Are Drone attacks justified? This is an interview in the United States at Fora TV with Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist who was the only journalist able to interview Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Drone missions are far less costly than military aviation sorties that require a human pilot and crew.
Military operations brought to Afghanistan, and forced upon Pakistan amidst the AfPAK War, have created a new huge refugee problem in the northwest provinces of Pakistan. These refugees hate the United States because of the civilian casualties caused by the drone missions. To continue to talk about “winning hearts and minds” in Afghan and Pakistan villages is ludicrous. The score card of terrorist leaders killed is beside the point because there is an endless supply of good candidates ready to fill vacant leadership positions as the past eight years has demonstrated.
MQ-9 Reaper drone in flight
Photo – Lt. Colonel Leslie Pratt / USAF
Propaganda about the birth of ‘fledging democracies’ would be laughable, if the human costs were not so severe. Sectarian Sunni-Shi’ite warfare in several disguises continues in Iraq. There are political analysts who believe that Iraq is the most politically corrupt state of all. Afghanistan remains as it has always been, a tribal federation where alliances shift and move in complex patterns yet to be understood in the West, and it remains the premier narco state on the planet. The United States is now deeply enmeshed in a plot to remove Hamid Karzai from office as the President of Afghanistan. His opponent in the recently held corrupt elections is believed to be more easily manipulated by American interests. So much for genuine ‘fledgling democracy’; the energy stakes are much too high for that.
The human cost in civilian casualties and social/cultural destruction in Afghanistan, and now Pakistan, is well known, thoroughly documented and apparently of little concern to those obsessed with ‘full spectrum dominance’. Tons of verbiage attempting to convince the world otherwise have accomplished little except to lower America’s integrity and trust index to near zero After eight years of these two wars, USA prestige and influence in the world has reached a new low point.
Trillion Dollar Bill
Graphic Art – methodshop
The National Priorities Project / Cost of War Counters Trade-Off –
As always, the Bottom Line is Money. There are a number of cost of war counters on the web, but a new web site has developed an exceptional presentation. TheNational Priorities Project mission is to analyze “complex federal spending data and translate it into easy-to-understand information about how [United States] federal tax dollars are spent.”
The National Priorities web site is an education for the world, not just American voters. The expected running tally, cost-of-war counter is present. In addition, there are separate Cost of War in Afghanistan and Cost of War in Iraq counters. The visitor can choose a specific defense program and home state, and the counter will calculate what non defense programs could have been funded in that state if the chosen defense program were not funded. These counters are the bottom line look at an oft discussed topic, ‘what would we get if this or that defense program was not funded?’
Military Cost to Secure_Energy FY2009 / HI
Chart – National Priority Project
For those with blogs or web sites, National Priority makes available free code snippets so you can place these calculators on your page. This is a great site with superb calculators. Spend some time at National Priority Project and think again about where America is taking the world.
Disclaimer: The author of this post has no professional relationship with the National Priorities Project.
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