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Guest Post: Afghanistan - Obama's War

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Steve Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at The Johns Hopkins University,

Last week, when President Obama made his trip to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he claimed that "America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end." This turned out to be the greatest applause line of his speech. With his assertion, Obama, in effect, declared himself the hero of the Afghan war -- the one who put an end to that nightmare. But what Obama failed to mention was that it was his war, and that nothing but unattractive scenarios lie ahead for that war-torn state. Indeed, Afghanistan might just continue to hold down its ranking as the most violent country in the Global Peace Index.

This gloomy prognosis would not have surprised Thomas Jefferson. Yes, Jefferson's words point to a fundamental truth, "Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other."

Graciana del Castillo, one of the world's leading experts on failed states, has just written a most edifying book on the Afghan war (Guilty Party: The International Community in Afghanistan. Xlibris, 2014). Del Castillo's book allows us to finally understand just what a fiasco the Afghan war has been.

Why is Afghanistan, as Bob Woodward correctly termed it, Obama's war? Del Castillo's sharp pencil work shows that during the period 2002-2013, $650 billion have been appropriated for the Afghan war effort, and a whopping $487.5 billion of that (or 75 percent) took place after President Obama took office (see accompanying chart).

If one pulls apart that $650 billion price tag, a variety of interesting sleights-of-hand emerge. For example, about $70 billion was disbursed to what is euphemistically termed "reconstruction." But, in reality, 60 percent of this $70 billion (or $42 billion) was actually spent on beefing up the Afghan National Security Forces. And not surprisingly, 75 percent of the $42 billion spent on national security forces was spent under President Obama's watchful eye.

To put these outsized numbers into perspective, just consider that the total cost of the Afghan war from 2002-2013 amounts to $7089 per American taxpayer (based on the number of income tax returns). More revealing is the fact that the annual expenditure rate under the Bush administration was already $222 per taxpayer. Then, it exploded to an annual expenditure rate of $1329 per taxpayer under President Obama.

In addition to laying out the phenomenal spending magnitudes on President Obama's watch, del Castillo demonstrates just how unsustainable all this Afghan spending is. For example, in 2013, the United States financed over $5 billion of the $6.5 billion needed to field the Afghan National Security Forces. This $5 billion of U.S. financing was roughly 10 times more than the Afghan government actually spent from its own revenue sources. In fact, the U.S. funding of Afghan forces was almost three times the total revenue collected by the Afghan government.

To put Afghanistan's financing gap into perspective, the Afghan government estimates the total fiscal deficiency that they will face over the next decade would amount to a whopping $120 billion. Considering that a July 2013 Washington Post/ABC poll showed that only 28 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has been worth the cost, it is unlikely that the U.S. would even contemplate continuing to finance the house of cards it has built at anything close to these estimates.

And if this isn't bad enough, consider that the countryside has been forgotten and neglected during the war years. It is here where 75-80 percent of the population resides, and produces its livelihood. The rural population has done what is only natural -- farm a cash crop. And, the most attractive cash crop in Afghanistan is poppies. Not surprisingly, the poppy plantations have greatly expanded, from 75,000 hectares in 2002 (near the start of the war), to over 210 thousand in 2013, surpassing the previous peak of 190 thousand hectares in 2007. Just another small example of the collateral damage associated with war and misguided economic policies in Afghanistan.


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Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:28 | 4825540 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

That's why they call Afghanistan the Graveyard of Empires.  The US is just one of a long line of empires that have beaten their heads bloody against that land.  That it was Obama who doubled-down on that theatre should be a surprise to no one.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:33 | 4825558 ACP
ACP's picture

Yeah if aliens ever invade Earth, tell them Afghanistan has the most abundant natural resources on the planet, and bust out the popcorn.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:04 | 4825730 max2205
max2205's picture

They broke Russia and they broke us.....

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:31 | 4825776 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture



The sad part with Vietnam...we were never "in it to win it."

I think this was the first war in US History "about absolutely nothing" actually. At least the Russians had the excuse of wanting a warm water port.

Keep those checks from Party Israel comin'!!!

Don't forget the voter and your Blame Bo Bergdahl campaign too!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:53 | 4825801 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

surge in Afghanistan was to decrease unemployment in AMerica by having low skill men and women go dig ditches off the record.


