Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wars Money Pit

CSM ran a story earlier this week about wartime contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in at least $60 Billion in waste and fraud. Contractors were viewed throughout the Bush administration as an integral part of the military of the future--with smaller more specialized forces and government contractors picking up many of the tasks previously performed by military forces or government agencies. Unfortunately, the new system of private contractors appears to be just as fishy as any of the previous ones.

The main problem here as noted in the article, is a lack of oversight on what these contractors are actually doing. Without government oversight contractors are making money hand over fist…something sure to continue given troop pullouts and decreasing government budgets. Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2011/0901/US-commission-finds-widespread-waste-and-corruption-in-wartime-contracts

The implications are plentiful for the United States. Domestically, we just had this brutal war over the debt ceiling in Congress…a war that sixty billion dollars would be a nice start in fighting…but no, its’ been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan probably lining the pocket of some warlord that is only loyal to us because we have money.

Then we sit in Congress and bitch about entitlements, while making very wealthy contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sounds to me like instead of quibbling about relatively small pools of money, if our politicians gave a damn about debt, they’d clamp down on such horrendous spending habits.

Setting aside the impact on the United States, lets put ourselves in the shoes of the average Afghani. You were promised a better life after the Taliban was dislodged, but instead of freedom, they’ve been replaced by the semi-friendly Western government of Harmid Karzi which ranked by Transparency International as the second most corrupt government of the world.

Meanwhile government contractors who are supposed to be producing meaningful infrastructure repairs and instead you don’t even have basic services in many outlying areas. You’d just throw your hands up and mutter “More of the same.” Reports like these do not help the United States win the hearts and minds, we desperately need in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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