Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday each week.

December 21, 2021

Today’s “column from the archives” first appeared in 2011, ten years ago. As you read what follows, think about the big picture and give some thought to the various points and whether or not things have really changed.

Even in 2011, the money poured into Afghanistan by America was astronomical – $800 million in the prior ten years – that Federal auditors included in the overall planning in Afghanistan. A police barracks location was also criticized when auditors noticed its location was adjacent to an armory. Why? The location subjected police personnel to risk as the armory would be a likely target of terrorists.


The naysayers have done it again – defeated the economic recovery and talked the country into a double-dip recession.

In all the volumes of rhetoric from both sides of the aisle about the debt limit, the blame of America’s situation boils down to entitlements. It is never about the waste of dollars thrown away needlessly in foreign countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, for the benefit of U. S. contractors with the right connections. 

It is disillusioning to this writer to see American citizens, some considered the most vulnerable, being targeted as the cause of America’s economic situation and the horrendous deficit the country is facing. 

The war in Iraq was started on false/fraudulent information that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The world was eventually told none could be found. As the war in Iraq seems to have run its course, American soldiers now find themselves being sacrificed in Afghanistan, a place even Russia finally gave up on.   To this day, can anyone really justify to the American people the reason for fighting a war in Afghanistan? Al-Qaeda? While terrorism is no doubt a worldwide threat, a war such as is being fought in Afghanistan seems an inept way to deal with such a threat. 

Believe it or not, there are federal auditors and special inspectors whose job it is to keep tabs on the massive programs U. S. agencies undertake as part of the “war effort” in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The American people are pretty much kept in the dark about the massive amounts of U. S. dollars spent in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, money that is spent in attempts to gain or maintain them as allies. Little attention is paid to detail such as once the U. S. leaves the country, is there qualified personnel to operate the facilities.

Overbuilding means billions of U. S. dollars to U. S. contractors without consideration given to sophisticated facilities such as power plants and can the local people operate them. A scenario is created and perpetuated that necessitates leaving behind independent contractors to operate grossly-overbuilt facilities, paid for with U. S. dollars to those having the connections to get the contracts. 

 A complex in Kandahar, Afghanistan built by the U. S. is loosely described as administrative and training buildings, a vehicle maintenance shop, warehouses and barracks at a cost of “about $45 million” that is way above the available abilities of the locals to operate. The cost of those independent contractors? “About $800 million over a ten-year period.” 

Federal auditors also criticized overall planning in Afghanistan where a police barracks was constructed adjacent to an armory putting police personnel at risk should the armory become a target of terrorists. 

American taxpayers pay a heavy price for such colonialism all over the world on such a broad scale that it is nearly impossible to place a dollar figure on it or determine just how much of America’s deficit is attributable to such wasteful programs. Would the deficit be at the present level were it not for the billions of dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Remember, billions “morph” into a trillion(s)! 

Think of Pakistan as the place Osama Bin Laden was found living and had been for so many years. Yet, Pakistan receives billions of American dollars annually. 

But, here at home on American soil, those who have worked a lifetime, paid their fair share in taxes (yes, Social Security, Medicare) are looked on and blamed for being a burden to the system, even accused of it being welfare by some elitists. Think what $800 million would do for the homeless and older citizens right here in America!!!


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