American Conservative to Trump: before you give billions more to the military, figure out what happened to the $6T we lost in the Middle East

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Nobody much cares how much we wasted in World War Two (and in real dollar terms, it was a whole lot) because at the end,

the bad guys knew they were beat,

they signed formal documents of surrender,

many of them were tried and hung or jailed,

and (most of) our troops got to come home.

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and our (surviving) troops got to come home.

FTFY. War is never worthwhile for those who don’t survive it.


Also we didn’t START World War II.


I kind of meant that.

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There’s always more money available for war.


Because I have zero faith in the accuracy of anything Trump has to say, I googled, and the $6.5 trillion figure does seem to be true.

Aside: for those who think that the lawlessness on display a while back by ICE in response to judicial orders that they stop enforcing Trump’s illegal travel ban is somehow new, no it isn’t. Law on the books since the Clinton administration says all parts of the federal government need to do audits. The department of defense appears to have taken the view that they don’t need to hire no stinking accountants, and have been flouting the law of the land for 20 years now.


Concrete T-Walls.

Has anybody seen how many millions of concrete T-Walls there are in the ME? The roads are lined with them as far as the eye can see in some places.


T Walls coming to 'murica.


They don’t need to know where their money is, since all they have to do is wring their hands and say “…it’s for freedom!” and both parties will hastily sign another stack of blank checks.


It’s kind of charming that any self-described conservative would expect him to look into this.


True. You don’t hear too many cries of “where is the money going to come from” when talking about war, like you do when talking about giving everyone health care or an education.


Let’s be specific here. Neither Republican nor Democratic representatives are interested in this question. This is probably one of those issues that crosses the aisle for constituents quite nicely. Democratic (voters) want less war, and Republican (voters) want tighter budgets. This won’t unite ALL constituents on either side (warmongers and military industrialists are also on both sides…) by any stretch, but this is definitely a more bi-partisan issue than others. Of course, though, that means that it isn’t useful as a political wedge, so…yeah, of no interests to representatives.


Not to mention the $125 billion in spending that we - and the Pentagon - know was wasteful, but they didn’t want to fix because they were afraid it would be used as justification to cut their budget. Hey, instead let’s give them more money that they haven’t asked for, don’t claim to need and which has no defined purpose! I’m sure that’ll fix… something. It’s amazing that Trump isn’t getting major push-back from, well, everyone on this.

Oh, they have them - someone is coming up with these reports showing how much money is being wasted, that they then have to bury.


I’m not quite sure where you are going with this analogy. Yes, nobody much cares about ‘irregular accounting of WWII’; if for no other reason than tedious forensic accounting doesn’t make much sense when most of the perps are dead, geriatric, out of business, or have blown through the statue of limitations several times over; but is that somehow connected to the question of irregular accounting in more current conflicts?

Are you just suggesting that, as an empirical matter, people who win get a more sympathetic treatment of whatever methods they used to do so?(I’d be hard pressed to doubt that; but it’s orthogonal to both what treatment they ought to receive; and to the situation of a series of conflicts that, at best, were not-quite-totally-lost).

Are you suggesting that people are only looking for blood on the accounting side because they are displeased by failure; rather than by fraud?


I don’t think that’s true. I suspect that more than a few people have been killed in a war they felt needed to be fought even if they died in it: the Spanish Civil War springs to mind.

Unless you’re positing an objective standard of worthwhileness, under which such people were mistaken.

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In the words of Private Joker: “The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive.”




No kidding. Fire up some Toby Keith songs and then show some video footage of a soldier in uniform surprising his daughter at a school recital and the masses will support military spending with no questions asked. Meanwhile, piss on the people who can’t afford health insurance or the kids whose schools are struggling for funding. Those people need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps!


I don’t doubt that’s true most of the time. I also don’t doubt that there have been a few people who thought it better to fight and die than not fight and live.

Though, as I said, you could argue they were objectively mistaken.

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That’s nice but we’re taking about the last quarter century of U.S. military operations in the Middle East which seem to have netted fuck all for anyone who lives there who isn’t an active member of Daesh.