Post 9/11 Militarization: US has Spent Nearly $5 trillion on Wars Since September 11, 2001, Under the Pretext of “Fighting Terrorism”
In another indication of the terrible price paid by working people in the United States and all over the globe for the crimes of US imperialism, a new reportfrom Brown University estimates that Washington has squandered nearly $5 trillion since September 11, 2001 on the wars launched under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
The report coincides with the 15th anniversary of 9/11, with 10,000 US troops still in Afghanistan, 15 years after the US invasion of that country, and an estimated 6,000 in Iraq. Hundreds more special operations forces have been deployed to Syria, where the US is fighting for regime change in a de facto alliance with that country’s affiliates of Al Qaeda—which was supposedly the principal target of the last decade and a half of war.
While the financial costs of these wars are staggering, bordering on the unfathomable, the author of the report, Boston University professor Neta Crawford, correctly places them in their far broader, and more horrifying, context of the trail of blood and destruction that US military operations have left in their wake:
“…a full accounting of any war’s burdens cannot be placed in columns on a ledger. From the civilians harmed or displaced by violence, to the soldiers killed and wounded, to the children who play years later on roads and fields sown with improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs, no set of numbers can convey the human toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or how they have spilled into the neighboring states of Syria and Pakistan, and come home to the US and its allies in the form of wounded veterans and contractors.”
Some of these numbers are also quantifiable, and appalling, from the over one million Iraqi lives lost to the US invasion of 2003 to the more than 12 million refugees driven from just the four countries laid waste by US wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. In addition, there are the nearly 7,000 US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with roughly an equal number of private contractors, as well as the 52,000 officially listed as wounded in combat and the untold hundreds of thousands more suffering from traumatic brain injuries, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other mental health problems resulting from multiple deployments in dirty colonial-style wars.
Nonetheless, the report argues persuasively that it is also vital to make a serious and comprehensive evaluation of the real financial costs of these wars. The overall cost of US imperialism’s wars includes the $1.7 trillion directly appropriated by Congress to wage them as so-called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). This is above and beyond the Pentagon’s base budget, which totals some $6.8 trillion from FY2001-2016. By defining these wars as OCOs, Congress, together with both the Bush and Obama administrations, has acted as if they are some kind of unforeseeable emergencies that could not be planned for within the government’s normal budgetary process, even as they dragged out for a decade and a half. As a result, they were freed from any kind of normal fiscal accountability, with no taxes or other revenues allotted to pay for them.
In addition to this direct war funding, the report includes the costs of veterans’ medical and disability care, allocations for Homeland Security, interest on Pentagon war appropriations and future costs for veterans’ care. This last cost is estimated at amounting to at least $1 trillion between now and 2053. The basis for such an estimate is made clear by the presentation of some alarming statistics.
By the end of 2015, more than 1,600 soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan had undergone major limb amputations as a result of wounds suffered in combat. A total of 327,000 veterans of these wars had been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury as of 2014 and by the same year fully 700,000 out of the 2.7 million people deployed to the war zones had been classified as 30 percent or more disabled. The report points out that Veterans Affairs is the fastest growing department in the US government, with its staffing levels having nearly doubled since 2001 to 350,000 workers. Yet, according to another recent report, it “still lacks sufficient funding to fill thousands of vacancies for doctors and nurses and to finance badly needed repairs to its hospitals and clinics.”
In addition to these costs, the report estimates that, unless Congress changes the way that it is paying for the wars, even without their continuation, cumulative interest on war appropriations made just through FY2013 will amount to a staggering $7.9 trillion by 2053. The report recalls that as the Bush administration was preparing to launch the war of aggression against Iraq, the administration’s chief economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey came under intense fire for estimating that the “upper bound” costs of the war reached between $100 and $200 billion. This estimate was roundly rejected by everyone from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to House Democrats, who put the figure at roughly $50 billion, which it is now clear underestimated the real cost by a factor of 100.
Reflected in these wars, both in the criminality with which they were initiated and fought, and in the way they were funded, are the financial parasitism and socially destructive forms of speculation that pervade the workings of American capitalism as a whole. By keeping the wars’ costs “off the books” and relying on an “all-volunteer” military to fight them, the US ruling class also hoped to dampen the popular hostility to militarism. The new report does not attempt to estimate the wars’ broader impact on the economy and the living standards of broad masses of American working people. Another report issued two years ago by Harvard University conservatively estimated that the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars amounted to $75,000 for every American household.
The report points to previous studies indicating that the wars cost tens of thousands of jobs and significantly reduced investment in infrastructure. The vast amount of resources diverted into slaughter and destruction in the Middle East and Central Asia could have funded the $3.32 trillion that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says must be spent over the next decade to fix America’s crumbling ports, highways, bridges, trains, water and electric facilities and paid off the entire $1.26 trillion in student debt, with money left over. Instead, the elected officials of both major capitalist parties have continuously insisted that there is no money for jobs, decent wages, education, health care and other basic necessities, while spending unlimited money on militarism and war, leaving the bill to be paid for through the intensification of austerity measures directed against the working class.
The human and fiscal toll wrought by the wars of the last 15 years are only a foretaste of the global catastrophe that is threatened as US imperialism prepares for far larger wars, with its military escalation focused ever more directly against the world’s second and third largest nuclear powers, Russia and China.
