Saturday, October 17, 2009

Expensive Afghanistan: Million Dollar Soldiers and $400/Gallon of Gas

Expensive Afghanistan: Million Dollar Soldiers and $400 for a Gallon of Gas

Taxpayers Pour Money Into a Black Hole to Subsidize Oil & Dope Industries

By Martha Rose Crow

Big U.S. politicians, including Nobel ‘Peace Prize' Laureate President Obama, want to escalate the unofficial war in Afghanistan by putting 40,000 or more boots on the ground. What they hide from the public is the cost: One million dollars per soldier per year!

“The cost of sending one U.S. soldier in Afghanistan for one year is $1 million versus an estimated $12,000 for an Afghani soldier, according to Steve Daggett, a specialist with the Congressional Research Service…The Obama administration is calculating $1 billion per 1,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, more people are losing their jobs and homes all over America and there is little public money to help them. One million dollars could create over a hundred jobs! One billion dollars could create thousands upon thousands of jobs! That much money could also buy a lot of health insurance for all those Americans who can't afford it and are dying because they can't afford it.

It costs the U.S. military $400 for one gallon of gas in Afghanistan. Because a military humvee has extra plating for mines and other needs, it gets less gas mileage than a regular gas sucking hummer. This means that a military humvee gets about 4 miles to a gallon of gas or in military budget terms, it costs $400 to travel ten miles.

“With the military boosting the number of the all-terrain-mine resistant ambush-protected vehicles (M-ATVs) in Afghanistan meant to survive roadside bombs, the fuel consumption will likely rise even higher, since those vehicles are considered gas-guzzlers."

Then there are the indirect costs of American military empire adventurism that are kept hidden. Every time a U.S. soldier dies, $400,000 is paid to their families. A small price for a human life, but it all adds up. The monthly payments to the fallen soldier's spouse and children add up as well.

There are socio and economic costs of supporting and caring for injured soldiers and their families.

Add in the social fallout costs of returning soldiers who can't adjust to civilian life after military duty: high rates of suicide, violence, homelessness, alcoholism, drug use, so forth.

So why is America throwing good money after bad in Afghanistan? Oil and dope. Western Big Oil wants to run oil and natural gas pipelines through the country and in the past 8 years, Afghan opium production has been on the rise.

America's ‘war' on ‘drugs' and ‘tyranny' has been replaced by a war on people: American people and the people of the world. As for the ‘war' on ‘drugs', why are American troops guarding the poppy fields of Afghanistan instead of burning them down? Don’t American and Columbian soldiers burn or aerial spray the marijuana fields in Columbia? Opium is more addictive than marijuana but is treated differently. Opium makes more money than marijuana.

No one benefits from the enormous public expenditures spent in Afghanistan but industries like Big Oil and Big Opium, politicians (campaign donations from Big Oil) and the death and torture industries like funeral homes (victims of overdoses and gang wars), private prisons (to house dope-related criminals), so forth.

To add insult to injury, the people of America have to pay the costs for the invisible wars against them besides paying the costs for apparent wars. It all adds up! Now you know why there's no money left over for peace and prosperity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it is interesting to note that the Taliban had outlawed the growing of opium. My how that has changed since the U. S. has been involved, for various reasons. I remember in the late 80's during a discussion with a high level friend in the World Bank,I stated that from my observation the cocaine problem in Colombia was really coca control, not eradication. His reply was: "well how else do you expect Colombia and other similar countries to pay their foreign debt?" Though hard to believe this is the way the game is played folks! Much of the opium grown in Afghanistan is destined for Russia who has a much more serious problem with opiate addiction than the U.S. there are more facets to all of this than meets the eye.