Let’s Look at the Numbers: Afghanistan edition

(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

17000–that’s the main number folks have been talking about lately–the number of additional young men and women the US government is presently sending into harm’s way in Afghanistan.

$2,080,000,000–that’s one that caught my eye recently. It was in a NY Times article entitled “U.S. Plans Afghan Effort to Thwart Road Bombs.”

Actually you had to do a little math to come up with it. Thom Shanker reports that

the Pentagon is planning to buy 2,080 heavily armored vehicles that are more maneuverable than the 2,000 larger models in place. Each costs about $1 million. The more unwieldy version of the troop transport, known as a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, or M-RAP, has trouble negotiating Afghanistan’s rough terrain.

2080 vehicles at a million per (before cost overruns, of course) is over 2 billion dollars. For armored trucks. Because the 2000 the brass already bought won’t work in Afghanistan. And that’s just one small line item in the tab that is being run up for the expanded and prolonged occupation it sure looks like that poor country has in store.

I know 2 billion can seem like chicken feed when we read how much is being shoveled into AIG’s trick or treat bag, but this is a damn wake-up call. As each day brings new signs that the depression we are spiraling into will be long and ugly, we should think very carefully about how smart it is to pump billions and billions into trying to dominate the country they call The Graveyard of Empires.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

1 comment

    • Pluto on March 6, 2009 at 23:57

    It very well may do so. Our presence in Afghanistan benefits a number of European nations in that it provides energy security and a return on investments in the area. I would imagine they are paying for all of it, since the US has no money or reserves. And, of course, the heroin production is vastly more profitable since we’ve been there. It is, after all, the internationally recognized currency for weapons, which makes the MIC bonuses rock.

    All we have to to is put up is the lives of our bullet catchers (aka soldiers) and bamboozle Americans into thinking this has something to do with old whathisname…oh yeah, that dead guy… omama Osama! That’s it!

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