Thursday, 30 May 2013

At £37 billion and rising Afghanistan conflict proves that austerity does not apply when it comes to war

The revelation that the war in Afghanistan has cost £37 billion or £2000 for every tax paying UK household really does throw a new light on the austerity debate.

The cost is estimated to reach £40 billion by 2020 or enough to pay for 5,000 nurses throughout their careers.

The human cost on British servicemen’s lives alone is staggering – 444 killed, 2,600 wounded and 5,000 psychologically injured. Let alone the thousands of Afghanis. What has been the point of the adventure in Afghanistan?

The author of Investment in Blood Frank Ledwidge highlights those who have profited from this ridiculous venture, namely development consultants Afghan drug lords and international arms companies.

This has all been done on the basis of a British identity crisis , born of its failure to accept the loss of empire but believing instead in a strange construct that effectively substitutes in the US version for its own. This malfunction has resulted in Britain operating as the poodle of the United States.

The US is quite happy with this supine role on the part of the Brits, following it into every crazy military venture and willing to pay as well as play its part. Have any lessons been learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, not really, the British government simply cannot wait to get involved elsewhere – note recent escapades in Libya, Mali and the growing drumbeat for involvement in Syria.

Funny thing is when it comes to war the whole issue of austerity seems to go out of the window. Afghanistan and Iraq have swallowed huge amounts of money. The government pushes onto renew the redundant Trident nuclear missile system. If only the British government could accept its more humble role in the world, not as a world superpower but simply part of Europe, everyone would be the beneficiary.

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