How the US military got rich from Afghanistan | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

How the US military got rich from Afghanistan

The departure of American troops from Afghanistan is being lamented (or hailed — see the Chinese press, passim) as a defeat. But this is a shortsighted attitude, at least from the point of view of the US military and the multitude of interested parties who feed at its trough. For them, the whole adventure has been a thumping success, as measured in the trillions of taxpayer dollars that have flowed through their budgets and profits over the two decades in which they successfully maintained the operation.

The truth of this was forcefully brought home to me once by a friend of mine who, as a mid-level staffer, attended a conclave of senior generals discussing Donald Trump’s Afghan mini-surge back in 2018. As he related the conversation, they were unanimous that the move would make absolutely no difference to the war, ‘but,’ they happily agreed, ‘it will do us good at budget time’.

Years before, Col. John Boyd, the former Air Force fighter pilot who famously conceived and expounded a comprehensive theory of human conflict, had pointed out that there was no contradiction between the military’s professed mission and its seeming indifference to combat success. ‘People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy,’ he said. ‘They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy. It is: “Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.”’