WAR....always the answer for bad economy.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:10 | 4825815 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

The problems were twofold:
We were in both this League of Nations 2.0 called the UN and this cold war vehicle called NATO whiie also having thin majorities in both of houses of Congress. The object was to, immediately, go fuck some assholes, because dicks fuck assholes, chuck. But to make it all legitimate and shit we rolled in the pussies of NATO.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 03:03 | 4825911 Jadr
Jadr's picture

You believe there is actually a difference between the two parties in the realm of foreign policy, how quaint.  Both parties serve the same agenda with different hot button social issues they use to appear as different from one another.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:26 | 4825833 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture





Thu, 06/05/2014 - 05:33 | 4825977 holmes
holmes's picture

Check a map. Afghanistan is land locked.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:31 | 4825778 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

The (h)opium must flow!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 06:45 | 4826009 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

max2205   They broke Russia and they broke us.....


Russia broke Russia and the US broke the US. It's time for self responsibility.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 09:58 | 4826589 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

1. Disagree.  They didn't "break" the US, because the real purpose had NOTHING to do with what was proclaimed.

2. It was all about preventing an Iran-China pipeline running through Afghanistan, after the US was politely declined by the Taliban (their former "friends") with its own pipeline plans.  Just as we saw Nuland & Friends fuck up Ukraine, we did the same to Afghanistan -- out of Neocon spite.  Plus the Opium/Heroin trade has been good for the CIA.  To them, it's "Mission Accomplished".  But not in the same sense you the rest of us see it "accomplished" -- because they will keep stirring the pot, to prevent the Iran-China pipeline from being built.

3. As long as the USD is the GRC, the Fed's "currency creation" can and will continue to be exported to the rest of the planet -- thus exporting our financial problems.  The music keeps playing for the Fed.

4. When the music stops -- and it will -- the US will either have civil war at home (due to the Reset), or they will manufacture a global war.  Alternatively, they will first seek a global currency like the SDR as a "safe haven" to hide behind.  If that fails, it's WW3.  This time it will be fought here also, with 'merican libertarians targeted as "enemies".

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:35 | 4825678 PT
PT's picture

Re "Last week, when President Obama made his trip to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he claimed that 'America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.'" :

Does this mean that, once again, it is time for "one last troop surge"?

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:18 | 4825822 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Hey now. No paying attention.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 02:18 | 4825885 jez
jez's picture

"Last week, when President Obama made his trip to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he claimed that 'America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.'"




You should support your president there. There's nothing worse than an irresponsible end to a war.


Except maybe an irresponsible beginning.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 06:43 | 4826008 CuttingEdge
CuttingEdge's picture

"A responsible end" can only mean leaving the place just as royally fucked up as every other country these twats in Washington decide to interfere with. Something like 80-odd US attempts at regime change since 1953 - and look at the carnage they always leave behind. 

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 08:58 | 4826331 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Yeah Baby ! Next up, the Ukraine ! Second Nobel Peace Prize is in the mail !

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:42 | 4825686 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

"If you like your war, you can keep your war"

Obomba continues to win my coveted Worst.President.Ever Award, beating Grover Cleveland and Jimmy Carter by a comfortable margin. And Carter at least gets points for managing 4 years without firing a shot.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:00 | 4825722 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

What else would anyone expect from the ignorant arrigant narcissistic illegal alien siciopathic liar in chief.  Hoo-rah..

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 12:02 | 4827005 LuciusGermanicus
LuciusGermanicus's picture

The Mongol Empire didn't die in Afghanistan.

That being said...I thought this was the 'right' war. If only we had thrown all our resources into it instead of being side tracked in Iraq.

What is the narrative again? That we won a bunch of mud huts and reopened a movie theater in Kabul.

Sounds legit.

EDIT: Maybe Obama is setting up his Elphinstone.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:28 | 4825542 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

My name is 0bam0, and my master approves this message.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:34 | 4825556 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Bush's war, Obama 's war, what's the difference? Nothing, they are both two stooges advancing a plan that had been set in place long ago.

