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One of the many reasons for America’s Economic Troubles.

Posted by Enkill_Eridos on July 17, 2009

The following is me writing about one of our biggest reasons for our Economic Troubles. Before I say anything I must say this. All of the following are things I DIRECTLY observed and lived for 18 months.

One of the many reasons for America’s Economic Troubles is not the bailouts the government has been giving out to companies. In my opinion one of the biggest and one of the many reasons for this crisis, is the economic hemorrhage that is name Operation Iraqi Freedom. From this moment on I will call it OIF. Which is the acronym the military designated it as. Let’s start at the beginning. If memory serves me correct there was over 144,000 troops in country during 2003-2004. Not all of those troops where in Iraq. The reason for this was that Halliburton and subsidiaries like Kellogg, Brown, and Root. Did a lot of the government contract work dealing with construction. Some oil field work, minimal security teams, and power plant work. Most of this was in Iraq. The reason I have a problem with this is simply, because instead of paying these contractors that got anywhere from $150,000 to 500,000 a year tax free.

For that amount of pay for individuals we could have used our military resources that were trained to build bases and run the electricity of those bases, to do their jobs. The civilian contractors did most of that. The thing is though that we spent more money for civilian security for some of the civilian contract work done in the Theater of Operations. Yet, there was several military police, construction engineering, and other units and battalions without a mission. The unit I was in did Customs for civilian and military personnel. Which I am not complaining because the platoon I was in we also did air convoy security, some ground convoy security, base security, as well as Downed Aircraft Recovery Team (D.A.R.T.) missions. Me as a medic worked both the above jobs as well as worked in the base’s Troop Medical Clinic. The base or camp actually was the first camp into Kuwait that helped stabilize medevac patients that went to the next treatment tier. But come to think of it, if there was more MP units in Iraq at that time. I do not think we would have as many problems as we do.

My unit was one of the lucky ones with a mission. The Customs mission I believed and still do should have been handled by civilians. Which I believe, it was handled by civilians at the end of my 18 month tour. During this tour I spoke to and witnessed many military personnel without a mission because the civilian contractors, whom made much more money individually than the units budgets for operations that the civilians took. Look where that lead us it took the beheading of a few civilian contractors that had no business in country in the first place. It wasn’t until those incidents that military personnel was used to do the jobs the DoD paid them to do. That was twelve months after the invasion ten months after I arrived in country.

The budget was 10 trillion dollars a year or day which most went to civilian contractors. That could have been reduced by cutting most of the civilian contractors in the first place. Now the PX workers, the civilians that was charged with helping stabilize Iraq’s power plants. Those where civilian contractor jobs. But truck drivers, and construction? There were military units that were trained to do that. Even though a few did that some did not. This is all immaterial really because its in the past. But, for the purpose of this article it was something that contributed to our current deficit that led to our current economic problem.

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8 Responses to “One of the many reasons for America’s Economic Troubles.”

  1. Enkill_Eridos said

    The topic is now open to debate. Do you think this article is true? Are my observations flawed? Please state why or why not.

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  2. It sounds plausible: but maybe if there had been fewer military units in Iraq, like none, the deficit problems could have been avoided altogether, Afghanistan might have been given more consistent and thorough attention, and Al Qaeda not given a lifeline to The Middle East.

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  3. Enkill_Eridos said

    I disagree. OIF even though may seem unneeded by the disclosed intel given to the public. As far as I know so opsec is not compromised. All of the ingredients to make a chemical weapon was scattered in key points in Iraq. There were ingredients to make Serin Gas buried in a famer’s field for instance. And even though our intelegence could not confirm or deny an Al-Qaeda presence before we invaded. There was a strong presence afterwards. Al-Qaeda used the conflict as a training ground for recruits that lived in the adjacent countries. It is possible that if they were doing it while we were there they were doing it before. If that is not enough reasoning, Saddam Hussein was a tyrannical dictator. He kept other religions than muslim in the country so he could execute them publicly and gruesomely when something went wrong. Plus he used Biological Weapons on his own people during the war with the Kurds and the Iraq-Iran war. If he could do that to his own people and not loose too much sleep he could do it to America without batting an eye. But the point was not the reason why, or even the fact we were there. We can argue all the hypothetical and it still does not change a fact. That instead of every military resource being utilized first to secure, and help rebuild before sending in the contractors. It was the other way around sending in civilians untrained for combat and therefore a liability. Things would have been cheaper and we would have been out of there quicker, if the Bush Administration did not feel like increasing the stocks of a company that many of the members had stock in. And we criticize the speaker of the house because she has stock in a company that is receiving money to create alternative fuels? Maybe because Micheal Moore pointed it out that no one cared. He is a douche. Pardon my language. But still American Servicemembers died because of this and the American Economy lost a lot of money because of this. And Halliburton and subsidiaries are not even feeling the crisis. Because they are the biggest government contract, because the president and vp had stock in the company. People died because of that fact. It could have been avoided. And now not only are the family members paying for this but so is the American economy.

