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And why wouldn't they?  The war is making everyone rich (except us, who pay the bill.)  Reported practically before the ballots in all the states had been counted:

WASHINGTON: Republican lawmakers who now control the US House of Representatives said on Thursday that they would try to prevent President Barack Obama from withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan as he planned...

Now, thanks to Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), who won his re-election handily, we know that at least 20% of Pentagon contract funds for overland transportation of military supplies goes to insurgents, as payment for not attacking the truck convoys.  This means up to $400 million a year goes directly to financing the Taliban and its allies,

which could include warlords on the U.S. payroll in other ways accustomed to playing both sides.  To put that in context, the Taliban hierarchy's income from opium profits is estimated at about $300 million a year.  This is not small leakage.  If the Pentagon gave the Taliban anymore, it should be issued stock.

The name of the Tierney subcommittee's full report is "Warlord, Inc."

Add to this the fact that a huge amount of reconstruction dollars never even reach the country, but are taken back by American contractors in the form of 40% profit margins and ex-patriot "consultant" salaries, and it's a "splendid little war," to quote President McKinley's Secretary of State.

A 2008 report by OXFAM bares the truth about what's really happening to reconstruction dollars going to Afghanistan, the loss of which is blamed, in the official line, on corrupt Karzai government cronies, which is only part of the truth.  OXFAM's watershed "Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan" tells us:

Afghanistan's biggest donor, USAID, allocates close to half of its funds to five large US contractors in the country and it is clear that substantial amounts of aid continue to be absorbed in corporate profits. According to the US based Centre for Public Integrity, the US government has awarded major contracts in Afghanistan, some worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to, inter alia, KBR, the Louis Berger Group, Chemonics International, Bearing Point and Dyncorp International.  In some large contracts in Afghanistan there are up to five of layers international or national subcontractors, each of which usually takes between 10-20% profit on any given contract but in some cases as much as 50%.

The peerless Ann Jones writes:

Afghans keep asking: "Where did the money go?" American taxpayers should be asking the same question. The official answer is that donor funds are lost to Afghan corruption. But shady Afghans, accustomed to two-bit bribes, are learning how big-bucks corruption really works from the masters of the world.

So it's no mystery why Establishment Republicans would want to misread this week's Tea Party victories as a mandate to keep financing the Taliban.  No Taliban, no war.  No war, no hand-over-fist money making for campaign contributors who'll take care of them once they are out of office in one way or the other.  Son we are talking gigantic gobs of cushy jobs, stock options, likker, DC madams forever YEE HAW!!

And so far this has cost you, according to economist Joe Stiglitz, around $50,000 since 2001 for every typical American family.  Did someone say war is a racket?

Could this story get any worse?  Yes.  Not only are we paying for insecurity and hatred due to the civilian casualties, night raids based on faulty information, and drone attacks which leave Afghans begging us to tell them why we are doing this to them, we could easily have the very opposite, real security, a people allied with us in the region who would hunt down Al Qaeda themselves, and a prospering Central Asian economy, for about one-tenth the price.  When politicians intone gravely "we don't do nation-building" they may as well be saying "we don't do things the cheap, smart way that works for national security.  No damned profit."

Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortensen recently told Nick Kristof of the New York Times:  "The conventional wisdom is that education and development are impossible in insecure parts of Afghanistan that the Taliban control. That view is wrong."  Mortensen says that by consulting tribal elders and insuring most work is done by locals, meaningful development can progress.

Kristof went to Kabul to talk to men in a shanty town on the outskirts and reported:

What intrigues me is that the men don’t seem particularly ideological...These men say that their preference would be to get regular jobs and live in peace. But there are no jobs, and now they are being told that they will be kicked out of their camp. They say the threatened expulsion is the result of a corrupt land deal by tycoons tied to the government of President Hamid Karzai. "If the government forces us out, then we’ll have to go and join the Taliban and fight..."

And the Taliban will have money to hire them.  Yours. Everyone knows the Taliban pays ten bucks a day.  That's called good money in these parts.  You might not like the work, but that's who's hiring.

And the war and the non-reconstruction will roll merrily along while them good old boys in Washington par-TAY with all the likker and wimmin money can bah.

Who your reconstruction dollars are NOT reaching

Originally posted to Ralph Lopez on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 11:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  if Republicans had their way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, divineorder

    I think it would end up

    USA v ROTW.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 11:37:53 AM PDT

  •  Republicans want to out war Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magnifico, Lujane


    First and foremost among the opportunities — and challenges — for the president is Afghanistan, where he has promised to begin the withdrawal of American troops next July. Mr. Obama’s own military advisers, and many Republicans, think he should not keep that promise until there has been clear progress there.

    The departure from the Foreign Relations Committee of Senator Russ Feingold, the antiwar Wisconsin Democrat who was defeated on Tuesday, could initially ease the pressure on Mr. Obama from the Democratic base to stick to the withdrawal timetable. But many of the moderate Democrats who might have been willing to give the president room to maneuver on Afghanistan were also voted out, leaving a polarized set of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.

    When the debate over the timing of withdrawal from Afghanistan begins, it is unclear whether the Republicans will choose to follow the 2008 playbook of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who argued against withdrawing from Iraq. But Mr. Obama, who will be gearing up for re-election, will have to carefully calibrate his Afghanistan policy; he will want, by 2012, to tell voters that his troop increases have worked.

  •  If U.S. foreign policy at this time is made into (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Lujane

    a Repub vs Democrat thing, nothing will happen.  This Democratic administration is in full support of the GWOT, in full support of Full Spectrum Dominance and US/NATO imperialism.  If it's going to be stopped, it has to be from a broad coaltion from both parties and independents.  

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 01:14:37 PM PDT

  •  Well, the Taliban bought US representation, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladypockt, Lujane

    So, their US representation will now represent them with as a majority in the House.

    This is what happens when we let foreigners buy our congress members put them in office.

  •  So what is everyone complaining about... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...these are american contractors doing work for US military so it must mean there are jobs for US types but you have to go there to get the job...maybe.

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 03:49:05 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary - I'm glad it was rescued. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladypockt, BigAlinWashSt

    I missed it amongst all the Olbermann diaries; it looks like a good basis for a letter to the editor.

    Many thanks.

  •  this makes me soooo ANGRY! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm sick of war...war on terror...war on drugs...war on Main Street.  We need to stop this insanity and bring our troops home.

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