Five minutes in Afghanistan

| December 31, 2010 | 4 Replies

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently touted a “One Million Dollar Grant” that St. Louis will soon receive for developing trails for bicycling and walking. I’ve long been a bicycle commuter and this new trail is truly a great idea. One million dollars is a lot of money. Too bad there’s not money for more of these infrastructure improvements, including bridge repairs and many things that are far more pressing than bicycle trails.   Or at least this is what the politicians tell us.

In actuality, we’re pouring more than $2 billions dollars down the drain every week in Afghanistan. We have nothing to show for ten years of “progress” in Afghanistan.  Our strategy mostly seems to consist of shooting at poor people who resent our presence in their county.  And we’re committed to supporting a known corrupt leader. And we’re committed to overseeing a vast illegal drug trade.  Our current “peace president” is likely keeping the troops over there for political reasons, not because there is any hope of accomplishing anything for Americans or the people of Afghanistan.  Our imperialist adventure in Afghanistan is horrifically expensive, and its foundation is the “sunk costs fallacy.

How expensive is our “war” in Afghanistan in terms of the new St. Louis bicycle trail program? In Afghanistan, we burn through one million dollars every five minutes.  It is a needless war that is making us poor.

[Here's the math: $2B per week equals almost 12 million per hour. Which equals $1 million every five minutes].

Think about it.   One million dollars every five minutes to accomplish nothing but to provide make-work for the military-industrial complex.   Could your community use one million dollars for anything these days?  Perhaps to hire new teachers?  Or to fix a collapsing bridge?  Or to retrain workers?

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Category: American Culture, Corruption, Good and Evil, Military

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Big wasted money | Dangerous Intersection | January 4, 2011
  1. Mr. Paradise says:

    Have you ever been to Afghanistan? A great many things are being accomplished for Afghanistan, and for the people of the world. Would you have us walk away from a country whose entire economy is based on the production and distribution of Opium, leaving them and the rest of the world to fend for themselves, free only to distribute pain, death, and addiction?

  2. Jim Razinha says:

    I was saving this for a Facebook post (I guess I still will use it there), but:

    “Everything for which America fought has been accomplished. It will now be our fortunate duty to assist by example, by sober, friendly counsel, and by material aid in the establishment of just democracy throughout the world.”

    That was Woodrow Wilson on Armistice day in 1918. Long history of getting involved and then occupying. WWI was about economics – once Wilson realized that Germany was not going to win, he wanted to get in on the spoils. WWII bad guys were plentiful, and we were attacked (and economics just happened to play again – helped us out of that Depression thing). Korea – bad guys attacked our friends we were occupying. After that? We picked and chose which horrific genocides or evil governments we were going to manag, and oddly left others alone. Africa wasn't worth it, so there was nothing going on in Darfur, Uganda, etc, at least officially. Iraq posed no threat (according to Condi Rice and Colin Powell before the WMD's surfaced to prompt that invasion and occupation…um, well, at least that's what we were told). Afghanistan, while benign on a global stage, supposedly harbored the people responsible for the 9/11 attacks. But we never got them before shifting the global war to Iraq. And any job left unfinished is going to leave a bigger mess than when we inserted ourselves.

    So, Mr. Paradise, when do we invade Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador? Must stop cocaine at the source.

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