2009 August 12 Wednesday
Afghanistan: The 50 Year War?

My conspiracy theory of the day: America stayed in Afghanistan so that Obama could have his own war that was not heavily Bush branded. Never mind that Bush put US troops in Afghanistan in the first place in response to 9/11. The press branded Iraq as Bush's war and Afghanistan as the nation's war. So now Obama can use Afghanistan to show he's tough. This war is perfect for him because it involves a smaller force and less money (convenient for scaling up social spending).

If the Democrats hang on to the White House in future elections they can continue to use Afghanistan to show they are just as hawkish and militaristic as the Republicans. The new British Chief of the General Staff, General Sir David Richards, sees another 40 years of British military presence in Afghanistan. That's long enough for voters to get really bored with it.

Britain’s mission in Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the next head of the Army warns today in an exclusive interview with The Times.

General Sir David Richards, who becomes Chief of the General Staff on August 28, said: “The Army’s role will evolve, but the whole process might take as long as 30 to 40 years.”

But the money isn't going to be there to finance another 40 years of war.

Washington -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked Congress to increase the $12.1 trillion debt limit on Friday, saying it is “critically important” that they act in the next two months.

Since the whole US economy is only about $14 trillion a year the US government debt is getting perilously close to 100% GDP. How are we supposed to finance another 40 years of war? I guess by selling really long term bonds that have no coupons.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 August 12 11:38 PM  MidEast Afghanistan


Comments
miles said at August 13, 2009 4:36 PM:

Randall,


Maybe its just my hunch, but as soon as China has enough nukes to achieve MAD vis-a-vis us, what will stop them from saying something like:

"The US debt load to us can never really be repaid in the foreseeable future, therefore we are going to forgive all US debt to our nation because we are nationalizing every factory built buy US corporations on our soil, and we declare that Taiwain is ours in perpetuity"

What could we really do about it? By then, enough of that 1.3 billion people over there (20 more years perhaps) will indeed be able to supply the demand for all that manufacturing output, they'd have MAD with us, so a war would pretty much be out of the question. I can't see what would be stopping them from pulling something like that above. Surely they dont think we are going to be able to repay them anytime soon. I honestly think they are just biding their time, letting our corporations build and build and build over there while their own population becomes wealthy enough to supply the demand, and as they make agreements with the Indonesians, Japanese, Indians, and Russians.

I think our leadership is running this nation into the ground. 9/11 would have never have happened if we simply did not allow the perpetrators to immigrate over here (we already have 300 million people, and I thought 200 million was enough). Our economy would tank for -real- tommorow if foreigners quit buying our debt. Our military, like a loan sharks hired muscle, is what underwrites our fiscal behavior.

kurt9 said at August 13, 2009 7:44 PM:

"The US debt load to us can never really be repaid in the foreseeable future, therefore we are going to forgive all US debt to our nation because we are nationalizing every factory built buy US corporations on our soil, and we declare that Taiwan is ours in perpetuity"

The Chinese are far smarter and far more subtle to do anything like that. They will take the soft gradual approach. First, they will put pressure on Obama or the successor administration to end the Wassaner and other agreements restricting the export of advanced computers, semiconductor chip manufacturing equipment, and other high tech products to China. They will put pressure on the administration to stop pushing this global warming horse-pucky on to them. Later, they will put pressure on the U.S. government to allow them to buy parts or all of various U.S. oil companies and other natural resource producers. The future versions of the Unicol deal will not be stopped by the U.S. government. This kind of political maneuvering will be done gradually with a fair bit of subtlety. But in the end, the Chinese will get what they want.

I'm a contrarian. I think a strong China benefits the U.S. in that the competitive pressure can be used to purge the U.S. society of its luddite elements and influences. We can only benefit from this. It will also force us to squarely confront our dysgenic demographic issues. Resolving these two issues will result in a stronger, more efficient U.S. culture.

Francis said at August 13, 2009 8:03 PM:

"I'm a contrarian. I think a strong China benefits the U.S. in that the competitive pressure can be used to purge the U.S. society of its luddite elements and influences. We can only benefit from this. It will also force us to squarely confront our dysgenic demographic issues. Resolving these two issues will result in a stronger, more efficient U.S. culture."

kurt9,
Please send me some of what you are smoking. It must be really good shit because you are totally detached from reality. Take a fucking look around. How the fuck are we supposed to benefit from a dumber, more violent population that is constantly increasing? Nobody is going to confront shit. The liberals in control are driving the bus off a cliff. You (and miles) are right though, they are going to give the ChiComs whatever the fuck they want just to keep NAMs happy and flood the place with more. But thinking that these assholes are going to come their senses is wishful thinking. The place will be wrecked before anyone with any kind of sense get into a position to do something good.

Randall Parker said at August 15, 2009 8:58 AM:

miles,

China has far easier ways to gradually confiscate foreign factories in ways that are harder to challenge:

- change tax laws. Suddenly foreign operators find profits are too low and want to sell out.
- foreign companies want to send in a new round of managers? Oh, haven't you heard about these new regulations about foreign worker visas?
- decide those foreigners sure haven't interpreted Chinese workplace safety laws correctly. Do shut-downs and impose fines.
- hey, those foreigners are violating new pollution regulations too and poisoning the great Chinese people.
- oops, new regulations for wind turbines mean that foreign wind turbines do not comply. However, uncoincidentally domestic makers do comply.

BTW, the bit about wind turbines is not from my fertile imagination.

Rohan Swee said at August 16, 2009 12:21 PM:

kurt9: I think a strong China benefits the U.S. in that the competitive pressure can be used to purge the U.S. society of its luddite elements and influences. We can only benefit from this. It will also force us to squarely confront our dysgenic demographic issues. Resolving these two issues will result in a stronger, more efficient U.S. culture.

Yeah, right, Candide. The same interests that have been selling us out lock, stock, and barrel to the Chinese are also hell-bent on Mexicanizing the U.S. Exactly what is that "competitive pressure" going to accomplish, when all the players who can afford K Street greasers benefit from offshoring our productive base to China? Why the hell should they care about dysgenic trends in the U.S., when they've got quality Chinese labor in the millions (some of it educated courtesy of taxpaying American chumps who can't afford to send their own kids to college, lol.)? As you yourself outline, Washington will bend over and finally hand over to China what little remains of our high-end tech base. But hey, if ditching the Wassenaar Arrangement forces us to finally confront those damned luddite restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research, America will be saved.

Help me lord.


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