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SandWalker1984 Donating Member (533 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:39 PM
Original message
War spending tops $1 TRILLION - with no end in sight
Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan tops $1 trillion
WASHINGTON
Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:04am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The cost to U.S. taxpayers of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 has topped $1 trillion, and President Barack Obama is expected to request another $33 billion to fund more troops this year.

Over two-thirds of the money has been spent on the conflict in Iraq since 2003. This year is the first in which more funds are being spent in Afghanistan than Iraq, as the pace of U.S. military operations slows in Iraq and quickens in Afghanistan.

HOW MUCH HAS BEEN SPENT ALREADY?

Congress has approved $1.05 trillion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan budget research group that has a continuously running war cost counter on its web site.

- snip -

The lion's share of the spending -- $747.3 billion -- has been allocated to the war in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion there in 2003.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60E0M220100115

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One TRILLION dollars spent on 2 illegal wars with little positive results. So what does the future hold?

Afghanistan: only the first move in the grand chess game for control of Central Asian resources
Michael Payne



January 9, 2010

Though not being reported in the mainstream American press, there is a very intense struggle going on between the U.S. and China to determine which nation will emerge as the dominant presence in Central Asia. These two economic giants, the U.S. declining and China rapidly growing, know full well that their economic future depends entirely on their ability to acquire critical resources; in the case of the U.S., it's primarily oil, while with China it's both oil and natural gas.

The specific Central Asian region of which I speak, rich in natural gas and oil, includes India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, among others. Russia, which borders the region and Iran are also key players. Transport of these critical resources via current and planned pipelines is at the center of the struggle to determine who will control them into the future. To understand the magnitude of this struggle we need to begin by examining the strategy that the U.S. is pursuing in Afghanistan and Pakistan as related to its greater objectives in Central Asia.

Our president talks about a surge in Afghanistan; but that represents only the initial stage in the overall strategy that America is pursuing in Central Asia. The real surge will follow as the U.S. becomes more involved with military actions to establish a presence in Pakistan. There has been constant pressure by the U.S. on the Pakistani government to have their troops increase actions against insurgents in South Waziristan near the Afghan border as well as in other Taliban-controlled areas.

The U.S. is also increasing the use of drones in Pakistan in remote areas with the reluctant permission of the Pakistani military. But, apparently, that's not enough and now those operating the drone program want to extend it into Balochistan, the largest province in Pakistan; and in its largest city, Quetta. If the leadership of Pakistan allows this very aggressive, misguided use of drones within its cities, then they are opening the door to massive civil violence that could lead to domestic disaster.

So, it becomes apparent where Mr. Obama's surge is heading. Without a doubt, all these moves into Afghanistan and the increasing pressure on the government of Pakistan portend that America will become involved in yet one more war in another sovereign nation. It is also evident that Obama has now fully adopted the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war; that is to strike within the borders of any nation where the U.S. deems the "enemy" exists.


- snip -

The reason the U.S. is setting its sights on Balochistan and the city of Quetta is that this area has been identified as a key transit corridor for both natural gas and oil. There are plans for two pipelines that would transit through Balochistan; the IPI is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline that the U.S. is dead set against because of Iran's involvement. Then there is the U.S. backed TAPI, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline. Unfortunately, the Taliban tribes in Afghanistan are not being cooperative and that's why they must be pacified. This is easier said than done.

- snip -

So if anyone still thinks that the surge in Afghanistan is strictly intended to defeat the Taliban and the remnants of Al-Qaeda, it's time to think again. This is the new launching point for the eventual control of the Balochistan region. The threat of Iran becoming a major player because of its gas and oil resources and the desire of China to also become involved in that area must be neutralized at all costs.

We are just in the beginning stages of a new chapter in this grand chess game that pits the U.S. against China in achieving dominance in the world's natural resources, primarily oil and gas, for many years to come. So far, China has used diplomacy and negotiations around the world and has stayed completely away from involvement in wars. Conversely, the U.S. has initiated wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan at staggering costs to achieve its goals.


You can read the entire story at: http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m62015&hd=&size=1&l=e


********************************************

One TRILLION dollars wasted on unnecessary, illegal wars fought for control of pipelines and oil/gas reserves. Our country brought to the edge of financial bankruptcy in the process. A change in party control of the White House, yet the 2 wars wage on with no real end in sight and prospects for them to be expanded into more middle east countries.

The White House and Democrats had better prepare for a tidal wave of repercussions in November of 2010 and 2012 if they continue to pursue Bush's war policies.







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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. I unrec'd this post for two reasons.
First, neither war was illegal. Both are immoral.

Second, Afghanistan is hardly the "first" step in the energy cold war with China. It was our last attempt at a step, having been rather outmaneuvered on the 'stan fronts by China. Afghanistan is no linchpin, that energy war is over, we lost, China won. Turkmen gas is going there, not Europe. End of story.

My posts on the matter have sunk like stones for the past year, but are quite searchable.

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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. I beg to differ that 'neither' war was illegal. eom
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. a trillion bucks . . . . we have made some folks VERY wealthy
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&InvisibleR
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duphase Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Work to get more Democrats elected - if you want to end wars. eom
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frog92969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. That seems to have little effect
We gave them majorities and still only a handful even admit it's possible.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Rec'd in pursuit of truth and transparency.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. You reap what you sow. Think about it, America.
Go ahead and laugh. Joke about nuking Baghdad into oblivion. I've even heard ministers say it. But the joke is on us. And your kids. And their kids.

