• Delusions Drive (More) U.S. Aid to Afghanistan

    February 10, 2014

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq, Military





    When a person sees things that aren’t there, hears voices that tell him to do irrational things and insists on believing things that simply are not supported by fact, most psychologists would label that person delusional and seek to help him regain his toehold on reality. When that person does all the same things regarding U.S. aid to Afghanistan, it is called statecraft.

    The Obama administration unveiled Monday yet another aid package for Afghanistan. The country remains one of the world’s poorest and most dangerous countries despite a dozen years of massive international aid efforts.

    The announcement from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of three new development initiatives worth almost $300 million is part of a U.S. effort to ensure that Afghanistan, as its ‘war economy’ ends, won’t “reverse gains made over the last twelve years.”

    How Much We Have Already Spent

    To fully grasp the insanity of yet another initiative that drains taxpayer money into the open sore of Afghanistan, some numbers may help. Over the past twelve years the U.S. has given the Afghans some $100 billion in aid. About half of all “aid” goes directly to the Afghan military. There have also been significant amounts of aid delivered to Afghanistan by other countries and private donors.

    The Return on Investment: 80 Percent Never Gets There

    The aid money works out to be over $3300 per Afghan, assuming any of the money actually reaches an Afghan. The reality is, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction auditor, that 70-80% of the money is siphoned off by contractors as overhead.

    The Return on Investment: Losses to Corruption

    No one knows how much of the money disappears as bribes, graft or outright theft. However, a 2009 U.S. State Department cable disclosed on Wikileaks stated “While reports vary widely, records obtained from Kabul International Airport (KIA) support suspicions large amounts of physical cash transit from Kabul to Dubai on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis. According to confidential reports, more than $190 million left Kabul for Dubai through KIA during July, August, and September.” A 2012 report showed $4.6 billion fled via the Kabul airport, about one-quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. The year before, $2.3 billion in cash left via the airport. In a single incident, the then-Afghan Vice President flew to Dubai with $52 million in unexplained cash.

    The Return on Investment: Funding the Taliban

    And that’s all the good news because as Douglas Wissing points out in his excellent book Funding the Enemy: How U.S. Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban, significant amounts of U.S. money are paying for the enemy to keep fighting. U.S. ignorance and naivete in the contracting process sends money to Taliban-affiliated subcontractors, and direct payoffs to warlords and others known to work with the Taliban are made for safe passage guarantees for military supplies.

    The Return on Investment: What the U.S. Government Believes

    Here’s what the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has to say for itself:

    Our work continues to be a vital support to Afghanistan in its efforts to ensure economic growth led by the private sector, establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and provide basic services for its people. The Afghan people rejoice in peace and freedom. They are dedicated to working for a better future for the generations to come. USAID assistance is crucial to achieving this goal… Only investment in Afghanistan’s human capital – that is, in its people – will ultimately lead the country to prosperity, peace and stability on a long-term, sustainable basis.


    Delusional

    When I wrote my book on the waste and failure of the similar U.S. money hemorrhage in the Iraq War, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, there was no widespread agreement. Many people, both in and out of government, questioned my conclusions. Fair enough, though they were obviously proven wrong.

    With Afghanistan, it is difficult to find anyone, outside of a few true believers and U.S. government PR people, who believe the money spent on aid to Afghanistan is not a waste. What charitably could be called at the time a difference of opinion over Iraq allowed the taxpayer money to keep flowing. With Afghanistan, there is no charitable explanation.

    One service member characterized the situation as “A war begun for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached.” That service member served in the British Army that was destroyed in Afghanistan in 1843.

    Delusional. That’s really the only word that applies.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Yeah, let US get out of that quagmire so we can get really “Syria-ous” –
      http://news.antiwar.com/2014/02/09/us-aims-to-spin-syria-as-matter-of-homeland-security/

      02/10/14 2:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      “Delusional. That’s really the only word that applies.”

