You must have had a moment when you thought to yourself: It really isn’t going to end, is it? Not ever. Rationally, you know perfectly well that whatever your “it” might be will indeed end, because everything does, but your gut tells you something different.
Phi Beta Iota: Please take the time to link to the entire article at Huffington Post. Tom Englehardt has produced one of the most gripping, detailed, insightful, and provactive snapshots of how three monstrous billion dollar “embassies” in Baghdad, Kabul, and now Islamabad, are the last clarion of the Empire. His piece is a “must read,” both an epitaph on the Empire, and sadly, a preface to the next 20 years of death and debt as we wind down all that has been set in motion.
… because, even though Obama may think he is weighing his policy “options,” the Pentagon is busily politically engineering the the flow of infrastructure funds needed to lock in the constituent support for its Long War.
2014 or Bust: The Pentagon’s Afghan Building Boom Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt, November 06, 2009
In our day, the American way of war, especially against lightly armed guerrillas, insurgents, and terrorists, has proved remarkably heavy. Elephantine might be the appropriate word. The Pentagon likes to talk about its “footprint” on the geopolitical landscape. In terms of the infrastructure it’s built in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps “crater” would be a more reasonable image.
American wars are now gargantuan undertakings. The prospective withdrawal of significant numbers/most/all American forces from Iraq, for instance, will — in terms of time and effort — make the 2003 invasion look like the vaunted “cakewalk” it was supposed to be. According to Pentagon estimates, more than 1.5 million (yes, that is “million”) pieces of U.S. equipment need to be removed from the country. Just stop and take that in for a second.
Of course, it’s a less surprising figure when you realize that the Pentagon managed to build, furnish, and supply almost 300 bases, macro to micro, in Iraq alone in the war years. And some of those bases were — and still are — the size of small American towns with tens of thousands of troops, private contractors, and others, as well as massive perimeters, multiple bus routes, full-scale PX’s, fast-food outlets, movie theaters, and the like.