As a reminder General Wesley Clark told us they were going to take down seven countries in five years:

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:32 | 4825774 Seek_Truth
Seek_Truth's picture

And once again, for future reference, I am pointing out that IRAN will be the successor to the USA, no matter how implausible that "May seem" to our dear readers. - revelation 17:11

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 03:07 | 4825914 Jadr
Jadr's picture

Fairy tales are cool.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 11:10 | 4826841 PT
PT's picture

Not many fairy tales have a Deuteronomy 23:20 in them.  That's my favourite verse at the moment.  Everyone sez its a fairy tale and then expects us to get all surprised when they discover ...

There's other fun bits, but that is my personal "flavour-of-the-month" ... for the last few months.


Guess I should have a squizz at that other verse.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:46 | 4825559 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be about $6000 billion compared to cost of the Vietnam war of $738 billion in 2011 dollars. The high cost of the Vietnam war forced the US off the gold standard on August 15, 1971. But now the Fed can print trillions without any economic consequences (yet) so we can have unending wars. 

The decade-long American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would end up costing as much as $6 trillion, the equivalent of $75,000 for every American household, calculates the prestigious Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Remember, when President George Bush’s National Economic Council Director, Lawrence Lindsey, had told the country’s largest newspaper “The Wall Street Journal” that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, he had found himself under intense fire from his colleagues in the administration who claimed that this was a gross overestimation.

 Consequently, Lawrence Lindsey was forced to resign

According to the Harvard University report, some 1.56 million US troops56 per cent of all Afghanistan and Iraq veterans—were receiving medical treatment at Veterans Administration facilities and would be granted benefits for the rest of their lives.

Can you believe that it costs $1 million to deploy a single soldier to Afghanistan for a year?

With over 60,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, it is estimated that the cost of deploying one American soldier for one year in this war amounts to $1 million



Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:34 | 4825677 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Good Article. VA Medical Costs didn't increase as much as one might be lead to believe from the literature and document summaries though. 151% increase in VA Medical from 1999???!!! I guess they pay VA Bonus money for not spending on Treatment of Military Personnel.!!?? Cheap ass Congress!!

2013 VA Medical Care = $44.7 Billion
1999 VA Medical Care = $17.8 Billion

“Overall, the Veterans Administration’s budget has more than doubled over the past decade, from $61.4 billion in 2001 to $140.3 billion in 2013..."

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:03 | 4825728 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

But the ruling political elite turds voted to exemot yhemselves from obamadcre cuz yhey knew VA quality nightmare bureaucratic cate is coming to your neighborhood soon!  

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:07 | 4825739 max2205
max2205's picture

Don't you fuckers know they said there will be a huge peace dividend. ..ROTFLMAO!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:25 | 4825838 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

The increase comes from the Vietnam vets, of which there were far, far more, and who are at the age where health heads down the shitter. So talk to is about LBJ in this context.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:42 | 4825561 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

i can read i suppose

but alas cannot write.

dropped on my head as a lad

breathed in and out old car fumes of carbon monoxide and lead.

never listened in school.

vac crime scened with needles full of petrochemical cures for diseases i did not have.

ho hum


i have heard of chomski and pilger bernstein and woodward seymour hershey bar christopher alcopop hitchens.

 what do those icons have these men of letters have in common with thousands of other truth lovin newsmen and woman?


none of them have ever talked of the cia the mossad and the mi6 never mentioned the  camp bond steal and the helmand H.

poppies for young men

profits for royals of  old.

for queen and her boss of the roth blood red shield

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:50 | 4825586 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Camp Bond Steel. Wonder what happened there. I just saw some video or article about how US Sent in Contractors & Troops, but sort of supported the Muslims or the first genociders. I guess it was VICE Video. I don't know the truth here. Not sure the difference between Bosnia & Kosovo. Kosovo was a bigger country in Yugoslavia that was mostly Muslim. Then for some reason the Muslims (according to VICE) started ethnic cleansing the Christians? But the story is the US wanted to use Muslim Proxies to start up tensions... so they let it go after they probably started it & encouraged it. I think they said Bin Ladin was in Kosovo to take part in the Terror....? Wow.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:55 | 4825711 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

camp bond steel gate way to the world

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:32 | 4825660 prains
prains's picture

sometimes Tony the really smart dudes know enough to TALK AROUND the obvious and expand on an idea WITHOUT naming's called subtle...and subtle ain't a soda pop.

somethings are implied, like the need to take perscribed meds when needed


dudes have to get paid to write down their ideas and logic says be subtle in your message so the dumb fucks miss the point but the real smart ones read between the lines, ergo you KEEP getting paid to write down your ideas. Naming names is for r'tard cabernet 2014 whiners........are YOU one?

