Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Cost of US Wars on the World

Wisdom Quarterly (ANALYSIS)

Although Pres. Obama came to office promising to pull out of Afghanistan, he changed his mind. Almost immediately he sent in more invading and occupying troops. There was more than one major surge. He recently reluctantly said he would bring a fraction of them back.
But the fact is there are more US soldiers there now than there ever have been. This will be true even if Obama gets around to withdrawing some a year from now as he also promised. How many soldiers are in the field? There are a quarter million US soldiers in Afghanistan, it is said, but that must also include Iraq, CIA boots in Libya, and elsewhere (Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Somalia, Yemen, Syria). Why are there any in Afghanistan? No one knows. The Russians were once interested in ruling the region, so interested that it became their "Vietnam."

Robert Gates, Secretary of War, before presidential award and passing the job off to CIA head (

More shocking and less well known is the sad truth that even as low paid PTSD-suffering "soldiers" are withdrawn, "private contractors" are sent in. There are more boots on the ground and more entering all the time.

The same happened -- thanks to Halliburton and Blackwater and Xe and other private-corporate armies -- in Iraq. Paid mercenaries do more and cost much more than regular military service personnel.
So even if all US soldiers were brought home, the secret, publicly-funded private-war would rage on. Pres. Obama is a hypocrite, and now he's a warmonger. Gates, the former head of the Pentagon (today being his last day) was not cooperating. But Leon Panetta, former CIA chief, should do as told, using his clandestine skills to promote corporate interests sitting in his new Pentagon office.

We argue and worry about gay marriage, gay soldiers, Washington sex scandals. Meanwhile, ultra-violence plays out all over the world sponsored by US taxpayers and secret sources of money (like the lucrative illegal drug trade):
  • Libya (an illegal war, but Obama doesn't mind that)
  • Yemen
  • Egypt
  • Pakistan (those drones have to prove they were worth it)
  • Iraq (the forgotten war)
  • secret conflicts (in China, space, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Bahrain, and who can forget the war on our homeland) plus the
  • United States' longest running war ever, Afghanistan.

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