Nov 162018
 

The Cost Of Post 9/11 Wars Hit $5.9 Trillion
By Claudia Grisales

November 15, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – WASHINGTON — The price for America’s longest wars has surpassed more than $5.9 trillion and at least 480,000 lost lives, according to a new study released by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

The figures highlight the toll of U.S. war operations around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the study projects the numbers could rise.

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” said Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who helped introduce the report Wednesday at a meeting on Capitol Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

The study’s death estimates include nearly 7,000 U.S. service members, nearly 8,000 U.S. contractors, more than 100,0000 military and police members from other countries, more than 244,000 civilians and more than 100,000 opposition fighters.

The $5.9 trillion U.S. cost includes Pentagon spending through fiscal year 2019, such as direct and indirect spending as well as future war-related costs for post-9/11 war veterans. It represents U.S. spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other locations designated as “overseas contingency operations.”

It also includes war-related spending by other agencies, such as the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, costs of veterans care as well as debt used to pay for the wars.

“Veterans benefits and disability spending, and the cost of interest on borrowing to pay for the wars, will comprise an increasingly large share of the costs,” said Neta Crawford, a political science professor at the institute, who authored the study.

The institute’s “Costs of War” project, with 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners and physicians, began tracking the costs of the post-9/11 wars in 2011 and continues to release updated reports. The group, which does its work through Brown University, said it uses research and public data to facilitate greater transparency of the actual toll of the wars.

Even if the wars were to end by 2023, the United States is on track to spend an additional $808 billion, bringing the overall tally to at least $6.7 trillion, according to the study. That doesn’t include future interest payments on the spending.

War appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan are funded by deficit spending and borrowing, and not new taxes or war bonds, the study notes. This adds to interest costs, it concludes.

Those interest payments could shift with the winds of the economy and other factors, with some pundits estimating those fees alone could total trillions.

“The U.S. continues to fund the wars by borrowing, so this is a conservative estimate of the consequences of funding the war as if on a credit card, in which we are only paying interest even as we continue to spend,” Crawford said.

Tracking an overall cost for the post-9/11 wars is challenging because different departments take part in the spending.

In March 2018, the Defense Department estimated it had spent $1.5 trillion in war-related appropriations, but that only includes a portion of all war spending, the study argued.

With no single number for the budgetary costs of the wars, it makes assessing costs, risks and benefits difficult, Crawford said. Because taxpayers tend to focus on direct military spending, it discounts the larger budgetary costs of the wars and underestimates its greater significance, she added.

“In sum, high costs in war and war-related spending pose a national security concern because they are unsustainable,” Crawford said. “The public would be better served by increased transparency and by the development of a comprehensive strategy to end the wars and deal with other urgent national security priorities.”

The study also tallied the number of soldiers and sailors injured in the wars. Since 2001, more than 53,700 U.S. servicemembers have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those injuries, 62 percent were hurt in Iraq, while 38 percent were injured in Afghanistan.

Though the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has been less intense than in recent years, the toll of civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2018 is on track to be one of the highest death tolls of the war, Crawford said in her study.

Most of these war deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have been caused by militants, but some of them are at the hands of the United States and its coalition partners, Crawford said.

Yet, the tally remains incomplete, and there are efforts by the United Nations to track and identify perpetrators of those deaths and injuries, she noted. Other organizations, such as the Congressional Research Service and the news media, are also attempting to track these figures.

“Indeed, we may never know the total direct death toll in these wars,” she said.

In addition, this tally does not include “indirect deaths” — people harmed as a result of long-term damage left in the war zones, such as lost access to food and water.

“This update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war,” Crawford said. “There are a number of areas — the number of civilians killed and injured, and the number of U.S. military and veteran suicides, for instance — where greater transparency would lead to greater accountability and could lead to better policy.”

grisales.claudia@stripes.com – Twitter: @cgrisales

BY THE NUMBERS
A Brown University study has found the human and financial costs of the post-9/11 wars continue to rise. These are some statistics highlighted in the report:

The U.S. government is conducting counterterrorism activities in 76 countries
More than 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
More than 480,000 have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly
The wars have created 10.1 million refugees and displaced persons
The U.S. cost for the post-9/11 wars is more than $5.9 trillion

Aug 222018
 

chelseamanning

An Evening With Chelsea Manning

Think Inc. are excited to announce the first visit to New Zealand by the American activist, politician, former US Army Solider and now court-martialled whistle-blower, Chelsea Manning.

Found guilty of espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years in prison, Manning’s life has been nothing short of extraordinary. Set to discuss her time in prison, transgender issues, privacy, and Wikileaks, An Evening With Chelsea Manning will offer a glimpse inside the mind of one of the most controversial figures of the 21st Century.