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:49 | 4825698 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

a nice jewish talk all around the houses really.

just a closed satanic jewish loop no room for truth just chatham house tavistock psy

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:46 | 4825794 humble_man
humble_man's picture

please keep spinning your poetry, brother

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:34 | 4825563 Reaper
Reaper's picture

Obama, the Prince of Peace, to embellish his image fought a losing war in Afghanistan. How many fools and innocents died for his glory?

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:54 | 4825597 g'kar
g'kar's picture

Here is a site that lists wounded and deaths in Afghanistan:


Emperor NeRoBaMa sure has a spike during his current reign.


Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:35 | 4825564 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The rural population has done what is only natural -- farm a cash crop. And, the most attractive cash crop in Afghanistan is poppies."

May all your poopies poppies be the CIA's cash crop.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:39 | 4825571 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     The current administration reminds me of a 3-rd world banana republic.

  Yhe USKKA can never go Japan! Never! 

  The USKKA is Europe and Southern Asia. The USKKA is close  to losing Sovereign Hedgemony.

 The uskka needs uskka fiat to fuel the ranch.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:42 | 4825572 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

One thing is for sure. It will be whoever's war the media says it is. How many died from collateral damage in the eight months of bombing Libya? How many have died in attacks in Iraq this year? How many soldiers have died in Afghanistan this year? What is the status of Iraq, Libya, Egypt and anywhere else they don't want to talk about.

Bush was evil for going to war yet he had votes from congress for his actions. they may have been based upon lies or misinformation but before that even came into the discussion, he was beaten about the head daily on this and the media was there reporting it minute by minute. We had all the major Democrats laying the most extreme claims of criminality and malfeasance against bush from the first day.

Obama can go to war against Libya and send advisors into Syria and where is the media? they are missing in action and anyone who would claim otherwise is blind an stupid. Obama will do as he wishes and tell the rest of to go to hell to our faces, and the media won't say a fucking word.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:51 | 4825589 One And Only
One And Only's picture

The MSM just feels like another government department. I never get news from main stream news outlets any longer. It's kind of an ebarassment as an American.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:57 | 4826111 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Don't forget the depleted uranium rounds....a gift that keeps on giving.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 22:57 | 4825604 Freebird
Freebird's picture

Ah, must be after the airmiles..

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:00 | 4825607 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Another Peace Prize in the offing.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:07 | 4825622 g'kar
g'kar's picture

Did we run out of grassy knolls?

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:13 | 4825635 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Introducing the portable grassy knoll in a box, by Ronco......ammo not included.......

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:16 | 4825639 g'kar
g'kar's picture

Sorry but it is Ron Popeil's Pocket Grassy Knoll.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:17 | 4825643 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

No, that version came with an Easy Bake Oven......

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:20 | 4825650 g'kar
g'kar's picture

Hmm, I could've sworn that came with the FEMA ovens. I may be wrong though.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:23 | 4825657 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

The FEMA ovens were only available to the first fifty callers as part of a limited time offer included with the purchase of the Veg-O-Matic.

You need to watch MOAR T.V........

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:31 | 4825670 g'kar
g'kar's picture

LOL...No TV here....that explains it.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:27 | 4825663 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

That couldn't possibly be true.   All of Canada is a gun free zone.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 12:07 | 4827035 LuciusGermanicus
LuciusGermanicus's picture

They probably rented Death Hunt and had a Bronson moment.

Bonus points if the guys last name is Johnson.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:04 | 4825619 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

700 billion dollars would buy a lot of healthcare for the indigent........Priorities.........

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:05 | 4825621 NOZZLE
NOZZLE's picture

Following WWII, you as an American could safely travel thru Japan,  Naziland, Spaghetti-Bender country, et al.  Can you say the same following Obanga's victories in Iraqastan or Shitcanistan where he tripled the troop deaths and actually managed to loose ground secured under Boooosh?

This business of trading a POS traitor for the leaders of the cult of death is proof of Obanga's muslim faith.  POS, Bergdahl is muslim POS who helped the taliban and got soldiers killed who were trying to retrieve him.

