Escalation Rumors Escalate

Posted: August 12, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

It looks like reports of an escalation’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

This weekend, Obama’s National Security Advisor, Jim Jones, went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” to let us know that he never told commanders in Afghanistan that they’d have to make do with what they had. And, General McChrystal gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal to raise alarms about Taliban momentum, interpreted by many as laying groundwork for a troop increase request. However, as MSNBC reported on Monday night that McChrystal is pushing back hard against the WSJ’s characterization of his words, which raises questions about the WSJ’s agenda. Regardless, multiple analysts and commentators in multiple media indicate that McChrystal will likely require more troops to implement what is known of his upcoming strategy recommendations.

In other words: unless we push back, hard, another escalation could be on its way.

There are a million reasons to oppose a troop increase in Afghanistan, but if you need just one, you might as well go with “cost.” Here’s a quick video using excerpts from Rethink Afghanistan Part Three: The Cost of War to drive the point home:

Here’s a chart from War Resisters League showing the rising cost of the so-called “War on Terror,” which includes Afghanistan:

War Resisters League bar chart

Much of this spending is financed through debt. As Geithner’s comments show, we do not have the luxury of indefinite deficit war spending. In fact, such spending helped create the economic crisis in the first place, as Stiglitz and Bilmes show in The Three Trillion Dollar War. As I wrote last month, “We have limits. Failure to consciously decide on those limits before we make further decisions does not mean those limits do not exist; it only means that we will be incrementally pushed toward and then past them, painfully and to our regret, before we discover them.”

We cannot afford continued war spending in Afghanistan, much less an escalation.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] Escalation Rumors Escalate posted on August 12th, 2009 at Return Good for Evil […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s