Tuesday, November 03, 2015

US Military? Wasted Money?

The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction published a shocking quarterly report (30 Oct., link) on American operations in distant Afghanistan.

My main sense of shock comes from:
1) amazement the USA is still entrenched in Afghanistan & elsewhere, wasting lives & money
2) as if uncertain capitalists, the auditors claim surprise & doubt: do contractors cheat Uncle Sam?

US Special Inspector General John Sopko, seems almost to parrot Louis Renault - the opportunist officer of film Casablanca - when interviewed by the BBC:
"It's an outrageous waste of money that raises suspicions that there is something more there than just stupidity. There may be fraud. There may be corruption"

Similar suggestions of corruption arose against Halliburton in Iraq (link). But the company's still going strong. Militarism is Big Business!

Are regular Americans fleeced like sheep? Sure. Already in 2011 a government audit found US contractor fraud in Afghanistan & Iraq cost US$31 billion up to to perhaps $60 billion (report p.68; news comment here). But overt fraud is only part of our wasted spending. I'm happy to argue all spending was not only wasted, but worse: counterproductive. We arrogantly waste money building hatred & continuing enmity, in which untold thousands of innocents are killed or maimed: their people, our people, most are simply people.