Go get our Marine back from the Taco Bender garbage you genetic filth.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:09 | 4825630 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

With the exception of Japan, I can't seem to find any of those locations on google maps........

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 12:31 | 4827135 LuciusGermanicus
LuciusGermanicus's picture

You forgot the French, Nozzle. ;)

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:08 | 4825633 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 What an absolute disgrace!  That reptile represents' everything my parents taught me not to be!

  No illigitimate children, Wealthy in mind and sharing, appreciate health and intelligence.(sic)

 Let's talk Junkster?

 My parents taught me values and respect. I get junked for that? This country has devolved into sludge.

 The irony is that the United States of America"  is eating itself from within!


Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:45 | 4825691 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

good news from the front lord bandar bush the jewish zionist  ape from saudi arabia has trouble with the breath of the in out variety.

oh lord make it so.

Bandar Bin Sultan injected with justice

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 02:01 | 4825871 Jam
Jam's picture

Now I know where my missing dish towel went.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:44 | 4825693 ChargingHandle
ChargingHandle's picture

How dare you talk bad about an African American.  Racist! 

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:45 | 4825694 intric8
intric8's picture

This is fucking unacceptable. I actually lost my appetite reading this shit. At every turn we are being looted, latin american estilo.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:53 | 4825704 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Well you know, Nobel peace prices don't come cheap.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 23:54 | 4825709 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Obama's racket for the same cronies that benefited under Bush, and Clinton, and Bush, and...

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:15 | 4825749 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

Many Americans have recently tried to block Afghanistan out of their thoughts, going forward little exist to be excited or optimist about. As with Vietnam it seems that we may have to settle with claims of "peace with honor" as we rush for the exit.

This reminds me of the experience the French had in Algeria. After years of effort the French did not achieve victory, they only proved how difficult and expensive some of these missions can become. The announcement by President Obama that American troops would be departing leaves many people wondering about the void we will be leaving  and how it will be filled. More about the bleak outlook ahead in the article below.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:34 | 4825781 humble_man
humble_man's picture

I call bullshit.  Bush got us into this mess, bankrupted our country, killed my friends, and called "Mission Accomplished."  And no, you sadistic SOBs, I am not being sarcastic.  We were attacked and W. Bush said "go shopping."  Dick Cheney is Darth Vadar, and Hillary Clinton is the evil aunt that kept pinching my ass.

I wrote in RON PAUL on my general election ballot and less than 0.1% in AZ did the same.  I also voted for G.H.W. Bush, so fuck off if you want to call me a LIBERTARD.

I am here to help.....

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:46 | 4825791 ChargingHandle
ChargingHandle's picture

I came across this post and it pretty much sums up Obama's leadership this week.


So, to recap Obama's week: He first outed our station chief in Afghanistan. He then announced our unilateral withdrawal from the war. Finally he released our enemy's cabinet in exchange for a defector. 

It gets even worse than this. The worst part is that he thought this a good solution to a bad news cycle having to do with veterans dying on fraudulent VA waiting lists. Lord help us... Seriously. Did anyone ever imagine a worse week in presidential history possible? What will he come up with to get rid of THIS news cycle? Lord help us please. 


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:53 | 4826095 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Flooding the border with immigrant children???

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 00:51 | 4825799 Spungo
Spungo's picture

I don't understand why Bush and Zero insist on slow withdrawals from shit countries. Do they have any concept of what fundamentalist Islam is like? There is absolutely nothing we (or anyone) can do to help these retard cultures. We're talking about a culture where a woman can be stoned to death because she was raped. It will be an absolute shit hole no matter what, so we should just pull out as quickly as possible. Does it really matter if the country has a government? 

The conspiracy side of me thinks it has nothing to do with stability and everything to do with opium. Opium production has skyrocketed since we took control of Afghanistan. Curiously, the Taliban that were in charge before us were strongly opposed to opium, saying it was against Islam.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 12:23 | 4827107 LuciusGermanicus
LuciusGermanicus's picture

They weren't against the opium trade in practice.

The trade in Opium dropped a few percentage points just prior to the US invasion of Afghanistan.

The Taliban would never give up their cash cow, it was just an effort to control the market on their side.

Drive the price up for Europe.

It took decades for places such as Thailand to even start to get a handle on their own opium trade.

