Million Dollar Men — American Soldiers in Afghanistan

Rick Gedeon

The government spends over a million dollars per annum per soldier in Afghanistan and after almost 10 years of occupation—the longest war in American history—the American public tacitly accepts the responsibly of this enormous financial burden without question. 

Going back almost a decade it is imperative to understand and to appreciate why America finds herself in Afghanistan. We were told in November, 2001 by the New York Times in an opinion column entitled Liberating the Women of Afghanistan, that “the reclaimed freedom of Afghan women is a collateral benefit that Americans can celebrate.”  It was another comical propaganda ploy at convincing us that America’s post-9/11 raison d’être was to help women in “uncovering their faces, looking for jobs, walking happily with female friends on the street and even hosting a news show on Afghan television.”  Collateral benefits, yet no mention is made of the reality called collateral damage—the euphemism for killing innocent people—that the Women of Afghanistan would actually endure.  

Enver Masud masterfully details the motive, which he contends was due in part because of a gas pipeline being built through the region.  From his book, 9/11 Unveiled:

The attacks on 911 led to the U.S. war on Afghanistan—a war planned prior to 9/11, after negotiations with the Taliban had broken down.  The Taliban, after initially negotiating with Unocal, had begun showing a preference for Bridas Corporation of Argentina.  During the negotiations—which occurred prior to 9/11 (by which the Taliban representatives were actually invited and flown to attend the meetings at Uncocal headquarters in Sugar land, Texas)—U.S. representatives told the Taliban, ‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs’.

On October 7, 2001, without the benefit of a UN resolution, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom launched their war on Afghanistan—one of the world’s poorest countries, already devastated by 23 years of war and civil strife resulting from the Russian invasion of 1979.

Shortly after the illegal invasion, NATO (which incidentally is backed by the US fronted International Security Assistance Force) would officially and incrementally replace the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the Northern Alliance, primarily in the public’s mind, in order to add credibility to the occupation.  The result is that in addition to 23 years of Russian and internal strife, there has been further devastation caused by almost a decade of NATO-led intervention on the already decimated country.

Afghanistan continues to be a gaping sore and a void into which American taxpayer money slides, while Americans finds themselves facing the loss of its AAA rating, homeless mothers find themselves being arrested for registering their children in school, 7.25 million are finding fewer payroll jobs than before the recession started in 2007, and 13.5 million Americans currently unemployed.  As China launches warning shots across our bow, the American people remain heedless in their march toward the abyss.  Lemninghood is apparently now embraced as the official American Way.  The pseudo-educated, uninformed, unaware, unscrupulous, unprincipled, unempathetic, and an unwilling public adamantly refuses to hold its elected representatives accountable.  Even when presented with irrefutable evidence, the American people emphatically refuse to see the gravity of the situation, instead finding themselves preoccupied with bread and circuses.  Inattentive of what lies ahead.  

The bitter reality of troop support is revealed in a recent study that found 16 percent of homeless adults in a one-night survey in January, 2009 were veterans, though vets make up only 10 percent of the adult population.  More than 75,000 veterans were living on the streets or in a temporary shelter that night. In that year, 136,334 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter — a count that did not include homeless veterans living on the streets.  The urgency of the problem is growing as more people return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The study found 11,300 younger veterans, 18 to 30, were in shelters at some point during 2009. Virtually all served in Iraq or Afghanistan. At a time when government funds for mental health help have dried up, Americans are in greater danger of becoming depressed and suicidal—principally due to a recession which has a deep connection to military spending.

It’s time to rethink this conundrum and decide once and for all if it is worth spending one million dollars per soldier to occupy a foreign country, when it only helps to result in veteran poverty when they return home.  The cessation of war will only come about by public pressure, but at this point I am convinced that the point of no return has been crossed and the end will most likely mimic that of the Russians.  Ron Paul agrees: America is headed for a Soviet-style collapse if our ship of fools is not turned around immediately. 

Rick Gedeon is graduate from USAF Air University, amateur historian, and anti-imperial/anti-police brutality activist.   Rick Gedeon has traveled extensively throughout the US and Asia.  A political marketeer, routinely bringing together and forging alliances with different political organizations that share similar goals. He considers himself a Political Atheist and sympathizes with many Libertarian causes.  He can be reached at

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