More Mercenaries Than Troops in Afghanistan
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Of the $200,000,000,000.00 (200 billion dollars) spent on the War in Afghanistan each year, just over half is spent on private defense contractors. We have a completely volunteer military now and the numbers just are not sufficient to get the job done, or so we are told. More than half of all personnel fighting in Afghanistan are civilians and this trend appears to be the wave of the future (see graph below). War is no longer about what we think is right in the world and fighting against oppression for others in foreign countries, it is BIG BUSINESS, and that is what we are fighting to maintain.
What we have been told, all along, was our reason to be in Afghanistan was to catch Osama bin Laden. Well, we have done that, but our military chiefs and private contractors will now tell us that Pakistan is a threat and that there will be a replacement for Osama bin Laden. They will tell us that we must keep our presence there because al-Qaeda still has a presence there. They will continue to spend billions of dollars of taxpayers' money for this undertaking, and they will continue to borrow billions of dollars from countries like China to finance this war.
The top 10 private military contractors in the U.S. spent more than $27,000.000.00 lobbying the federal government, in just the last quarter of 2009 (latest period figures available). BlackWater Security, a privately owned company (not publicly traded on Wall Street), spent 1.3 million dollars lobbying in the first two quarters of 2010 and in exchange received a contract from the U.S. Military for 343.7 million dollars. Lockheed Martin spent 6.7 million dollars in the 2010 mid-term elections to promote congressmen and senators, favorable to their cause. These private contractors are not required to report to anyone in the military, but they are a greater presence in the war zones than our own troops.
The average employee of these private military contractors makes 3 to 6 times more than their military counterparts doing the same job. The companies themselves make literally billions of dollars in profits for their participation in these wars. Halliburton had a net income of 2.66 billion dollars in 2010. Lockheed Martin had a net income of 2.93 billion dollars in 2010. If we, as Americans do not want to be personally involved in these wars, evidenced by the low numbers of military troops involved, then maybe we should not be in these wars at all.
As the quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower states, "...we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence... by the military-industrial complex."
Debt Increases By Parties...
For those who think the GOP/TP are for reducing the debt, please see the chart below. Talk is cheap, but actions speak volumes about the truth.
There are none so blind as those who refuse to see and none so deaf as those who refuse to hear.
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This is not to say that political conservatives have a lower IQ, it is that people with lower IQ's tend toward political conservatism. And for the record, I am a moderate independent myself.