Your story states that the 2010 cost to educate a public school pupil in New York was $18,618 ["Per pupil, NY's No. 1," News, June 22]. After a year, each student has learning, knowledge and skills that he or she never had before, and moves one year closer to graduation and being a better-informed adult citizen. All in all, a positive result for funds well spent.

By contrast, the per-soldier cost for U.S. soldiers now occupying Afghanistan is more than $1 million each year.

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After that year, if the soldier fortunately makes it home alive and uninjured, the U.S. war on Afghanistan will still be raging with no end in sight, and the United States will still be pouring hundreds of billions of dollars down the rat hole of an unwinnable, unnecessary war.

If the soldier is injured, physically or psychologically, he or she will need, and certainly deserve, many years of expensive care and treatment. I know, because I am a nurse.

All in all, the 11-year war in Afghanistan has been a waste of funds urgently needed here at home, in addition to being a tragic waste of American and Afghan lives.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. By any measure, this endless war is insanity.

Victoria Loudis, Douglaston