Journal: Material Poverty (AF) vs Moral Poverty (US)

Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Key Players, Policies, Reform, Strategy, Threats

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Afghans say poverty, not Taliban, main cause of war

Jonathon Burch – Wed Nov 18

Half our people have been driven mad–always in fear.”

KABUL (Reuters) – Most Afghans see not Taliban militants but poverty, unemployment and government corruption as the main causes of war in their country, according to a report by a leading aid group released on Wednesday.

After three decades of war, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. It is also one of the most corrupt. Unemployment stands at 40 percent and more than half the country live below the poverty line.

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Retired military officers cash in as well-paid consultants

WASHINGTON — Six months after Marine Lt. Gen. Gary McKissock retired in 2002, he did what many other ex-military leaders do: He joined the board of directors of a defense contractor, a company doing business with his former service.

McKissock also had a second job. The Marines brought him back as an adviser, at double the rate of pay he made on active duty. Since 2005, the Marines have awarded McKissock contracts worth $1.2 million, in addition to his military pension of about $119,000 a year. McKissock is one of at least 158 retired admirals and generals the Pentagon has hired to offer advice under an unusual arrangement.

Phi Beta Iota: Both articles merit a full reading.  The second names names and salaries.  We have two comments:  first, the UN High-Level Threat Panel has been quite clear in prioritizing poverty followed by infectious disease and environmental degradation (the poor cause more damage than corporations), but the USA continues to spend $1.3 trillion a year on war instead of the real threats to humanity.  Our second comment: the generals cannot be blamed for taking every dollar they can qualify from–it is the dysfunctionality and the lack of integrity in our government that makes this both necessary for the individual and natural to a military-industrial complex that is designed to transfer wealth from the individual taxpayer to the banks and their intermediaries, stock-issuing corporations.  The military-industrial complex is NOT designed to preserve and protect the Constitution or the Republic.  Citizens who wish to enjoy the privileges of a Republic must be attentive and engaged.  Outside of the Pacific Northwest and portions of New England, we have lost that.  It’s time to get it back, or watch as the USA follows the Soviet Union into the dust-bin of history.