Billions for war… absolutely necessary… peanuts for the unemployed… that’ll break the budget! I see something wrong here… fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell a neocon bum… don’t take McConnell’s self-serving crapola lying down… you CAN vote in November. Don’t forget… you can have health care for our kids… or you can enrich fatcat HMO execs and bomb builders… THAT’S your choice.
The continuing stalemate in Afghanistan shall cost US taxpayers another 33 billion dollars…
The US House of Representatives approved a bill financing the sending of up to 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan, with a cost projected at 33 billion dollars (999.879 billion Roubles 25.4 billion Euros 21.156 billion UK Pounds). President Barack Obama made the decision on reinforcements to Afghanistan in December last year, and the White House hopes that the surge will lead to a break in the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. As we told you recently, the American newspaper USA Today harshly criticised US tactics in Afghanistan. The tactics used in these counter-terrorism operations, the newspaper wrote, raised more doubts, and Americans are worried about rising losses in the coalition forces. The question naturally arises… will these 30,000 reinforcements save the situation?
Obama’s tactics in Afghanistan are not clear. In a little while, there will be no doubt that such tactics, because of the lag between decisions and their implementation, have led to Afghanistan, along with the “invincible” Enduring Freedom, crumbling like a house of cards. Why is that so? The decision to send more forces was made back in December last year, and will be implemented, in the best case, no later than October. There will be almost a year between the request for reinforcement and the actual arrival of the troops. So far, they haven’t joined the fight. Back in August, General McChrystal, the former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, asked for 85,000 more troops. He wanted them urgently, he said, either increase his forces or put finis to Operation Enduring Freedom. French General Vincennes Deport, one of Europe’s leading military experts, used the same tone, and supported McChrystal’s demands. Half-hearted measures, the general told Mr Obama, would not do. Therefore, either the US should send 100,000 more troops immediately or nothing at all. He’s right; it’s an obvious truth. Once an operation begins to deteriorate, it should immediately be terminated, and no more strength or resources should be spent upon it. Otherwise, the effort shall become many times more expensive. This is equally true of the 33 billion dollars demanded from the pockets of American taxpayers. This 33 billion, we can say, is money down the drain; it’s being thrown to the Afghan winds. The per capita funding for the US troops, if we compare the amount requested annually by the Department of Defence for US operations with the number of American troops, is about one million dollars for every US soldier per year. In this case, it’s 33 billion dollars for 30,000 troops. That is one million one hundred thousand dollars per soldier, not even for one year, at most, it’s for six months. Beginning July of next year, Obama, according to his promises, should begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan.
Clearly, this situation is a sham. It would be naïve to hope that the US and NATO would suddenly begin to control the situation. This requires time, it needs at least a year, and you can’t do it in only six months. Furthermore, when you consider that the US and NATO must prepare for their eventual withdrawal by preparing the Afghan army and police as their replacements, then, three or four years may not be enough. It’s no coincidence that all those talking about withdrawal give 2014 as the most probable date for the withdrawal of coalition troops. That’s only with great reservations. However, one could try to accelerate these dates. For example, the same 33 billion could be used to expand the training of the Afghan army and police. Of course, for the US, which has already sunk a trillion dollars (30.299 trillion Roubles 770 billion Euros 641 billion UK Pounds) into Afghanistan, 33 billion isn’t that much money. Yet, for the Afghan army and police, it’s very badly needed funding. Nevertheless, in America, apparently, they focus on other things.
28 July 2010
Voice of Russia World Service