    As for Afghanistan there is a reason Blackwater was contracted to do certain operations in Iraq. For one I did not see too many Green Berets or Rangers enter or leave Iraq. That either means they were doing their jobs very well or they all were in Afghanistan. The last I checked, which my information on this is a few years old. Not a lot of missions, that happened in Afghanistan are actually public knowledge. Operations are happening the public just does not need to know yet. Or there is a threat to operational security if these missions become public. There is a lot of things that happen that the public just is not told.

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  4. The war in Iraq has very little or nothing to do with our economic troubles. It has to do with how much of the Gross National Product is used by the government. The overwhelming burden of spending in government is for “Entitlement Programs.” If the spending on that had remained the same, we would have had budget surpluses for the last 12 years.

    What people do not get is that a budget goes into effect 18 months after it is voted in. Then it has to be financed by either printing more money or collecting more taxes.

    In January of 2007, Chairwoman Pelosi forced through a $700 billion Supplimental Spending Act. In July of 2008, the economy was a its peak. In August of 2008, it began its free fall. By September, the real Gross National Product started downward.

    When production begins to fall, it is the beginning of companies beginning to let people go. Unemployment follows the stock market. It does not lead it. We started to come out of the recession this spring. It is backing off now because of the HISTORIC HUGE RISE in the deficit spending over and above tax revenues. We have not yet begun to see the HUGE FALL in revenues due to industry shutdowns.

    The American recovery act passed in the spring will hit in the summer of 2010. The whole world knows Obama promised to have our troops out of Iraq within 18 months, but we are going to take yet another dive as we borrow that budgetted one TRILLION dollar deficit. That is about twice the deficit any previous administration has ever had.

    Regarding Iraq, it would have been very easy to block the Strait of Hormuz had Saddam Hussein not be taken out. Over half the world’s sweet crude goes through that mile/two kilometer channel. Hussein would have demanded tribute for every barrel of oil. If you think it has been bad before, imagine fuel at $300 a barrel or gas at $10/gallon or three pounds per liter.

    Regardless of all that, the only reason Iraq did not have nuclear weapons was the bombing of their nuclear facility by Israel in the early 1980s. The other Weapons of Mass Destruction were not only stockpiled, but used against the Kurds by Hussein. There are videos online that also show the kinds of torture and murder his administration was engaged in. He had people beheaded, arms cut off, and bound people thrown from the tops of buildings.

    The rape of Kuwaite was where he stepped over the line so that intervention could be done. Like the Korean War, the Iraq War started and stopped with a cease fire. It never actually ended until we invaded Baghdad.

    Obama claimed he would have only gone into Afghanistan. That would have made the logistics impossible. You cannot go up the Persian Gulf without control of Iraq.

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  5. I’m not seeing how Hussein could have blocked the straits of Hormuz without a navy or any kind of air superiority, since Iraq doesn’t abut them anywhere: or what the Persian Gulf has to do with getting supplies to Afghanistan.

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  6. Betty, I am not going to debate that issue. I already made the case for it when I said the Strait of Hormuz was so narrow. Do some research on how piracy has gone critical in the last 18 months off Somolia and how that was accomplished, if you think I am wrong.

    You did not follow the Iraq War carefully or critically, if you do not see that getting supplies anywhere in the Middle East is an issue.

    Turkey would not let us use their country to invade Iraq. Iran has not been a friend of ours since the early 1970s. Pakistan has not been in control of its northern areas for about a decade.

    Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan havde had trade/economic pressures put on them not to allow the US access.

    China several years ago said they would let a carrier task force into one of their ports for Thanksgiving and reniged on it. Hundreds of US family members were in port there to meet the sailors for the holiday.

    In the end, you could not supply even one division of troops by air alone. Even if you could, it takes little to dirupt that kind of supply.

    After three cruises to West Pac during the Vietnam War, I guess I just do not understand why anyone would think a landlocked country like Afghanistan could be supported without a larger nation in the region to use as a base point.

    It took huge amounts of resources to keep two to four aircraft carriers based in the Gulf of Tonkin. The further away from the US you are, the worse it it.

    You should have seen how touchy they were when we made a short run in 1974 to the Persian Gulf. When we made port in Kharachi, they only let sailors who had no issues go on liberty and that was limited to less than eight hours on one day.

    Periodically, I have had casual contacts in the region, as well. Things were very tight economically in Pakistan even five years ago, for the skilled workers and manual laborers. Dubai has treated them like the Coyotes treated those immigrating (illegal and/or temporary) from Mexico to Texas.

    After all that, there is the Human Trafficking being done in connection with several Arab nations in the Middle East and Africa. That may not seem irrelevant, but if you can ship a container full of slaves, you can blow up container ships and supertankers.

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