      I expect nothing less of The Dumbest Country on the Planet – tm

      02/10/14 2:32 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      3

      Delusion. Yes. That’s it. Every April 15th, mass delusion takes affect. Somehow, this psychosis started around 1913 with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act. And it appears there is no known cure,..other than mass resistance or complete insurrection. Unfortunately, at the same time, another phenomena began to appear. Even as the citizenry became more educated, a predominant proportion was becoming more stupid. Perhaps due to more free time to engage in the emerging entertainments, or the access of drugs and alchohol, or whatever, it’s not clear. However, what IS clear is, at the same time, an emerging military corporate class was gaining control over our elected officials who in turn started taking advantage of the DCOTPtm. As media was slowly absorbed into the Corporate Store, fewer truths were emerging to enlighten the populace. Especially when it came to the rule of law. By the time WW11, the 16 Amendment was fully absorbed and Codified as the US Tax Code, and the Income tax now began it’s slow ascent to fund continuous war. And here we are. Lock stock and barrel. The Dumbest Country on the Planet, enslaved in perpetual debt for the next 200 years.

      Any questions?

      02/10/14 3:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Any questions?

      Yeah, the Bank of China called. It is calling the loan.

      02/10/14 4:00 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      5

      Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Ya know, I often wonder about something in that regard. In what form do we pay our debt to China? Gold? Dollars? In fact, the entire financial system that operates around the planet is so secret, that it took me two years to find exactly where our Taxes go, which ultimately is called the Trust62. From that point it’s anyone’s guess, although I did finally find one small piece of information regarding how the Federal Reserve fits in the puzzle. Unfortunately, if I told you I’d have to kill ya. 🙂

      And this is the thing. The whole IRS is so secret, trying to find out how the USG financial system works is a lesson in how we’ve been hoodwinked. I spent 10 years trying to unravel this enigma. In reality, it’s an octopus. From printing money, to the value of currency, to the Federal Reserve, to the IRS, to the tax code, to the Mint, to the gold standard..etc etc etc. What I’ve learned is..they don’t want the citizenry to know, because if they did, they would rise up in revolt in a NY second.

      02/10/14 4:20 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      6

      Actually Rich, I finally found Paul Andrew Mitchell. He knows how it works. If you want to know anything in regards to the IRS/Federal Reserve…research him.

      Here is a good starting point.
      http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/taxreformpanel/comments/_files/033005MitchellPaul.pdf

      02/10/14 4:26 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      7

      Peter, from this point on, I submit you should include this link into any discussion of the point of your blog…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law

      For any human being to understand where his/her relationship to what any fucking bureaucratic power on the entire planet has over their life, they have to first understand that rule of law is a monumental fucking joke.

      02/11/14 12:18 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      “… they have to first understand that rule of law is a monumental fucking joke.”

      Speaking of, Hillary is making a list and checking it twice;

      http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/195188-hillarys-hit-list

      02/11/14 12:40 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      9

      1.http://diplopundit.net/2014/02/07/diplomat-drops-fuck-the-eu-in-private-chat-cover-your-ears-it-might-ruin-you-forever/

      Why is it our President’s intention to be apolitical, or to mollify and allow neo-cons into his government — especially those who should NOT be invited into government — result in the most avoidable scandals of this presidency? Is anyone on Team Obama learning anything yet?

      Trying to help make things go away, the unofficial official press like NPR have put out ‘Ukraine-gate’ occurred during ‘private’ conversations, obviating the need for talking via a secured form:

      NPR comments: “… Unless Nuland and Pyatt were discussing classified information, they might not have seen any need to establish a secure line…”

      (http://www.npr.org/2014/02/08/273181826/a-possible-explanation-for-how-u-s-diplomats-call-was-tapped)

      One of the questions is – if two diplomats are discussing a roster of specific officials for a high level and foreign government post, in a region of the world that since the early 20th century at least has been famous for monitoring and minding, is NPR right saying this wouldnt require a secure line??

