Special Forces, Pentagon Contractors and Intelligence Operatives Will Remain
by Jeremy Kuzmarov
Part 2 - Mercenaries R Us
The meaninglessness of President Biden’s announcement becomes apparent when we consider that the Pentagon employs more than seven contractors for every serviceman or woman in Afghanistan; an increase of one contractor for every serviceman or woman a decade ago.
As of January, more than 18,000 contractors remained in Afghanistan, according to a Defense Department report, when official troop totals had been reduced to 2,500.
These totals reflect the U.S. government’s strategy of outsourcing war to the benefit of private mercenary corporations, and as a means of distancing the war from the public and averting dissent, since relatively few Americans are directly impacted by it.
Most of the mercenaries are ex-military veterans, though a percentage are third-country nationals who are paid meager wages to perform menial duties for the military.
One of the biggest mercenary companies is DynCorp International of Falls Church Virginia, which has received over $7 billion in government contracts to train the Afghan army and manage military bases in Afghanistan.
From 2002-2013, DynCorp received 69 percent of all State Department funding. Forbes Magazine called it “one of the big winners of the Iraq and Afghan Wars;” the losers being almost everyone else.
A blueprint for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is the 1959-1975 secret war in Laos, where the CIA worked with hundreds of civilian contractors who flew spotter aircraft, ran ground bases and operated radar stations in civilian clothes while raising its own private army among the Hmong to fight the pro-communist Pathet Lao.
The CIA and Special Forces have again attempted to recruit tribal elements in Afghanistan and, like in Laos, have become enmeshed in inter-tribal and sectarian feuds.
For years, U.S. Special Forces operatives have also been training Afghan security forces as a proxy army and running Phoenix-style snatch and grab and assassination missions, which are poised to continue—despite the formal troop withdrawal.
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