Defense One By Kevin BaronBaron: Each U.S.Troop in Afghanistan Now Costs $2.1 Million
The average cost of each U.S. troop in Afghanistan will nearly double in the last year of the war to $2.1 million, according to a new analysis of the Pentagon's budget. For the past five years, from fiscal 2008 through 2013, the average troop cost had held steady at roughly $1.3. million. But the Pentagon's 2014 war budget would dramatically increase that figure. The added cost, argue Defense Department officials, is a reflection of the price of sending troops and equipment back home in the drawdown. Not so, says Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis' Todd Harrison. He doesn't buy that excuse, and argued on Thursday that the U.S. has been moving far greater amounts of troops and equipment in those previous budget years. Instead, he said, as the number of U.S. troops decline, the overhead cost to support the war and the Afghan forces that the U.S. continues to underwrite remains relatively stable. "It was a bit of a shocker to me," Harrison said. The budget analyst said costs like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, as well as the support structure for troop life remains high, compared to the total personnel number dip. Our War in Vietnam. In the introduction to his book: The Lost Revolution, Robert Shaplen sets the stage for our involvement in Vietnam by reporting on the colonial empire of France, formerly including some 287,000 square miles and consisting of Tonkin, Annam, Cochin China, Cambodia and Laos. This empire, he says, was administered with a basic contempt for a subject people, and this contempt frequently led to demonstrations of gross cruelty against whole villages as well as individuals. Robert Shaplen, The Lost Revolution, Introduction, pg. X. One would have to expect that our citizens of the United States, formerly a colony of the British Empire, would have some sympathy, or at least empathy, for the desire of other colonies to free themselves of the yoke of colonialism. Colonialism debases the rights of other nations, in addition to the burden that this activity places on the backs of her own citizens. Here is an e-mail from a friend that I received just a few hours before the beginning of the Iraq war on TV, which they have given names like 'Countdown to Liberty,' March to Freedom,' etc, etc, complete with producers and directors, and for which they are encouraging you to become armchair generals, pretending that you are watching another made-for-TV reality show, this is as real, as it gets, folks. Real lives! Real blood! Real guts!! Pray for our spouses, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends who are about to enter this conflict, and for the countless innocent people who are caught in the middle." During any war, beware of the information you hear and see about the conflict. You may safely assume that the mass media, as well as the government they have always promoted in the past, are tuned to the same frequency. "The first casualty, when war comes, is the truth, said U.S Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917. Not much has really changed since then. If You Go to War. Should you be unfortunate enough to serve in a war despite your misgivings, trust those who have experienced war on a very personal level and beware of listening to the many deceivers in out midst.