Monday, July 26, 2010


So the United States is spending $1 trillion per year on our war machine, which is basically bankrupting our country. By latest account there are three hundred Al Qaeda remaining in Afghanistan, and by some accounts (Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter) closer to one hundred. To me this sounds like we completed our objective of weakening and eradicating the Al Qaeda from Afghanistan. Presently, the cost to be in the county is roughly a half trillion dollars, or $5b per Al Qaeda insurgent. What a horrible mess. As the U.S. crumbles and politicians bicker about a paltry $20b being wasted on certain social programs like the Veterans Administration or silly things like education and social services. By any metric - whether society, infrastructure, fiscal policy, income disparity, etc. - we are a nation in severe decline.

I think the U.S. war machine has historically been by far the most effective lobbying effort milking trillions from taxpayers pockets over the years. A back-of-the-envelope calculation concludes that every dollar that each U.S. citizen earns (sort of like tax freedom day, which occurs some time in April) for all of January and a good chunk of February pays solely for our highly wasteful and ineffective war industry. Oddly enough, it takes the same amount of time for you and me to earn the wages spent on that military that the Europeans have for legally-mandated vacation time. Hmm.

Yes, I am quite liberal, but more so than this, I am a business person and have my share of failures and successes. Our military business model is one that cannot be sustained by any form of measurement. I wonder if Afghanistan will collapse the United States the same way it collapsed the Soviet Union and its military overstretch? At least the Soviet Union was blatant and attempted to annex this land for the benefit of the government, and not the private interests.

Believe it or not, a good day so far and a beautiful week lies ahead. I am sooo lucky to have my little 800sf home here is peaceful Bellingham. Hopefully my country won't find it necessary to spread its peace- and freedom-loving ways in my part of the world. I hope the tens of thousands of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces have found peace.

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