The black hole of war: where is the money going?
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
Not only is the American imperialistic military machine incredibly ineffectual in their armed nation building efforts across the Middle East, the military has also been directly involved in the swindling of billions. This, unfortunately, is in addition to the billions of dollars spent monthly keeping our fellow American citizens in the line of fire fighting for the profits of the elite.
The wars our government is waging in our names around the world are taking the lives of members of our Armed services while also sucking up absurd amounts of taxpayer funds which we will likely never see any return on. This is most prevalent in the past decade’s nation building efforts, all of which have been failures by most metrics.
The billions of dollars being funneled into these nations will likely never be paid back, and if it is, it will be in no less than a decade. In a Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan report published June 3rd, 2011, many disturbing statistics are revealed.
Essentially, the above report shows that there are tens of billions of taxpayer dollars that will disappear into the black hole of war if the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan cannot successfully take over operations. Just a single program in Afghanistan could potentially cost us $11 billion. Obviously the total potential losses are much larger than this figure based on just one program. We must also assume that these numbers are somewhat conservative given they were provided by the federal government.
Part of our armed nation building program in Afghanistan is the training and outfitting of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This is one of the most massive money sinks our money is being thrown into, while they will not be able to pay it back for at least 10 years. During this time we will still likely be having our money siphoned off from much needed areas in America and sent over to Afghanistan to support the ANSF.
A passage of the CWC report reads, “a preliminary U.S. military estimate of ANSF sustainment costs for just the period 2014 through 2017 is in the neighborhood of $30 billion. The ANSF, currently numbering about 305,000 personnel, is growing toward a newly authorized strength of 352,000, which will raise sustainment costs.” That’s right, on top of the tens of billions of dollars being sunk into unsustainable programs in foreign countries in which we are exerting our control, we are going to be on the hook for even more in the near future.
Does something seem wrong here? Why are we committing ourselves to programs that we cannot sustain nor afford? It sure is a nice thought to pretend we can afford to be the world’s nanny, giving away money to whomever we please, especially when it involves defense contractors. The reality is that if America intends to survive in the coming decades, we must stop pretending we have money when in reality we are in over our heads.
On the last page of the report, it is revealed that, “The Afghan government has already indicated that it cannot pay such costs from its resources, and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction told the Commission in a January 2011 hearing that “The entire $11.4 billion [in construction spending] is at risk.””
Why are we continuing to sink massive amounts of taxpayer dollars into a nation that doesn’t want us there and can’t afford to pay back the funds we have frivolously spent in our failed nation building attempts? The amount of money that is spent on equipping our own troops (poorly I might add) is, on its own, enough of a financial burden to weigh down the American taxpayer. Piling on the duty of equipping and funding a foreign nation’s army without any hope of sustainability is nothing short of ludicrous.
Unfortunately, this mire we have waded into in Afghanistan is just the beginning of our journey into the black hole of war that loves to suck up billions of dollars to never be seen again.
Recently, it was revealed that $6.6 billion in Iraqi reconstruction funds went missing without a trace. This money came from around $12 billion in United States Dollars (most of it Iraqi oil money, belonging to the people if Iraq) that was sent to Iraq between April 2003 to June 2004, according to a 2007 Vanity Fair report. The numbers surrounding this controversy seem to change more than a nervous teenage girl before her first date.
The Vanity Fair report linked above claims the number was around $9 billion, while the Crooks and Liars article claimed $6.6 billion. However, both of these numbers seem to be a massive misrepresentation of the actual funds pilfered from the American and Iraqi people.
The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reports that the number is $17 billion. Similarly, a blogger for the Foreign Policy Association writes, “In wake of the US announcement that nearly seven billion dollars destined for reconstruction in Iraq had been stolen — not just mislaid in an accounting miscue — Iraqi lawmakers are demanding the return of $17 billion they say was stolen since 2003.”
$17 billion in missing funds pales in comparison to the total sum invested by Congress into Iraqi reconstruction projects. This frightening number is around $61 billion, all of which we can likely never expect to get back. This situation in Iraq just gets more ridiculous as you investigate it further. According to the Pentagon, one C-130 Hercules cargo plane can hold a payload of $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills. This means that roughly five full C-130 loads just disappeared into thin air. This amount of physical cash is hard to imagine, it is even harder to imagine that such a massive amount of money could be stolen without a trace.
This $17 billion number seems to be somewhat conservative as well. Unfortunately, the real number cited by Iraqi legislators is actually larger than the $17 billion which in and of itself makes the original estimate of $6.6 billion look like chump change.
Al Jazeera reports, “Osama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn – three times more than the reported $6.6bn.”
Not only has this ridiculously large sum of money gone missing, there isn’t a single expenditure report to show where this money went or if any of it was actually spent on the purpose for which it was withdrawn. This money wasn’t just printed out of nothing as the private Federal Reserve loves to do, it was actually withdrawn from an oil profits fund belonging to the people of Iraq.
Since the Iraqi government cannot bring America to court and file suit, they are seeking the assistance of the United Nations in recovering these billions of stolen cash. As much as I would love for the people of Iraq to get their money back from the thieves that swiped tens of billions from an already incredibly impoverished and exploited nation, I do not think that all of it will be recovered. If defense contractors or elements of the American intelligence community were involved in this operation, we can safely assume that very little, if any, of the funds will be recovered or tracked down.
Knowing what we know now, how could a single sane member of Congress or the Senate with a single scrupulous bone in their body support the continuation of our current conflicts and even the expansion of new ones in Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and possibly Syria? How can they sleep at night knowing that they are not only ripping off the American people and screwing over untold future generations by signing on to even more debt as if we already didn’t have enough?
Do they not realize that if we continue these actions and do not make significant changes in domestic, foreign and monetary policy, their children will suffer right along with us? The elitist mindset might make them think that they are a separate class or that we are subhuman but unfortunately for them, they are just regular people like everyone else. The entire notion of social Darwinism, and the horrors it justifies, is completely morally and intellectually bankrupt.
We can rest well knowing that there is no action taken by these individuals that will not eventually come around to bit them and their children in the ass. They can delude themselves all they please but eventually there will be a backlash and it will not be pretty. If you rob every single American blind, you’re not going to have any people left to put on the cop uniforms or take up the guns to fight in imperialistic banker’s wars. When will this critical mass be reached? Where is the tipping point in which people just won’t take it anymore? No one can say for sure but based on the recent events in Greece and Spain, it seems that people around the world are starting to realize who is enslaving them and they are not going to take it laying down any longer.