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Obama Far Outdoes Bush in Escalating War -- The Numbers Will Surprise You

Increasing numbers of deployed soldiers, mercenaries and drones all add up to Obama being more of a war president than Bush, in terms of hard numbers.

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With the war in Afghanistan now entering it’s 9th year, senior military commanders and a growing number of experts have come to the conclusion that this war is unwinnable and will fuel terrorism.

However, they all seem to be missing the point, before explaining this in more detail, let me start by referring you to a quote from a journalist who had firsthand experience operating inside a militaristic empire:

“The war is not supposed to be winnable, it is supposed to be continuous… all for the hierarchy of society… The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent… it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War… is now a purely internal affair." — George Orwell

3. Masters of War

Many of the weapons manufactures and private military contractors are seen as the primary war profiteers. For an example of grotesque war profiteering, let’s look at Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton. In a report headlined: “ U.S. War Privatization Results in Billions Lost in Fraud, Waste and Abuse," Jeremy Scahill reports on KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary.

“KBR has been paid nearly $32 billion since 2001. In May, April Stephenson, director of the Defense Contract Audit Agency, testified that KBR was linked to "the vast majority’ of war-zone fraud cases and a majority of the $13 billion in "questioned’ or "unsupported’ costs. According to Agency, it sent the inspector general "a total of 32 cases of suspected overbilling, bribery and other violations since 2004.

According to the Associated Press, which obtained an early copy of the commission’s report, "billions of dollars’ of the total paid to KBR "ended up wasted due to poorly defined work orders, inadequate oversight and contractor inefficiencies.’

KBR is at the center of a lethal scandal involving the electrocution deaths of more than a dozen US soldiers, allegedly as a result of faulty electrical work done by the company. The DoD paid KBR more than $80 million in bonuses for the very work that resulted in the electrocution deaths."

With numerous scandals over KBR operations, Halliburton ended it’s relationship with the company. However, “Halliburton reported $4 billion in operating profits in 2008, while KBR recently said its first quarter revenues in 2009 were up 27%, for a total of $3.2 billion. Its sales in 2008 were up 33%, and according to the Financial Times, the company had $1 billion in cash, no debt, and was looking for acquisitions."

Beyond these blatant examples of war profiteering, there are more insidious forces at play that most people don’t see. These war profiteering companies are funded by the same banks that have destroyed the US economy.

Consider this example concerning Alliant Techsystems and Textron, two manufactures of cluster bombs, the controversial civilian killing WMDs. The Guardian reported:

“The deadly trade in cluster bombs is funded by the world’s biggest banks who have loaned or arranged finance worth $20bn to firms producing the controversial weapons, despite growing international efforts to ban them…

Goldman Sachs, the US bank which made £3.19bn profit in just three months, earned $588.82m for bank services and lent $250m to Alliant Techsystems and Textron…

Last December 90 countries, including the UK, committed themselves to banning cluster bombs by next year. But the US was not one of them. So far 23 countries have ratified the convention."

 
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