Memorial Day – Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan

May 28, 2018

Memorial Day – Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Padmini Arhant

Memorial Day memorializing war veterans is the tradition.

The tribute to those sacrificing their lives for any just cause is always honorable and more so with the soldiers and defense personnel laying their lives to defend their country and fellow citizens from any potential danger.

However, the trend in the past and present century forging wars for reasons other than national defense costing young blood and nation’s treasure proved counterproductive and futile. Whatever explanations accompany prolonged occupation of foreign land with massive troops deployment and troop surge along with increase in defense budget predominantly expended in military bases maintenance worldwide, the outcome of such maneuvers evidently not favorable.

United States assuming the role to patrol and police global frontiers has escalated tensions, promoted nuclear options in self-defense and deterrence besides imposing mandatory defense spending on all nations at the expense of economic growth and development.

In other words, United States military presence worldwide has left nations with only one option and that is to beef up military capability boosting the military industrial complex represented defense sector to thrive rain or shine regardless of market conditions benefitting selective members in the hierarchy.

United States and NATO waged wars and subsequent occupation in different regions of the world on false premise has produced chaos and catastrophe creating permanent war zones and leaving those nations bereft of recovery otherwise possible in restive and peaceful environment.

The wars aimed at profitability with no concern for loss of innocent lives and defense force especially the misinformed young men and women led in harms way could no longer continue business as usual. The propaganda based wars, military interventions and terror sponsoring targeting nations and regions for hegemonic goals squandering ordinary citizens lives and their tax dollars are enormous liability in economic, political, social and humanitarian terms ruining nations and destiny of millions forced into refugee status.

The contemporary situation demands fair assessment to end illegal occupation of foreign land and territory allowing the population of those nations normal existence and self-determination rights barring foreign intrusion.

The case in point is Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Korea to name a few.

Considering the extended timeframe and purpose not serving the local and regional inhabitants interests and furthermore the military and aggressive involvement fomenting violence and security violations, the complete withdrawal of forces and ceasing violent engagement are necessary to establish peace and stability in these parts of the world.

Afghanistan is primarily used as United States and NATO military base to exert dominance in Central Asia denying Afghanistan the sovereign status and Afghans the fundamental right to political freedom and social progress critical for economic prosperity.

Above all, the economic costs since invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 until today including protracted warfare in Iraq and Pakistan has cost U.S. taxpayers $4.8 trillion per Congressional Budget Office report and still counting with the warfare carried out on borrowed money inflating United States budget deficit and subsequent impact on national debt leading to sharp hikes in consumer interest rates reflecting macroeconomic effects.

The current allocation of $45 billion this year for Afghanistan alone is again repeating predecessors pattern without subjecting pentagon to accountability and independent audit given the trajectory on disproportionate spending and trillions of taxpayers dollars admittedly missing as confirmed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on $2.3 Trillion and the same acknowledged in previous Congressional hearings with no actions from any administration or Congress thus far.

The article from Project Censored under – The News That Didn’t Make The News .

Title – The Pentagon Money Pit: $6.5 Trillion In Unaccountable Army Spending And No DOD Audit

“According to a July 2016 Department of Defense Inspector General (DODIG) report, $6.5 trillion of Army Spending allocated to the Pentagon have no paper trail and no audit has been made by the Department of Defense (DOD) for the past two decades to resolve this issue. In other words, David Lindorff reported that “the Department of Defense has not been tracking or recording or auditing all of the taxpayer money allocated by Congress — what it was spent on, how well it was spent, or where the money actually ended up. There are enough opportunities here for corruption, bribery, secret funding of ‘black ops’ and illegal activities, and or course for simple waste to march a very large army, navy and air force through. And by the way, things aren’t any better at the Navy, Air Force and Marines.”

The referenced excerpt of the article and earlier incident on $2.3 Trillion vaporized is just the tip of the iceberg with successive administrations and Congress obliging pentagon demand for billions of taxpayer money exempting the tax payer funded military headquarter Pentagon and federal defense agencies from checks and balances that are applicable to ordinary citizens in society.

These events decisively and conclusively determine the need for immediate withdrawal and winding up of operations in Afghanistan and other destinations having no relevance to national interests except undermining United States credibility and wasting taxpayers money that deserves to be invested in domestic economy such as job creation, health care, public education, scientific research and innovations and infrastructure.

On U.S. taxpayers behalf, the Congressional authorization of independent oversight to probe corruption and financial irregularities in taxpayer funded defense department viz. pentagon and other federal agencies dealing with defense activities is paramount for transparency and economic viability.

Finally, national defense force is meant to safeguard nation’s security and not misused for some entities and certain groups’ hegemonic ambitions and exclusive gains.

Thank you.
Padmini Arhant
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