Manning’s role in the leaking of almost 750,000 pieces of classified or non-classified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents was initially set to lead to a life in prison, before her sentence was reduced by President Barack Obama.

As a child, Manning excelled at science and computers and built her own website at the tender age of 10. She witnessed her parents share a tumultuous marriage before her mother attempted suicide. During this time, Manning was also exploring her gender identity.

Encouraged to join the Army by her father while living as an openly gay man, Manning began training in 2007. She was deployed to Iraq in 2009 where she went on to access and share an unprecedented amount of data, leading her to become one of the most significant whistle-blowers of our time. At the time, she described the data as “one of the most significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.”

Manning, then U.S. Army intelligence analyst, was found guilty of espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years in prison. An advocate for transparency of the American government, Manning had her sentence reduced by President Barack Obama in May 2017. Since her imprisonment, Manning has received numerous awards for her role in the leaks, and has established herself as a poster child for both whistle-blowers and transgender rights.

Named by the Foreign Press as one of 2017’s Global Thinkers “for forcing the United States to question who is a traitor and who is a hero” and blurring the line between United States hero and turncoat, it is with great excitement that we bring Chelsea Manning to New Zealand.

 

More about the speaking tour here

Jul 062016
 

The Truth About Chilcot
By Craig Murray

July 06, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – The death toll from the horrific recent Iraq bombings has risen over 250. If Blair had not been absolutely determined to attack Iraq on the basis of a knowing lie about WMD, they would be alive now, along with millions of other dead. ISIS would never have taken control of territory in Iraq and Syria. Al Qaeda would never have grown from an organisation of a few hundred to one of tens of thousands. We would not have a completely destabilised Middle East and a massive refugee crisis.

Do not expect a full truth and a full accounting from the Chilcot panel of establishment trusties today. Remember who they are.

Sir John Chilcot

Member of the Butler Inquiry which whitewashed the fabrication of evidence of Iraqi WMD. The fact is that, beyond doubt, the FCO and SIS knew there were no Iraqi WMD. In the early 1990’s I had headed the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre, tasked with monitoring and preventing Iraqi attempts at weapons procurement. In 2002 I was on a course for newly appointed Ambassadors alongside Bill Patey, who was Head of the FCO Department dealing with Iraq. Bill is a fellow Dundee University graduate and is one of the witnesses before the Iraq Inquiry this morning. I suggested to him that the stories we were spreading about Iraqi WMD could not be true. He laughed and said “Of course not Craig, it’s bollocks”. I had too many other conversations to mention over the next few months, with FCO colleagues who knew the WMD scare to be false.

Yet Chilcot was party to a Butler Inquiry conclusion that the Iraqi WMD scare was an “Honest mistake”. That a man involved on a notorious whitewash is assuring us that this will not be one, is bullshit.

Read article here

Jun 052015
 

by Peter Drew

http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/peter-drew

The true events of 9/11 have been systematically withheld from the public and greatly distorted by the mainstream media. At the heart of this distortion and cover-up has been the BBC.
The BBC has systematically supported the cover-up of a huge amount of incontrovertable scientific and forensic evidence and eye-witness evidence which strongly contradicts the official version of events of 9/11. The result of this cover-up has been the support for the wars launched on Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of 9/11, resulting in more than one million deaths of innocent civilians so far, as well as the ongoing supposed global war on terror at the cost of trillions of dollars to tax payers.
This two part documentary by Press TV exposes the BBC for exactly what role it has played in this process, which is political propaganda, funded by the British public, to support the official version of events of 9/11 and the subsequent global war on terror.
Produced by Ken O’keefe, a former US Marine in Iraq who quit the US military when he realised the truth about what was really happening, and who then led the human shield in Iraq in 2003.
Part 1 – BBC: UK public funding propaganda
http://www.presstv.com/Video/2015/05/18/411628/BBC-public-funds-pro…
Part 2 – BBC covering truth on 9/11
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2015/06/03/414147/BBC-911-World-Trade-Cent…
– See more at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-bbcs-cover-up-of-the-truth-on-911/5453498#sthash.Stfoy17H.dpuf

Nov 092014
 

‘A former member of ISIS has revealed the extent to which the cooperation of the Turkish military allows the terrorist group, who now control large parts of Iraq and Syria, to travel through Turkish territory to reinforce fighters battling Kurdish forces.’

http://www.newsweek.com/isis-and-turkey-cooperate-destroy-kurds-former-isis-member-reveals-turkish-282920

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/11/14/it-was-never-my-intention-join-isis-interview-former-member-islamic-state-282431.html

“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks,” said Omer of crossing the border into Turkey, “and they reassured us that nothing will happen, especially when that is how they regularly travel from Raqqa and Aleppo to the Kurdish areas further northeast of Syria because it was impossible to travel through Syria as YPG [National Army of Syrian Kurdistan] controlled most parts of the Kurdish region.”