You will not stamp it out, until they are able to grow a replacement crop that they can bring to market.

With all the other competition on staple crops around the world...ya...Opium will still be the cash cow in Afghanistan.

Same as it ever was.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:43 | 4825856 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

OB'Mama is such a convenient scape goat that one could easily be forgiven for forgetting that this entire fiasco started with Dulles, at the latest.

[Oh look, he got a airport neamed after him too!]

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:52 | 4825867 3rd Pig
3rd Pig's picture

Cover up the biggest bank heist in history by blaming goat herders in mountains half a planet away.

100 years in the planning... you’ve got to admit it these are clever bastards!

But we know who the bank robbers are... don’t we?


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 03:19 | 4825919 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

"But we know who the bank robbers are... don’t we?"

They ain't 'muzzie ragheads' is they...

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 05:02 | 4825963 young turk
young turk's picture

evil smivil its all about money with all of them sociopaths are what we have running the country

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 05:45 | 4825981 pachanguero
pachanguero's picture

why? did our boys die?  Wall Street.......

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 06:06 | 4825988 Obamanism
Obamanism's picture

$650 Billion spent in Afghanistan, then say $50 Billion per year in Opium production for 14 years that is $700 billion in Opium alone, they are up $50 billion up. Remember Afghanistan produces 90% of the worlds Opium. So invade Iraq for the big "O" Oil, Invade Afghanistan for the the Big "O" (Opium) to chase the dragon.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:22 | 4826039 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

It was his war the day he took office, regardless of the spending. As commander in chief, he could have ended the war whenever he wanted, but he has not.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:36 | 4826050 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

War, just another way for banksters to destroy countries.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:41 | 4826054 juggalo1
juggalo1's picture

The biggest problem with Afghanistan is there was never a vision of what victory would look like.  I get sick of all the people who talk about women's rights and democratic norms in foreign countries.  I'm always amazed at the interventions the US does, where we depose a foreign government, and then commentators are disappointed when said nation doesn't turn into a liberal democracy.  Is that really what you expected?  We should have gone in, shaken up the Taliban, chased Osama around, dismantled some terrorist camps, piled up some bodies, declared victory and gone home.  Beyond those limited goals, what did we expect to accomplish?

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 08:40 | 4826261 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

Victory = Increase in Government Spending


Seriously, that is the definition.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:48 | 4826072 fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

Do you think he'll really go there this time, or just via green screen ;-)

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:49 | 4826073 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

The US needs the money printing abilities voided.

And as far as this war bankrupted the US.........the US was already broke beforehand.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 07:52 | 4826090 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

The poppy is also a flower.  Why not legalize heroin and tax it?  The politicians would love it.  The rehabilitaion centers and addiction counselor folks would love it.  How long have their been opium dens?  Let's drug the whole damn population and tax the living hell out of it.  Marijuana will be legal nationwide in our lifetime and will generate multiple billions in taxes for our masters.  How much money is generated in "sin taxes" on liquor and tobacco products?  I think now in the city of Chicago cigarettes are over ten dollars a pack and over a dollar and a half of that is taxes.  If we did away with "the war on drugs" how many jail cells would be emptied out?  How many people would be turned loose to return to society and stay comfortably numb and steal and rob to support their habits? 

Ok now lets hear about the "responsible drug users".  Rich suburban kids die of heroin overdoses because they are so pampered as well as ignored that their vacuous lives are empty.  Legalize it all.  Hell while we are at it lets legalize propofal or whatever that sedative was that killed Michael Jackson.  All of it.  Why have pharmacies and pharmacists?  Mix your own.  Do whatever you feel like doing.  

Inside out we are being eaten like a snake eating its own tail.  The fabric of society is moth eaten and full of holes.  Slumber America.  Bury your head in the sand.  We are being milked like cows if we still work and pay taxes.  Look around.  Closed business.  Coal plants being shut down now right and left.  Evil energy companies.  Wait until your electric bills go up another 40% here in the next few months.  Had enough yet?  No,  I didn't think so.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 08:09 | 4826147 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

I really can't figure this out.  Would one of you administration sock puppets who posts here, kindly post a  list of the ways in which I am better off because of our stunning victories in Afganistan?  TIA.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 09:43 | 4826545 22winmag
22winmag's picture

The S word has been floating around for years.



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