The wacky world_of American war
From Tom Dispatch a quiz:
With President Obama’s announced July 2011 drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in mind, the Pentagon has already:
a. Begun organizing an orderly early 2011 withdrawal of troops from combat outposts and forward operating bases to larger facilities to facilitate the president’s plan.
b. Launched a new U.S. base-building binge in Afghanistan, including contracts for three $100 million facilities not to be completed, no less completely occupied, until late 2011.
c. Announced plans to shut down Kandahar Air Base’s covered boardwalk, including a TGI Friday’s, a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a Mamma Mia’s Pizzeria, and cancelled the opening of a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs as part of its preparations for an American drawdown.
Answer is b.
According to Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, construction is slated to begin on at least three $100 million air base projects — “a $100 million area at Shindand Air Base for Special Operations helicopters and unmanned intelligence and surveillance aircraft”; another $100 million to expand the airfield at Camp Dwyer, a Marine base in Helmand Province, also to support Special Operations forces; and a final $100 million for expanded air facilities at Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. None of these projects are to be completed until well after July 2011. “[R]equests for $1.3 billion in additional fiscal 2011 funds for multiyear construction of military facilities in Afghanistan are pending before Congress.” And fear not, there are no indications that the fast-food joints at Kandahar are going anywhere.
I was reading up on the Roman General, member of the first Triumvirate with Caesar and Crassus, Pompey, also known as Sulla or Sully.
He was a part of the militarization of the Roman republic which ended up with Octavian establishing the role of Emperor which marginalized the senate and lead to lots of fun and games for about 500 years.
The generals began to wag the senate.
Today the military industry complex is the tail wagging the US government, for at least 20% of the take.
Cannot cut the 20%!!
Sulla lived a full life. Rose from obscurity. Killed all his enemies, both foriegn and domestic, wore the purple of Rome then went home to the farm. What a guy
ilsm the third member of the first triumvirate was Crassus not Sulla.
Sulla was a conservative general who defeated the populists Marius and Cinna in a civil war and declared himself dictator. He introduce “proscription” which means declaring that, should some private citizen happen to murder someone on the list, that private citizen will not be prosecuted. He does remind me a bit of Bush what with the declaration of absolute emergency power, the privitization of punishment, and, best of all, the decision to retire to private life.
Crassus is quite another case. He decided to invade the Persian empire for no discernable reason and died along with his army. He also made a list of the 10 worst generals of all time.
I never expected to survive a Presidency which combined (in highly diluted form) the errors and crimes of Sulla and Crassus. But of course, the situation was different. The Republic was clearly doomed by then, while we’ll be fine. no problem, nothing to worry about.
“there are no indications that the fast-food joints at Kandahar are going anywhere.”
And neither are the troops. Anybody who thinks we are leaving Iraq or Afghanistan during this administration needs to think carefully about South Korea. That war produced a hit movie and TV series and is still a 30K US troop presence. After more than 5 decades.
He didn’t wear purple. The office of dictator was not new, just the self nomination. Sulla respected the forms but not the substance of the Republican constitution. That’s why he could go home to his farm. Gaius Julius should have taken notes.
well, those fast food joints show how far we have come.
when my uncles unit was pulled back from the front lines in korea they were met by the red cross with coffee and donuts, for which they were charged.
uncle was kinda bitter about that for years afterwards.
I wonder how many AB readers and main posters understand why the three air facilities were contracted for construction. I doubt that some have given much thought to the long term security picture for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
These airfields probably should have been built five years ago. And their service will be of importance long after the U.S. has physically departed Afghanistan.
and wtf Halliburton is building them for free!
I am as sloppy with my phraseolgy as I am with my spelling. The term I used is ment to designate the Emporer, which Sulla was not. On the other hand how can you say that he didn’t wear purple? Triumphant Roman generals traditionally wore purple gilded with gold. And triumphant he was. They call him Lucky Felix because he kicked everybodies ass every time. Never lost a battle – Never lost a war. So how can this dude remind you of Bush? Bush’s got goose eggs in the win colum. I know you wrote that it was the list of people to off that reminded of you of Bush, but Bush is only semi-literate. He does not makes long lists. Sulla stepped in and restored order, he made a list of people he thought might be dangerous to him and had them killed. Fourty of them where senators. A more apt name might have been Filex the smart. You can bet that every one of those Senators would have stabbed him in the back, given the opportunity. In the end after he got the situation under controll he went home. What a mensch. Again how does this guy remind you of Bush?
My dad generally shared the same experiences in WWI – except the Salvation Army was there with free coffee and donuts. He remained loyal to the Salvation Army and never gave a dime or pint of blood to the Red Cross.
How far we’ve come? We did our work on c-rations, never gave much thought to fast food. Utility packet had coffee, cigarettes, toilet paper, and a candy disc. How much else do troops in the field need? No wonder the wars got so expensive. Maybe we should cost these damn things out before we decide to have a chess game with live ammo. I doubt the troops at the BOBs got much in the way of creature comforts. Yes, the salvation army did a lot for the troops, but the red cross was always “recommended” for a donation on payday. Maybe the Red Cross has been replaced by KBR.