Friday, April 23, 2021

The Privatization of the Afghan War

 The Pentagon employs more than seven contractors for every one military personnel in Afghanistan.

As of January, more than 18,000 contractors remained in Afghanistan, according to a Defense Department report, when official troop totals had been reduced to 2,500. It reflect the U.S. government’s strategy of outsourcing war to the benefit of private mercenary corporations, and as a means of distancing the war from the public and averting dissent.

One of the biggest mercenary companies is DynCorp International of Falls Church Virginia, which as of 2019 had received over $7 billion in government contracts to train the Afghan army and manage military bases in Afghanistan.

From 2002 to 2013, DynCorp received 69 percent of all State Department funding. Forbes Magazine called it “one of the big winners of the Iraq and Afghan Wars”.

The U.S. has announced intentions to retain at least two military bases in Afghanistan after the official troop drawdown.

Afghans’ mineral wealth according to a 2007 United States Geological Service survey is nearly $1 trillion in mineral deposits, including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and critical industrial metals like lithium, which is used in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and cellphones. An internal Pentagon memo stated that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.”

 The current Afghan government led by Ashraf Ghani's military is funded by the United States at a cost of around $4 billion per year. This support is going to continue alongside large-scale U.S. foreign aid programs that amount to nearly $1 billion per year.

Biden isn't ending the Afghanistan War, he's privatizing it: Special Forces, Pentagon contractors, intelligence operatives will remain | The Grayzone

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