Afghanistan destroys Empires.  Ask Great Britain, ask the Russians.  The US is well along the same course, but rather than being blinded by nationalism, or ideology the American poison of choice is the continued mismanagement of priorities by the corporate elite.   The corporate elite are running the foreign policy bus off a cliff and bankrupting the US in the process.

“Among multiple layers of deception and newspeak, the official Washington spin on the strategic quagmire in Afghanistan simply does not hold.

No more than “50-75 ‘al-Qaeda types’ in Afghanistan”, according to the CIA, have been responsible for draining the US government by no less than US $10 billion a month, or $120 billion a year. “

120 billion is a tidy sum that would go a long way in the ‘butter’ rather than the ‘guns’ department.

“A recent, detailed study by the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University revealed that the war on terror has cost the US economy, so far, from $3.7 trillion (the most conservative estimate) to $4.4 trillion (the moderate estimate). Then there are interest payments on these costs – another $1 trillion.

That makes the total cost of the war on terror to be, at least, a staggering $5.4 trillion. And that does not include, as the report mentions, “additional macroeconomic consequences of war spending”, or a promised (and undelivered) $5.3 billion reconstruction aid for Afghanistan.

Who’s profiting from this bonanza? That’s easy – US military contractors and a global banking/financial elite.”

Well, it is good to see that someone is making money during this downturn of the economy, although I’d hate to be the person having to explain the American public why the coffers fly open so easily when it comes to Military contractors and yet seem welded shut when it comes to public expenditures such as social security and health care.

“In the famous November 1, 2004 video that played a crucial part in assuring the reelection of George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden – or a clone of Osama bin Laden – once again expanded on how the “mujahedeen bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.” That’s the exact same strategy al-Qaeda has deployed against the US; according to Bin Laden at the time, “all that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the farthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note, other than some benefits to their private companies.”

The record since 9/11 shows that’s exactly what’s happening. The war on terror has totally depleted the US treasury – to the point that the White House and Congress are now immersed in a titanic battle over a $4 trillion debt ceiling.  

What is never mentioned is that these trillions of dollars were ruthlessly subtracted from the wellbeing of average Americans – smashing the carefully constructed myth of the American dream.”

The problem, back in the US, is that ordinary people are not being represented in Congress.  Americans, for the most part are a kind, generous people.  They may hold some funny notions about egalitarianism (and religion and…), but on the whole they are not the ignorant, jingoistic warmongers that the media often paint them to be.  If the interests of the majority of American’s were actually respected, instead of a small section of the elites, the US would truly be that ‘shining city on the hill’.   Yet the prosperity of the average American is being sacrificed on the altar of war so that a narrow slice of the populace can profit.

“It all comes back, once again, to Pipelineistan – and one of its outstanding chimeras; the Turkmenistan/Afghanistan/Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline, also known once as the Trans-Afghan Pipeline, which might one day become TAPI if India decides to be on board.

The US corporate media simply refuses to cover what is one of the most important stories of the early 21st century.

Washington has badly wanted TAP since the mid-1990s, when the Clinton administration was negotiating with the Taliban; the talks broke down because of transit fees, even before 9/11, when the Bush administration decided to change the rhetoric from “a carpet of gold” to “a carpet of bombs”.

TAP is a classic Pipelineistan gambit; the US supporting the flow of gas from Central Asia to global markets, bypassing both Iran and Russia. If it ever gets built, it will cost over $10 billion.

It needs a totally pacified Afghanistan – still another chimera – and a Pakistani government totally implicated in Afghanistan’s security, still a no-no as long as Islamabad’s policy is to have Afghanistan as its “strategic depth”, a vassal state, in a long-term confrontation mindset against India.”

Is the War all about the pipeline as the article suggests?  More research is needed into the topic, but it would be hardly surprising to observe that this is one of the overarching goals of the war in Afghanistan.

“It’s mind-boggling that 10 years and $5.4 trillion dollars later, the situation is exactly the same. Washington still badly wants “its” pipeline – which will in fact be a winning game mostly for commodity traders, global finance majors and Western energy giants.

From the standpoint of these elites, the ideal endgame scenario is global Robocop NATO – helped by hundreds of thousands of mercenaries – “protecting” TAP (or TAPI) while taking a 24/7 peek on what’s going on in neighbours Russia and China.     
 Sharp wits in India have described Washington’s tortuous moves in Afghanistan as “surge, bribe and run”. It’s rather “surge, bribe and stay”. This whole saga might have been accomplished without a superpower bankrupting itself, and without immense, atrocious, sustained loss of life, but hey – nobody’s perfect.”

Are the strategic resources in the region worth the devastation of the Western world’s largest economy?  The movers and the shakers in the US seem to think so.