"The new appropriation is in addition to the $130 billion Congress has already approved for Iraq and Afghanistan this year. And the 2010 Pentagon budget is $693 billion, more than all other discretionary spending programs combined.
Our economic crisis is directly tied to the cost of the war. We are in desperate need of money for education and health care. The $1 million per year it costs to maintain a single soldier in Afghanistan could pay for 20 green jobs."
Ms Cohn clearly lays out the "losing Afghanistan" proposition. Of course it's bankrupting us, and of course it's a losing proposition
The part I can't understand is why commentators aren't looking through the smoke and mirrors to see what's really happening: the neocon gang that pulls America's foreign policy strings has to make it look like we're getting out of their miserable failure of Iraq, but they can't bring our troops home because to do so would mean abandoning the mission of establishing military authority in the region - which our "friend" Israel wouldn't allow to happen - so the gang opted to use Afghanistan as a parking lot for troops and supplies until the next phase breaks out.
What will the "next phase" look like? The media barons have been pushing Iran in our faces, but it could be anywhere they can manufacture a cover story for.
Let's be clear on these points: there was and is no "winning" in Iraq, there is no "winning" in Afghanistan; there is simply killing, maiming, fighting, destruction and a giant, extremely expensive mess that's destroying America.
Taken as a whole, the invasion of the Middle East makes absolutely no sense at all, but has anyone ever made sense of the attack on the USS Liberty, the murder of Rachael Corrie or the murders of people involved with the Gaza flotilla?
The only thing we can take to the bank of all this is that our military isn't going to leave the Middle East now or anytime soon. To my mind (and I've been right about this disaster all along), the gang is going to make another move as soon as they can to exploit any opportunity to open up a new front in their mission to establish military authority in the region. Sorry for repeating myself, but we must understand the problem if we're going to solve it.
Update 1: In case anyone still believes in the Afghanistan mission as it's being sold, please see these (among other) articles published today:
Revealed: How Strategy to Train Afghan Forces is in Deep Trouble by Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady
Saving Face in Unwinnable War by Eric Margolis
Again: "winning" in Afghanistan was never the point of that mis-adventure. It's being used as a giant parking lot for our troops so they don't come home and abandon the underlying mission: the crusade for military authority in the region, which has been and remains the neocon primary objective. Once our troops come home, this mission will be over - and lost. Therefore it wouldn't happen so long as the gang is in power.
Update 2: See Why Are We in Afghanistan? by Tom Engelhardt
Afghanistan is a catastrophe by Simon Jenkins