1,500. That figure stunned me. I found it in the 12th paragraph of a front-page New York Times story about “senior commanders” at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) playing fast and loose with intelligence reports to give their air war against ISIS an unjustified sheen of success: “CENTCOM’s mammoth intelligence operation, with some 1,500 civilian, military, and contract analysts, is housed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, in a bay front building that has the look of a sterile government facility posing as a Spanish hacienda.”
Tip of the Hat to Berto Jongman for the pointer.
Phi Beta Iota: The article is excellent with three oversights:
01 The Kunduz “take over” was by prior arrangement with the governor, who arranged to be out of the area, and the armed forces, who agreed to roll over and play dead. This is standard give and take in Afghanistan, especially when you remember that the Pashtun own the country and consider Abdullah and the Northern Alliance less Dostom to be criminals and traitors of the first order.
02 The $500M the Pentagon “wasted” was not wasted, that was a designed transfer of funding to contractors and Saudi Arabia and others and the money went right where it was supposed to go. It is an understandable error to assume that the money was actually intended to produce a useful outcome.
03 Wayne Madsen and Chuck Spinney are on top of the deeper problem, “traitors among us.” Russia and China are now pissed off the because the Zbigniew Brzezinski arm of CIA is continuing to arm jihadists now focused on China and Russia. John Brennan appears too close to the Saudis — at least to the point of impropriety if not unprofessionalism and perhaps to the point of treason along with the neocons at State and the NSC who are also focused on destabilizing the Ukraine and Georgia as well as Syria.