatever community service she can, educating and giving emotional support to kids, hers and others, to help the kids learn. I don't think there is reason to pull the plug on anybody if, in any reasonable way, they can contribute.