There is never a justification for war. Even I have a hard time with that concept. I think of Hitler killing Jews. It just had to be stopped. We have to be smarter. We must find ways to deal besides the end of guns.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. the US is indirctly helping China get resources from Afghanistan: article:
Uneasy Engagement"



But the foot soldiers in a bowl-shaped valley about 20 miles southeast of Kabul are not fighting the Taliban, or even carrying guns.

They are preparing to extract copper from one of the richest untapped deposits on earth. And they are Chinese, undertaking by far the largest foreign investment project in war-torn Afghanistan.

Two years ago, the China Metallurgical Group Corporation, a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, bid $3.4 billion $1 billion more than any of its competitors from Canada, Europe, Russia, the United States and Kazakhstan for the rights to mine deposits near the village of Aynak.

Over the next 25 years, it plans to extract about 11 million tons of copper an amount equal to one-third of all the known copper reserves in China.

While the United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda here, China is securing raw material for its voracious economy. The worlds superpower is focused on security. Its fastest rising competitor concentrates on commerce.

S. Frederick Starr, the chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, an independent research organization in Washington, said that skeptics might wonder whether Washington and NATO had conducted an unacknowledged preparatory phase for the Chinese economic penetration of Afghanistan.
We do the heavy lifting, he said. And they pick the fruit.

The reality is more complicated than that. The Chinese bid far more for the mining rights to the Aynak project and promised to invest hundreds of millions more in associated infrastructure projects than other bidders. It is a risky venture that has not yet proved to be economical, and it has already been dogged by allegations of bribery.

But the Aynak investment underscores how Chinas leaders, flush with money and in control of both the government and major industries, meld strategy, business and statecraft into a seamless whole. In a single move, Beijing strengthened its hold on a vital resource, engineered the single largest investment in Afghan history, promised to create thousands of new Afghan jobs and established itself as the Afghan governments pre-eminent business partner and single largest source of tax payments.

Afghanistan is not the only place where the United States and China find themselves so oddly juxtaposed in the post-9/11 world. China is investing more in extracting Iraqi oil than American companies are. It has reached long-term arrangements to buy gas from Iran, even as the government there comes under the threat of Western sanctions for its nuclear program. China has also become a dominant investor in Pakistan and volatile parts of Africa.

snip

But even if elements of the agreement fall through, the Chinese have already positioned themselves as generous, eager partners of the Afghan government and long-term players in the countrys future. All without firing a shot.

Nurzaman Stanikzai was a mujahedeen in the 1980s, using American-supplied arms to help drive the Red Army from his homeland. Today he is a contractor for M.C.C., building the Aynak mines electric fence, blast wall, workers dormitories and a road to Kabul.

The Chinese are much wiser. When we went to talk to the local people, they wore civilian clothing, and they were very friendly, he said recently during a long chat in his Kabul apartment. The Americans not as good. When they come there, they have their uniforms, their rifles and such, and they are not as friendly.

American troops do not, in a narrow sense, protect the Chinese. The United States Army stations about 2,000 troops in Logar Province, where Aynak is located. But an Army spokesman said they generally patrolled well south of the mine area and had not provided direct security for Chinese investors or mine workers.

The Afghan National Police, which does protect the mine, was largely built and trained with American money. The 1,500 guards the police have posted in and around Aynak are special recruits not drawn from the main force, according to Maj. Gen. Sayed Kamal, who heads the National Police.

But the conclusion is inescapable: American troops have helped make Afghanistan safe for Chinese investment. And there is no sense that either government objects to that reality.

snip

The Chinese, meanwhile, have rebuffed requests to join the Afghan war effort, saying that national policy forbids military action abroad except as part of a peacekeeping force. Instead, Chinas foreign policy is based on commerce.

snip

The United States views Southwest Asia mostly as a security threat. China sees it as an opportunity. Decades of military cooperation with Pakistan, which shares India as a rival, have flowered into an economic alliance. A Chinese-built deepwater port in Gwadar, Pakistan, on the Gulf of Oman, is expected eventually to carry Middle Eastern oil and gas over the western Himalayas into China.
Afghanistan, which borders both Iran and Pakistan, drew scant attention from China until the middle of this decade.

snip

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/world/asia/30mine.htm ... china copper&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thats OK. WE don't have to pay.
We're sending THIS bill to our children (and their children).

Talk about Taxation without Representation!!!.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. We cannot afford these wars.
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Terra Alta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. What a waste.
Just think of what that $1 trillion could do in terms of health care in America... or making sure every person in America had food, clothes, and shelter..

What do we have to show for that $1 trillion except for thousands of dead US troops and countless innocent civilians.. enough is enough; it's time to bring our troops home NOW and spend the money to HELP people!!
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. The spirit of MLK right there!
Martin Luther Kings Best Speech Ever on the Vietnam War
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
14. Locked.
uruknet is a highly dubious website, often carrying unsourced information or bigoted content. Please don't repost their material here. Thanks.
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