Wars we barely know about, funded lavishly

America’s wars spread continually — there are now seven of them, and they never end; and yet, if you happen to live in the United States, most of the time it would be easy enough to believe that, except for the struggle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, there were no conflicts underway. The Afghan War is now 15 years old and heating up again as the Taliban takes more territory and U.S. operations there grow, but it was missing in action in the 2016 election campaign. Neither presidential candidate debated or discussed it. And yet, there are 10,000 U.S. troopsand numerous private contractors) still based there, along with the U.S. air force power. The Pentagon refers to it as a conflict that will continue well into the 2020s. It is simply a war that time forgot. Similar things might be said about American operations in Somalia and in Libya. Nor is the intensity of the air war in Syria or Iraq much emphasized or grasped by the American public.

Then there’s the grim, devastating and gruesome war that couldn’t be forgotten because, in essence, just about no one here noticed it in the first place. I’m speaking of the U.S-backed Saudi war aimed at impoverished Yemen. It’s a conflict in which the actual American stake couldn’t be foggier and yet the Obama administration supported it every way imaginable, and it has been inherited by Trump. Most of the time, from an American point of view, it might as well not be happening. There is evidently no good moment to bring up the subject of where American bombs are falling on our planet, so why not now? (Tom Despatch).

And now the Trump Administration has pushed through another huge hike in the money spent on the military in his new budget. It has just passed because it is now regarded as unpatriotic to query whether the money is being spent well. Epicurus abhorred wars, which were unusually unpleasant during his lifetime. I wonder what he would think of all the un-won wars being conducted by the United States, paid for on borrowed money in aid of – what exactly? To keep those employed by the military-industrial complex profitable? When the history of the former American empire is written, it will be the useless drain on money and resources devoted to military adventures that will be the focus of historians.

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