One Soldier, One Year: $850,000 and Rising

February 29, 2012

By Larry Shaughnessy   Source: CNN   Feb 29, 2012

Keeping one American service member in Afghanistan costs between $850,000 and $1.4 million a year, depending on who you ask. But one matter is clear, that cost is going up.

During a budget hearing today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, asked Department of Defense leaders, “What is the cost per soldier, to maintain a soldier for a year in Afghanistan?” Under Secretary Robert Hale, the Pentagon comptroller, responded “Right now about $850,000 per soldier.”

Conrad seemed shocked at the number.
“That kind of takes my breath away, when you tell me it’s $850,000,” Conrad said

If that’s the case he’d really be shocked by the estimate that the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments reached about the same issue.

“The cost per troop in Afghanistan has averaged $1.2 million per troop per year,” the center’s Todd Harrison wrote in an analysis of last year’s Department of Defense budget.

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Afghanistan: Ten Years of War

October 9, 2011

source: Corbett Report     Oct 9, 2011

October 7th marks the ten year anniversary of the commencement of NATO operations in Afghanistan. Although the impending illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 was enough to drive millions of people worldwide into the streets in protest, there has never been the same widespread resistance to the Afghan war.

This war has been deemed the “right war” and given a broad measure of support from across the political spectrum because it is still linked in the popular imagination with the events of 9/11. Even a cursory interrogation of these assumptions, however, reveals the absurd nature of this pretext for what has been all along an illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation.

On the evening of 9/11, the North Atlantic Council issued a statement offering the assistance of all 18 NATO member states to the United States, calling the attacks “without precedent in the modern era.”

The next day the Council met again, making the extraordinary decision to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time in NATO’s history. The carefully worded statement contained the important stipulation that Article 5 would only apply if it could be determined that the attacks were directed from abroad, something that NATO Secretary General Robertson noted had not been determined.

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Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?

June 29, 2010

Using the McChrystal Moment to Raise a Forbidden Question

by David R. Griffin  source: Global Research  June 29, 2010

There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.” This question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.

Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago. People have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have a draft –  hire mercenaries!

There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan? 

This question has thus far been considered off-limits, not to be raised in polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media. It has been permissible, to be sure, to ask whether the war during the past several years has been justified by those attacks so many years ago. But one has not been allowed to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11 attacks. 

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Military Watershed: Longest War In U.S. And Afghan History

June 12, 2010
by Rick Rozoff   source: Global Research  June 12, 2010

This week news about the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization armed conflict in Afghanistan, the largest and longest-running war in the world, has begun to penetrate the wall of triumphalism and complacency erected by Washington during the past year’s unparalleled military escalation in the South Asian nation.

Between the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009 and now, the number of American troops in the war zone has almost tripled, from 32,000 to 94,000, with the total to reach 100,000 in upcoming weeks. Late last month U.S. combat forces in Afghanistan for the first time outnumbered those in Iraq, 94,000 compared to 92,000. There will soon also be an aggregate of 50,000 armed forces provided by Washington’s NATO allies and NATO partnership nations.

The 150,000 U.S. and allied troops in place by this summer will exceed by tens of thousands the largest amount of foreign forces ever before stationed in Afghanistan: An estimated 118,000 Soviet troops that constituted the high water mark of the USSR’s deployment between late 1979 and early 1989. [1]

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Real News Network: Exclusive Interview with The man that shoed Bush!

June 4, 2010

source: Real News Network  June 4, 2010

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist hailed as a hero in the Arab world for throwing his shoes at the then President Bush, claims, “Under US pressure, Iraqi media covered up my torture and supporters were arrested.”

U.S. Funding Both Sides of the War, Defending Poppy Crops, Using Your Tax Dollars

May 26, 2010

Nor Cal Truth    May 26, 2010

Flashback to 2 days ago:

Flashback to yesterday:

The Telegraph reported that many professionals in Afghanistan believe the U.S. is funding both sides of the war:

It’s near-impossible to find anyone in Afghanistan who doesn’t believe the US are funding the Taliban: and it’s the highly educated Afghan professionals, those employed by ISAF, USAID, international media organisations – and even advising US diplomats – who seem the most convinced.

One Afghan friend, who speaks flawless English and likes to quote Charles Dickens, Bertolt Brecht and Anton Chekhov, says the reason is clear. “The US has an interest in prolonging the conflict so as to stay in Afghanistan for the long term.”

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Number of Troops in Afghanistan Passes Iraq

May 25, 2010

source: Antiwar   May 25, 2010

Pentagon officials announced today that for the first time since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there are more troops in Afghanistan than Iraq, officially making Afghanistan the ‘Big War’ and Iraq ‘that other war.’

