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(Ten-minute read) 

We all know that life at the best of times has always been a commodity.

However, in this desensitizing world of technology/and data that we have today, it is rapidly becoming a commodity for undisclosed profits, and even more so in wars.

Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year. In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.

It is also easy to sit on the bench and criticize Americans for their reaction to 9/11  which changed the direction of peace to them, declaring a war on the axis of evil, but when the dust settles what is the real cost.

The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

To finance the Afghanistan war with no objective the United States borrowed heavily and will pay more than $600 billion in interest on those loans through 2023. The rest of the debt will take years to repay. 

All told the cost of nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan will of course amount to more than trillions and you don’t have to be a military expert to show there is little gained for it.

The final total is unknown, but experts project another trillion dollars in costs over the next 40 years as wounded and disabled veterans age and need more services.

13,447 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan. More than 150,000 U.S. soldiers are receiving disability payments as a result of serving in Iraq.

These numbers are staggering, repulsive, and immoral.

It is perfectly clear that America must always have an enemy–that is how the collective American minds works–and there must always be war, even when they can’t explain why they are going to war.

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Was the money well spent?

After hundreds of thousands of deaths – has the so-called war on terror made the world a safer place?

NO. 

Yes, the fall of Kabul to the Taliban will mean less stability in the region, which will increase demand for “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions” as well as “unmanned systems, missiles, and satellite capabilities.”

That’s where the major contractors are primed for growth. 

The war in Afghanistan was a misguided morass in many ways and the Taliban victory is not military so much as political.

Analysts are now wringing their hands and explain that Afghan soldiers often were not paid and lacked supplies of food and ammunition.

The most striking feature of the Taliban seizure of power is that it took place with so little fighting. They were accustomed to calling in close American air support and felt bereft without it. 

The American way of dealing with a lost war is to withdraw its forces.

The Afghan way of dealing with it will be to change sides as quickly as possible. 

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The Taliban has now one important advantage in holding onto power.

For the moment, no foreign power or neighboring state looks likely to support an anti-Taliban resistance movement with arms and money.

The Taliban no longer need help from al-Qaeda or Isis and there is every reason why they should reject a renewed alliance if they want world recognition.  

The Taliban control the country.Taliban fighters ride on a vehicle. Thanks to American spending, Afghanistan has seen improvements in health and education — but they are scant compared with international norms. Much of that money was wasted on programs that were poorly conceived or riddled with corruption.

While it is true to say that American dollars went to build hospitals that treated no patients, to schools that taught no students. Most of the American spending on reconstruction has gone to a fund that supports the Afghan Army and police forces through equipment, training, and funding.

War-related spending has roughly doubled the size of Afghanistan’s economy since 2007. But it has not translated into a healthy economy. Despite billions of dollars to fight opium poppy cultivation. Afghanistan is the source of 80 percent of global illicit opium production.

Where does the Taliban get their financing from?

From outside the normal sources of revenue. 

Opium remains a source of Taliban income, along with taxation on almost every activity from farming to the slimmest business, to the tax big mining companies to keep their business running.

It would not surprise me if they place a tax on covid vaccines, and those wanting to leave.

A quarter or more of Afghans are presently unemployed.


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Finally, let’s remind ourselves that the conflict in Afghanistan is not a war against occupation or an internal squabble.

It is a four-decade-long conflict driven by regional rivalries, exacerbated by competing ideologies and intensified by the rise of a brand of violent extremism that led to the tragic 9/11 attacks almost 20 years ago.

At least a worse government is better than no government.

If Afghanistan is forgotten again, disastrous consequences undoubtedly await.

If conditions are allowed to disintegrate because of the ethnic, linguistic, religious, and other divisions Afghanistan will plunge into civil war. 

All human comments are appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.