Will Special Interests Allow America’s ‘Longest War’ to Finally End?

by | May 5, 2021 | Headline News | 4 comments

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    This article was originally published by Ron Paul at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

    Even if “won,” endless wars like our 20-year assault on Afghanistan would not benefit our actual national interest in the slightest. So why do these wars continue endlessly? Because they are so profitable to powerful and well-connected special interests.

    In fact, the worst news possible for the Beltway military contractor/think tank complex would be that the United States actually won a war. That would signal the end of the welfare-for-the-rich gravy train.

    In contrast to the end of declared wars, like World War II when the entire country rejoiced at the return home of soldiers where they belonged, an end to any of Washington’s global military deployments would result in wailing and gnashing of the teeth among the military-industrial complex which gets rich from other people’s misery and sacrifice.

    Would a single American feel less safe if we brought home our thousands of troops currently bombing and shooting at Africans?

    As Orwell famously said, “the war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.” Nowhere is this more true than among those whose living depends on the US military machine constantly bombing people overseas.

    How many Americans, if asked, could answer the question, “why have we been bombing Afghanistan for an entire generation?” The Taliban never attacked the United States and Osama bin Laden, who temporarily called Afghanistan his home, is long dead and gone. The longest war in US history has dragged on because…it has just dragged on.

    So why did we stay? As neocons like Max Boot tell it, we are still bombing and killing Afghans so that Afghan girls can go to school. It’s a pretty flimsy and cynical explanation. My guess is that if asked, most Afghan girls would prefer to not have their country bombed.

    Indeed, war has made the Beltway bomb factories and think tanks rich. As Brown University’s Cost of War Project has detailed, the US has wasted $2.26 trillion dollars on a generation of war on Afghanistan. Much of this money has been spent, according to the US government’s own Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, on useless “nation-building” exercises that have built nothing at all. Gold-plated roads to nowhere. Aircraft that cannot perform their intended functions but that have enriched contractors and lobbyists.

    President Biden has announced that the US military would be out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. But as always, the devil is in the details. It appears that US special forces, CIA paramilitaries, and the private contractors who have taken an increasing role in fighting Washington’s wars, will remain in-country. Bombing Afghans so that Max Boot and his neocons can pat themselves on the back.

    But the fact is this: Afghanistan was a disaster for the United States. Only the corrupt benefitted from this 20-year highway robbery. Will we learn a lesson from wasting trillions and killing hundreds of thousands? It is not likely. But there will be an accounting. The piper will be paid. Printing mountains of money to pay the corrupt war profiteers will soon leave the working and middle classes in dire straits. It is up to non-interventionists like us to explain to them exactly who has robbed them of their future.

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      4 Comments

      1. Bill

        Whatever the reason for winding back the war in Afghanistan, it isn’t on behalf of the people, everything the State does is only for the State and its nameless and faceless insiders. The American people are kept outside the loop on everything, we are considered nothing more than a disposable managed resource.
        I would speculate the only real reason is that the US is close to financial insolvency.
        The purposeful importation of countless millions of illegal 3rd world immigration, even more vast new social spending, and new domestic spying projects are absorbing huge and unsustainable chunks of federal spending. Spending must be trimmed to elsewhere. The Dem.s mainly want a welfare state, the Rep.s mainly want a warfare state. Neither have a sufficient majority to get what they want without compromising. So they keep voting to some degree for each other’s programs. Since the Dem.s currently have the majority much of the dollars will flow into their programs. Both parties are however equally responsible for wrecking the budget and finances of the country. Again, the State with its gov’t and officialdom act in its interests, and its interests only, not the American people, what the State does is ultimately only for the State.
        In fact, much of officialdom considers the American people undesirables. They earnestly want population replacement. Many in officialdom and its supporting institutions have publicly voiced they despise the fact American citizens own so much private property in the US, and that officialdom wished it had the power to take it away and give it to the new immigrants. Many in officialdom have publicly voiced they are very happy about the declining birth rates of the American people.
        The State is not your friend, it poses a far greater threat to your God-given rights, to your right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and to your freedoms and personal sovereignty than any threat or enemies America ever had.

      2. Frank Thoughts

        Nobody’s lives matter. All that matters is money and power. If Afghanistan serves that purpose, then it will carry on.

        Will Afghanistan become like “Sweden” as we were once told? Who knows? But I bet you $10 trillion we will keep on trying.

        It is important to understand Muslims do not give a crap about other Muslims. Why are the Saudis bombing the crap out of Yemen?

        The one thing you can count on is the hate the Islamic faith perpetuates and the amazing money-making opportunities from offering security services to counter it. That is the self-licking ice cream cone and it will keep going on and on and on ….

      3. alfie

        About ” bleeping ” time to get out of that eternal sand trap and let those religious idiots kill each other off ( I have no problem with religion as long as it isn’t shoved down my throat )

      4. JRS

        The wrong-headedness of most fist pumping USA! USA! USA! chanting Americans can be summed up this way:

        “One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions.”

        ———–Mike Hastie, US Army medic, Vietnam 1970-71———-

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