When I was on active duty as a Navy SEAL, prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Memorial Day didn’t really matter to me. It does 20 years later.

Back then, the machinery that is the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was just getting oiled-up and the gears getting swung into action. Today, SOCOM, specifically JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command), is a well-oiled war machine that produces its own actionable intelligence (JSOC rivals CIA’s intel collection capability) and executes on it with the precision of a neurosurgeon. If you’re wanted dead by JSOC, you’d better get your affairs in order and prepare to meet Allah at the highest level of paradise.

The elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about is the business of war.

If you follow the war business closely and start paying attention to who’s benefiting (other than politicians), the smoke starts to clear, and you’ll start to see the fundamental economics of free-market warfare.

And business is good.

Look at the world map and what’s happening in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Pakistan, Russia, and America. What is the involvement and what are the incentives?

JSOC is one of the finest machines of modern warfare this planet has ever seen. However, without addressing the business of war at home, political rehab (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton in 2016), and developing sound strategies to defeat an enemy (radical Islam) that has no borders and no playbook, the never-ending war on terror will continue to play on.

What’s on my mind this Memorial Day? It’s that we’ve lost so many good men and women, the brightest of a generation, the same people who left successful professional careers after 9/11 to put on the uniform and defend America. I think about my eight Navy SEAL friends who gave everything, and I think about the families left behind to pick up the pieces.