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Years ago, I had been told by several people, that the US government frequently removes books they deem dangerous or 'sensitive' from libraries. Some are replaced with sections removed or rewritten so as to 'contain' information that should not be available to the public despite the authors intent. A key example was during the Manhattan Project when the US was trying to finalize research into atomic bombs. They removed any books that dealt with the subject and two of them were by Dr. Gustave Le Bon since they dealt with both energy and matter including radioactivity. I had been looking for these two books for many years and fortunately stumbled across two copies for which I paid about $40.00 each. I couldn't put down the books once I started reading them. Such a wealth of original discoveries, many not known or remembered today. / Page 88 - Without the ether there could be neither gravity, nor light, nor electricity, nor heat, nor anything, in a word, of which we have knowledge. The universe would be silent and dead, or would reveal itself in a form which we cannot even foresee. If one could construct a glass chamber from which the ether were to be entirely eliminated, heat and light could not pass through it. It would be absolutely dark, and probably gravitation would no longer act on the bodies within it. They would then have lost their weight. / Page 96-97 - A material vortex may be formed by any fluid, liquid or gaseous, turning round an axis, and by the fact of its rotation it describes spirals. The study of these vortices has been the object of important researches by different scholars, notably by Bjerkness and Weyher. They have shown that by them can be produced all the attractions and repulsions recognized in electricity, the deviations of the magnetic needle by currents, etc. These vortices are produced by the rapid rotation of a central rod furnished with pallets, or, more simply, of a sphere. Round this sphere gaseous currents are established, dissymetrical with regard to its equatorial plane, and the result is the attraction or repulsion of bodies brought near to it, according to the position given to them. It is even possible, as Weyher has proved, to compel these bodies to turn round the sphere as do the satellites of a planet without touching it. / Page 149 - "The problem of sending a pencil of parallel Hertzian waves to a distance possesses more than a theoretical interest. It is allowable to say that its solution would change the course of our civilization by rendering war impossible. The first physicist who realizes this discovery will be able to avail himself of the presence of an enemy's ironclads gathered together in a harbour to blow them up in a few minutes, from a distance of several kilometres, simply by directing on them a sheaf of electric radiations. On reaching the metal wires with which these vessels are nowadays honeycombed, this will excite an atmosphere of sparks which will at once explode the shells and torpedoes stored in their holds. With the same reflector, giving a pencil of parallel radiations, it would not be much more difficult to cause the explosion of the stores of powder and shells contained in a fortress, or in the artillery sparks of an army corps, and finally the metal cartridges of the soldiers. Science, which at first rendered wars so deadly, would then at length have rendered them impossible, and the relations between nations would have to be established on new bases."
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High Voltage & Free Energy Devices Handbook
This wonderfully informative ebook provides many simple experiments you can do, including hydrogen generation and electrostatic repulsion as well as the keys to EV Gray's Fuelless Engine. One of the most comprehensive compilations of information yet detailing the effects of high voltage repulsion as a driving force. Ed Gray's engine produced in excess of 300HP and he claimed to be able to 'split the positive' energy of electricity to produce a self-running motor/generator for use as an engine. Schematics and tons of photos of the original machines and more! Excellent gift for your technical friends or for that budding scientist! If you are an experimenter or know someone who investigates such matters, this would make an excellent addition to your library or as an unforgettable gift. The downloadable HVFE eBook pdf file is almost 11MB in size and contains many experiments, photos, diagrams and technical details. Buy a copy and learn all about hydrogen generation, its uses and how to produce electrostatic repulsion. - 121 pages
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If you have a few minutes, you might want to read my page on hypnosis and all the amazing things associated with its application. Included is an experience I had when I hypnotized a neighbor kid when I was about 14. As well the hypnotic gaze of snakes, the discovery of 'eyebeams' which can be detected electronically, the Italian Hypnotist Robber who was caught on tape with his eyes glowing as cashiers handed over their money and remembered nothing, glamour and clouding the mind of others, several methods of trance induction and many odd cases, animal catatonia, healing, psychic phenomena, party/stage stunts, including my favorite of negative hallucination where you make your subject NOT see something...much more...if nothing else, its might be a hoot to read.
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This eBook is the result of years of research into various methods to increase mileage, reduce pollution and most importantly, reduce overall fuel costs. It starts out with the simplest methods and offers progressively more detailed technologies that have been shown to reduce fuel costs. As a bonus to readers, I have salted the pages with free interesting BONUS items that correlate to the relevant page. Just filling up with one tank of gas using this or other methods explained here will pay for this eBook. Of course, many more methods are out there but I provided only the ones which I think are practical and can be studied by the average person who is looking for a way to immediately reduce their fuel costs. I am currently using two of the easier methods in my own vehicle which normally gets 18-22 mpg and now gets between 28 and 32 mpg depending on driving conditions. A tank of gas for my 1996 Ford Ranger costs about $45.00 here so I am saving around $15-$20 PER TANK, without hurting my engine and with 'greener' emissions due to a cleaner burn! The techniques provided in this ebook begin with simple things you can do NOW to improve your mileage and lower your gas costs. - eBook Download / More Info
The Physics of the Primary State of Matter
The Physics of the Primary State of Matter - published in the 1930s, Karl Schappeller described his Prime Mover, a 10-inch steel sphere with quarter-inch copper tubing coils. These were filled with a material not named specifically, but which is said to have hardened under the influence of direct current and a magnetic field [electro-rheological fluid]. With such polarization, it might be guessed to act like a dielectric capacitor and as a diode...
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No time to sit back and watch videos? Here are 15 interesting presentations you can download for just $5 each and listen to while driving, working, jogging, etc. An easy way to learn some fascinating new things that you will find of use. Easy, cheap and simple, better than eBooks or Videos. Roughly 50MB per MP3.
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