US Taxpayers Pick Up Tab For US Military Missions In Mali "Assisting" The French
As reported previously, not only are there currently US boots on the ground in the latest geopolitical "anti Al-Qaeda" snafu in Mali, but it turns out a US presence had been secretly in place for many months prior to the recent escalation in French-led hostilities against the western African nation. And while this would likely have opened up numerous media inquiries under any other administration, so far these has been zero interest as to just why the US is "assisting" the French in this latest military deployment of military forces outside of the US: after all, one of the biggest complaints about US spending is that so much of it goes for military purposes (ignoring that all the tax revenues can't even cover just the monthly entitlement spending of the nation).
Perhaps one reason is that, at least to date, the general consensus was that since the French operation in Mali is spearheaded and organized by the French, it is also funded by them. As it turns out that is not the case.
As Reuters reports, "The U.S. military has flown five C-17 cargo sorties into the Malian capital to help bring a French mechanized infantry unit into the fight against al Qaeda-affiliated militants in the north of the country, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday." But surely the French are paying for these sorties which are there only to help the French, right? Wrong. "Little said the United States had decided not to seek compensation or reimbursement from France for the flights." Luckily, the US is in such a healthy financial position it can afford to not only open one more front in the war against "Al Qaeda", but will sign for the French tab too. With Joe Sixpack's money of course.
More from Reuters:
A small group of U.S. military troops, including two communications personnel, have been on the ground at the airport at Bamako temporarily to help coordinate the logistics for the C-17 flights, a military official said.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last week that while the United States supported France's decision to put troops into Mali to stop the advance of al Qaeda affiliated troops toward Bamako, the Pentagon had no plans to put U.S. combat troops on the ground there.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said the United States had been providing France with intelligence since the outset of the operation. He said the Pentagon had now begun providing airlift capacity and was still reviewing a request for aerial refueling tankers.
"We stand by our French allies. At this point we are providing airlift support to the French and as of January 22 ... the United States Air Force has flown five C-17 sorties moving French personnel, supplies and equipment into the country," Little said. "We have carried more than 124 tons of equipment and supplies and more than 80 passengers."
Another spokesman said the U.S. flights were helping to carry a French mechanized infantry unit to Mali.
And the punchline:
The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the issue of payment had caused friction between the two sides. "Compensation and reimbursement is always a point of discussion when it comes to these operations, with the French or other allies for that matter," Little told reporters on Tuesday. "In this instance we have made a decision at this time not to seek reimbursement or compensation," he said. "The focus right now is not on money but is on achieving our shared goal of thwarting militants in northern Mali."
At least they have not discovered Weapons of Mass Destruction. Yet.
Of course, who cares about what the costs of peace, and war, are when it is the Federal Reserve's monetization of the budget deficit, and countless future born and unborn US citizens, who are paying the price.
In other news, the US has a "not enough taxation" problem.
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