09/12/2013 03:08 pm ET Updated Nov 12, 2013

The Cost of Our Involvement in the Middle East Is Just Too Much

There's a legitimate debate right now about what America should do about things in Syria. Personally, I don't want to see American troops put in harm's way until we know how we're going to get them out -- not just out of Syria, but out of the Middle East entirely.

The problem is no one in Washington wants to talk about the real reason we're there in the first place: oil. We're dependent on foreign oil and OPEC has it, so keeping peace in the Middle East has been our top foreign policy priority for over 30 years. Over the last decade alone we spent more than $4 trillion and lost thousands of American men and women on military missions to protect Middle East oil.

The cost is just too much.

We can't let folks in Washington get away with talking about Syria while ignoring the importance of energy. America will never free itself from fighting in the Middle East unless we break our addiction to foreign oil, so any real exit strategy needs to include greater use of our vast domestic energy resources.