Analyst Says Military-Industrial Complex Victorious In Afghanistan
Shaan Sachdev has described the war in Afghanistan as a huge victory for the US military-industrial complex and chastised the media for not telling the brutal truth about it in an analysis carried by Salon.
Photo Insert: War is one of the main driving forces of the U.S. economy, particularly the military-industrial complex.
“In addition to watching in horror as the Taliban made themselves comfortable in Kabul's presidential palace, much of this coverage bemoaned the war's tactical failures. It was viewed, in other words, not as a catastrophic decision to have been made in the first place but as a logistical embarrassment. Yet, this meandering, ineffectual, deadly war — the longest in American history — was a grand victory for one behemoth sector of manufacturing that thrives upon tactical failures and stalemates: the military-industrial complex,” Sachdev wrote.
Indeed, the $2.26 trillion that the US spent on Afghanistan is hardly a comprehensible number — its scale obscures the venality at play. So far this year, the Pentagon has given away $225.83 million in contracts for work exclusively intended for Afghanistan and another $498.08 million for work partly in Afghanistan. Unsurprisingly, these are small sums in comparison to earlier years, when military operations were thriving.
In just August and September 2015, the DOD signed away $672.95 million solely for America's "forever war." On Dec. 31, 2014, DynCorp International, LLC was awarded $100.78 million to train police and army officers at the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior.
On June 22, 2016, Harris Corp. received $1.7 billion for "radios, ancillaries, spare parts and services." On Feb. 14, 2017, Propper International Inc. was awarded $32.46 million for "hot weather combat boots." A week later, Wolverine World Wide Inc. received $17.99 million for "tan temperate weather combat boots."
On April 28, 2017, ORC Industries Inc. was awarded $20.49 million for wet weather ponchos. On July 3, 2019, AAR Defense Systems & Logistics received $209.96 million to train recruits for the Afghan Air Force, among other tasks. On April 30, 2020, L-3 Fuzing and Ordnance Systems Inc. won $64.97 million for an order of multi-option fuzes to trigger mortars.
“When it comes to foreign policy, American lawmakers seem to be feminists and freedom fighters only when it's convenient. Otherwise, human rights and democracy serve as buzzwords and stratagems, too easily wielded by a military establishment that believes global problems require military solutions, which in return require half of Congress' discretionary spending. When it comes to the media establishment's selective criticisms of tragedies like Afghanistan and the broader role of the US military — not to mention its often inglorious and sometimes depraved history — it ends up doing the bidding, knowingly or otherwise, of the world's most moneyed military-industrial complex,” Sachdev concluded.