Obama may want out of Afghanistan, but he is under to pressure to stay, and the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) still has a budgetary interest in maintaining perpetual war, be it cold or hot ( for reasons I explained here).
The bloom is off the Karzai rose (as Amy Davidson explained in her 11 Jan New Yorker blog), but when one combines
- (1) the not-so-zero option explained by Kate Clark in the very important report attached below, with
- (2) the no-so-different high-cost plan for waging the American style of high-tech war described by General Barno in Ms. Clark’s report (note: contrary to Barno’s claim, his is hardly a new idea; in fact, the Pentagon has been flogging this this idea since McNamara’s Electronic Line failed so disastrously in Vietnam), and
- (3) the possibilities of a new cold war implied by Obama’s (really the MICC’s) “pivot” to China,
The sum 1+2+3 makes it easy to understand why Obama’s new (albeit still unauditable*) budget plan, if executed perfectly, will result in the biggest eight year boom to the defense industry (including foreign military sales) since since the golden years of Ronald Reagan.
And … as indicated this chart (which I explained in latter part of this essay), this measure of the MICC’s golden cornucopia would be true out to 2017,* even if a real zero option for the Afghan war and the war on terror, took place tomorrow!
Presidents Obama and Karzai are due to start the wrangling over their countries’ post-2014 military relationship during the Afghan president’s current visit to Washington. US soldiers, bases, training, equipment, money, immunity all need to be hammered out, although no-one is expecting results just yet. Figures floated in recent days by US government and military officials speak of plans for anything from 20,000 to zero US troops to be left behind after 2014. Talk of the ‘zero option’ on troops might just be a bargaining ploy to put pressure on President Karzai, although as AAN senior analyst, Kate Clark, reports, it needs taking seriously, as does the possibility of a ‘zero plus’ option, ie a full withdrawal of troops which would still leave intelligence agents and military contractors fighting the Taleban.
Kate Clark, Afghan Analysts Network, 11/01/13
ROBERT STEELE: There was a time when $450 billion a year was ample to meet DoD needs, inclusive of 40% or more waste and vapor-ware. To be spending $2 trillion a year now, half of which is borrowed from the banks rather than using the Constitutional method of printing money (not recommended but at least without interest), is criminally insane. There is no intelligence and no integrity in what is being proposed for DoD plans, programs, and budgets right now, and every Secretary of Defense in recent times is culpable for going along with the military-industrial complex and thereby betraying the public trust. We swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign. Those who seek to impose obligations on the public and violence on foreigners in our name and without due process, are enemies of the Republic. Combined with the fraud, waste, and abuse that is the Department of Homeland Security, there is absolutely no question but that half the federal budget is a betrayal of the public trust. The time has come for a bottom-up citizens counterintelligence corps that starts connecting all the dots all the time. The amount of malfeasance and treason, from local to national levels, has gotten toxic to the point of potential cataclysmic civil war, lacking only a precipitating spark. The White House and Congress are as oblivious to this as they were to the early days of Occupy — now imagine Occupy with snipers, and a nation-wide move to force local police to declare absolute loyalty to the locality rather than DHS or “the feds.” We’re there.
2013 Robert Steele: Reflections on the Next Four Years — Eradicate “Distortions,” Get the Truth on the Table, and Focus on Free Energy