Posted by: Tony Carson | 10 November, 2009

Buying off the enemy: bucks prove better than bullets

Wars aren’t profitable just for the military industrial complex. Increasingly, it’s a pretty good deal for the enemy, too.

The war in Iraq was heading for disaster when some bright guy suggested that the US do what it does best: turn the war into a financial transaction — capitalize it: pay the insurgent Sunni to stay home. Voila! The tide turned. They said it was ‘the surge,’ sure, but what military general ever wants to admit that bucks are better than bullets?

As we’ve said before, if it worked in Iraq, why not in Afghanistan where the Taliban forces are composed more of the impoverished than of ideologues. So, to coin a phrase, ‘Pay up, pay up and play the game.’ And it is working. A lot of the fringe Taliban are putting down their rifle and picking up … ah, there’s the rub.

There are no jobs in Afghanistan. But there could be. How about ‘An Infrastructure Program,’ you know, the ‘shovel-ready’ projects that infuse the economy with so many jobs so fast that the economy has a chance to recover?

God knows, Afghanistan is shovel-ready.

So where to find the money?

It’s in the surge. It costs $1.3 million to have an American soldier in Iraq for a year. So, $1.3 million x 40,000 is money they’re planning to spend anyway, why not invest the $5 billion (and the $3 billion a day they’re already spending) to rebuild the country?

Afghanistan is shovel-ready. But it needs the bucks not the bullets.

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