100 years after Gallipoli our plucky chaps are about to re-engage ….Turkey? …….. do you think John knows Turkish Army are supporting ISIL ?

And while we are at it. who is ISIL anyway..
http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/11/03/the-new-great-game-round-up-november-3-2014/#sthash.YNdeT3DI.dpuf

“This is not exactly news but Western media is still desperately trying to convince the public that all the reports about U.S./NATO operations using jihadist mercenaries in Russia’s North Caucasus and Central Asia are just “conspiracy theories.” Therefore, the editorial board of the Washington Post lost no time in portraying the Russian President as a lying conspiracy theorist. And if one were to believe Western media, the same is true of Putin’s most important ally in the North Caucasus, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who recently urged ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “to take off his mask” and admit that he is a CIA agent. Kadyrov announced last week that his men are searching for al-Baghdadi but that they cannot find him because he is working for the CIA. The comments were the latest in a war of words between Kadyrov and ISIS, which has prompted influential ISIS leader Omar al-Shishani aka Tarkhan Batirashvili to put a $5 million bounty on Kadyrov’s head. Interestingly enough, Batirashvili’s curious background raises the question of whether he is working for an intelligence agency as well and as more details emerge, it becomes clear that Batirashvili is not your average jihadist:

Like so many of the world’s most brutal dictators, military leaders, tyrants, and jihadists, it appears Tarkhan was trained by the very best: the United States government. According to his father and former colleagues, Tarkhan worked for an elite “Spetsnaz” Georgian military-intelligence unit—at least until he caught tuberculosis, lost his job in the intelligence unit, was then framed by that same intelligence unit, and went to jail in 2010 for weapons possession.

Tarkhan’s father claims that his son worked, specifically, for the ministry of interior’s KUD or “Kudi,” basically the domestic-intelligence and special-operations service in Georgia, officially called the Constitutional Security Department. The agency was notoriously brutal. When asked if it was true that his son Tarkhan was trained by the United States, Temur says, “Of course they did. They trained all of the Georgian army back then… My boy was just 19 when he went to the army… This KUDI, where he was working, it was an intelligence and reconnaissance unit.”

Batirashvili has been described as the “tactical mastermind behind Islamic State’s swift military gains on the ground in Iraq’s Anbar province” and he is credited with many battlefield successes but according to the above-mentioned article in TheDaily Beast, Tarkhan Batirashvili “may well be a figurehead for his older brother” Tamaz who is supposed to be “the real mastermind behind the Chechen operatives running ISIS offensives in Syria and Iraq.” At any rate, the two brothers have long-standing ties with Georgian intelligence and the article even mentions that “Georgia’s Anti-Terrorism Center, or ATC, allegedly ran some jihadists out of Pankisi to fight against Moscow’s troops in Grozny.”

 

 Posted by at 1:48 am
Oct 272014
 


Geopolitics of the war against Syria and against the Daesh

by Thierry Meyssan
Voltaire Network | Damascus (Syria) | 26 October 2014

In this new and original analysis, Thierry Meyssan exposes the geopolitical reasons for the failure of the war against Syria and the real objectives of the so-called war against Daesh. This is particularly important for understanding current international relations and the crystallization of conflict in the Levant (Iraq, Syria and Lebanon).

Read article here

Oct 202014
 

Press TV’s correspondent in Turkey, Serena Shim, has been killed in a suspicious car accident near the Turkey-Syria border.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/19/382854/press-tv-reporter-in-turkey-killed/

Shim was killed on Sunday as she was on a working mission in Turkey to cover the ongoing war in the strategic Syrian town of Kobani.

She was going back to her hotel from a report scene in the city of Suruç in Turkey’s Urfa Province when their car collided with a heavy vehicle. The identity and whereabouts of the truck driver remain unknown.

Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, covered reports for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq, and Ukraine.

On Friday, she told Press TV that the Turkish intelligence agency had accused her of spying probably due to some of the stories she has covered about Turkey’s stance on the ISIL terrorists in Kobani and its surroundings, adding that she feared being arrested.

Shim said she was among the few journalists obtaining stories of militants infiltrating into Syria through the Turkish border, adding that she had received images from militants crossing the Turkish border into Syria in World Food Organization and other NGOs’ trucks.

Shim flatly rejected accusations against her, saying she was “surprised” at this accusation “because I have nothing to hide and I have never done anything aside my job.”

Kobani and its surroundings have been under attack since mid-September, with the ISIL militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages.

Turkey has been accused of backing ISIL militants in Syria.

SF/SS