Given President Obama’s campaign pledges to escalate the war in Afghanistan and withdraw from Iraq, it is a wonder that it took over 16 months to reach this point, but a snail’s pace in the Iraq drawdown coupled with logistics problems in the latest Afghanistan escalation conspired to make it a long, difficult road.

Indeed, were it not for the endless surges into Afghanistan this day might never have come at all, as 92,000 troops remain in Iraq and the numbers are still not dropping in any sort of serious way. Rather Obama started with only 30,000 troops in Afghanistan but is rapidly approaching 100,000, with more expected all the time.

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U.S. Pays Off Afghan Poppy Farmers

May 23, 2010

May 23, 2010

An ABC report is describing a “new approach” to the poppy production in Afghanistan.


If WE SECURE them getting a good harvest, now they’re going to get paid for their hard work. Then we can deal with trafficking afterwords” – U.S. Soldier in new ABC report.

Securing a good harvest and making sure these poppy farmers get paid is why troops are in these fields? What exactly is going on there?

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Into The Fire: 9/11, & The Unknown War for Public Opinion

May 3, 2010

by Truth Excavator   source: Fire Dog Lake   May 3, 2010

Credo quia absurdum

Contrary to propaganda opinion, the West is not free. Our so-called democratic governments have not been honest with the people about the true origins of the government-made crisis that is called terrorism. And I am not coming from an anti-government perspective. Nor do I believe that non-state terrorism doesn’t exist. It does, but it must be put into context, and any terrorist threat must be handled with detective tools rather than predator drones. But the larger threat to human civilization that we must face and fight against is state terrorism.

I assume that very few people who work in the US government are aware of this. A lot of high-level individuals in Western governments sincerely believe in the official story of 9/11 that was given by the Bush administration, and then repeated by the major media. And these individuals are most likely honorable citizens, who are committed to combating the “terrorism” threat as they know it. But what they know is not true. They have to be the most brainwashed citizens in our societies, or else a government such as the criminal one in the United States can not operate for long. Also, their line of work requires that they submit to institutional pressures and not question their bosses.

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David Ray Griffin on 9/11 & the War in Afghanistan

May 2, 2010

source: We Are Change – Chicago     May 2, 2010

Part 1 of 7

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David Ray Griffin to Speak at the Harvard Epworth Church on May 8

April 20, 2010

source: 9/11 Blogger   April 20, 2010

David Ray Griffin will be presenting his most recent lecture, “Is the War in Afghanistan Justified by 9/11?” at the Harvard Epworth Methodist Church at 1555 Mass. Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge at 7pm on Saturday May 8.

This will be his second visit to the Boston area in as many years. Last year, Dr. Griffin spoke to an audience of 400 people at Boston University, nearly half of which were hearing the 9/11 truth message for the first time. The church where Griffin will be speaking this year is adjacent to the Harvard Law School, home of Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, authors of the “Conspiracy Theories” paper that was recently uncovered.

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McChrystal Clear

April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

The Raw Story had this to report today:

The US commander in Afghanistan said Friday that the military is wasting money by employing too many private contractors to do jobs better done by soldiers or local Afghans.

We have created in ourselves a dependency on contractors that is greater than it ought to be,” General Stanley McChrystal told an audience of French officers and military experts at France’s defence university in Paris.

I think we’ve gone too far. I think that the use of contractors was done with good intentions so that we could limit the number of military. I think in some cases we thought it would save money. I think it doesn’t save money.”

2 Weeks ago Rory O’Conner reported this at Alternet:

We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” says Afghan commander McChrystal.

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Tax Day: Have You Paid For The War Today?

April 15, 2010

Source:BraveNew / Rethink Afghanistan    April 15, 2010

Another Tax Day is upon us, in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and our country is still in trouble. Many are still out of work. Times are tough. People are hurting.

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The Case for the Impeachment of Barack Obama

April 15, 2010
by Dave Lindorff   source: Global Research   April 15, 2010
Back in 2005-06, I wrote a book, The Case for Impeachment, in which I made the argument that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as other key figures in the Bush/Cheney administration–Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales–should be impeached for war crimes, as well as crimes against the Constitution of the United States. 

These days, when I mention the book’s title, people sometimes ask, half in jest, whether I’m referring to the current president, Barack Obama. 

Sadly, it is time to say, just 14 months into the current term of this new president, that yes, this president, and some of his subordinates, are also guilty of impeachable crimes–including many of the same ones committed by Bush and Cheney. 

Let’s start with the war in Afghanistan, which Obama has taken full ownership of with an escalation that will bring the number of US troops in that country (not counting mercenaries hired by the Pentagon and CIA) to 100,000 by this August.

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