      Coincidentally, the Department’s press spokeswoman also echoed the private conversation theme:

      “Well, I’m not going to confirm or outline details. I understand there are a lot of reports out there and there’s a recording out there, but I’m not going to confirm private diplomatic conversations.”

      The Department’s press secretary’s odd choice of ‘private’ makes it seem Nuland and the Ambassador were just enjoying inconsequential chitcat over nachos about changing up Ukraine’s government.

      The Ron Paul Institute’s “Infowars” put this out today:
      http://www.infowars.com/victoria-nulands-ukraine-gate-deceptions/

      The Republicans are still looking for a Benghazi 2, even if it means sacrificing a Cheney-nista. Irony heaped upon irony.

      Of course the real value target is much higher in our system, made vulnerable once again, and finding themselves in yet another awkward situation defending the wrong kind of ‘private diplomatic’ servants while allowing whistleblowers to be purged

      02/11/14 1:01 AM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...

      10

      Given the corrupt corporate realities alluded to in this article, I suggest that the title might better read:

      “Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification divert (any, more, all) aid into the pockets (i.e., offshore bank accounts) of the exploiters of Afghanistan.”

      Or words to that effect.

      02/11/14 1:08 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      11

      guys and gals..Notwithstanding Peters subject matter of his latest post, to view current events in the proper light, I never underestimate history to gain a sense of the trajectory the USG. In that sense, I’ve never gained as much insight in one place, as I did this morning. While researching references to “delusions”, I came across a profound overview of one of my most perplexing questions..POLICY. I now understand. One needs good examples to see how certain “policys” come into existence. My direct question was in regards to James Clapper bald faced lie to Congress and why he hasn’t been prosecuted. Following that line of thinking, it led DIRECT to the ONLY CIA official to be held accountable for LYING TO CONGRESS. However, within the story, lies the underpinnings to understand a multitude of things that for me, finally illustrate why we are where we are today…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Helms

      Unbelievable. No wonder. Thank god for the internet and Wikipedia.

      02/11/14 3:05 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      12

      ps..”“Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification….”

      Indeed.

      02/11/14 3:07 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      13

      so much history, so little understanding how we almost became a dead planet by virtue of Able Archer 83. Psychopaths redefined.

      quote:”Although the National Security Archive has compiled and posted more than 1,000 pages of declassified documents on Able Archer 83, much more remains classified and unavailable to the public.

      Film from President Reagan’s meeting with “KGB Defector” Oleg Gordievsky on July 21 1987.

      The continued classification of significant documents related to Able Archer 83, 30 years after the fact, is very difficult to defend. Documents that deal with this exercise — including the most comprehensive report ever written about it — contain information of interest not only to scholars of the Cold War, but also to all concerned about the danger of nuclear weapons. If, as some within the US intelligence community have claimed, there was an increased danger of nuclear war through miscalculation in 1983, the documents detailing the danger of Able Archer 83 could help government officials avert future nuclear standoffs and reduce the probability of accidental war. Revelations about the risk and possibility of nuclear miscalculation complicate the argument that nuclear deterrence has gifted humanity with a “long peace” and undermine the contention that the danger of worldwide nuclear war ended with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

      Soviet SS-20s and American Pershing IIs have been removed and retired, the Cold War has ended, and the Soviet Union no longer exists. After the fact, a fuller picture of the dangers of Able Archer 83 has emerged. But due to failures of the US declassification system, many more important documents about this potentially dangerous nuclear episode remain unavailable to the public, locked in secure facilities, under the rubric that their release “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” In fact, their declassification could help protect the United States and the rest of the world from the gravest of all security threats: nuclear war.”unquote

      Testaments to USG employed psychopaths. And here you thought Nuremberg cleansed the world of them.
      Delusions indeed. fuck..

      http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ablearcher/

      02/12/14 1:10 AM | Comment Link

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