Chris Coyne / AntiWar.com & Van Buren / AntiWar.com & Eric Schuler / AntiWar.com – 2016-08-17 01:41:07
What is the Military Industrial Complex?
Chris Coyne / AntiWar.com
(July 29, 2016) — When government and private military contractors get too close, “People are shipped off to fight and die without making our nation any safer.” Unfortunately as a result of the Military Industrial Complex in the US, not all acts of war actually end up making our nation any safer. When government and private military contractors get too close, the citizens of America (and the rest of the world) suffer.
Learn more: http://hayekandchill.com/foreign-policy/
US Awards $1.7 Billion Contract
To Buy Radios for Afghan Army
Van Buren / AntiWar.com
(July 29, 2016) — I always found myself giggling during the Democratic debates when Hillary would ask Bernie how he was going to pay for things like healthcare or college tuition, and then Bernie stammering to find an answer.
They both knew the secret but neither would say it — there’s plenty of money, we just don’t want to spend it on Americans.
We think of that as freeloading, unearned stuff. Go get a job, moocher. But then move the same question overseas and everything changes. There is always plenty of money, and the people getting free stuff from that money aren’t moochers. They’re allies.
So how much healthcare would $1.7 billion buy? Because that’s how much money the United States just laid out to buy radios for the near-useless Afghan Army.
And while I don’t know how much healthcare the money would buy, I do know it will purchase a helluva lot of radios. Is everyone in Afghanistan getting one? Maybe we’re buying them for the Taliban, too.
Anyway, the $1,700,000,000 radios for Afghanistan contract was just recently awarded to the Harris Corporation. And here’s a funny thing: only one company — Harris — actually put in a bid for the contract.
But the Afghans must need more stuff than just radios, and so the US has money ready for that.
The United States will provide $3 billion to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces from 2018 to 2020 for, well, we don’t really know.
Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan said the White House planned to ask Congress for about $1 billion a year in development and economic assistance for Afghanistan through 2020.
And if that isn’t enough, the United States and its allies are expected to raise $15 billion for the Afghan National Defense and Security forces at a NATO summit scheduled for next month in Warsaw.
There’s money. You just can’t have any of it, moochers.
Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.
US Celebrates Unprecedented
Expansion of Global War on Terror
Eric Schuler / AntiWar.com
(August 2, 2016) — The US announced a new target country in the War on Terror, as airstrikes rained down on Sirte, Libya. The target was ISIS and heavy casualties were reported in the initial aftermath, though it’s not clear whether any were civilians.
It’s not the US’s first rebound with Libya after the 2011 US-led NATO intervention dramatically destabilized the country. It also won’t be the last, as Libya remains in abject chaos and ISIS has had a foothold for some time.
The problem of Libya has not been a major theme of the 2016 political cycle so far. Donald Trump has seemed reluctant to focus on it, perhaps for fear of appearing too “soft” on foreign policy. And given that Hillary Clinton was a major proponent of this clearly disastrous war, she would like to keep the conversation on just about anything else.
The (limited) good news is that Hillary’s vulnerability on the issue may make President Obama exercise some restraint in Libya prior to the election, if only to avoid drawing any extra attention to the debacle.
For more on this story, check out this analysis from The Intercept.
US Prepares to Give Largest Aid Package in History
To Country That Clearly Doesn’t Need It
It’s been reported that the US is about to seal the deal on $4.1 billion dollar annual aid package to the country of Israel, which would be the largest ever.
Whatever your thoughts on foreign aid generally, it ought to seem strange that the US would give so much money to a developed country that’s more prosperous than the US itself, by some measures.
It also seems odd to give money to a country whose sitting prime minister won reelection by playing on racist sentiments towards Arabs in Israel and openly declaring that a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict — the US’s preferred solution, for better or worse — would never occur on his watch.
Indeed, it would be difficult for Prime Minister Netanyahu to express his contempt for President Obama and the US government more clearly than that, and he has certainly tried his best.
No matter, all of that appears to be water under the bridge, however, and it’s back to business as usual on foreign aid. And for Israel, business as usual means being the largest recipient of US aid money, even though they have long been self-sufficient.
For more on this, check out this article, also from The Intercept.
Eric Schuler is the author of The Daily Face Palm blog, which focuses mostly on foreign policy and bad economics.
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