James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Support the War, But Not the Troops

In the first year of the War on Iraq, then-WLS (Chicago) talk show host Garry Meier wanted to take a contrarian position, to support a position only because it was unpopular. He decided on, "I support the war, but not the troops."

It was supposed to be for laughs, not intended to become public policy. But according to Stephen P. Pizzo, referencing a Wall Street Journal report by Gregg Jaffe, the Army is out of money, even as the Navy and Air Force dispense fat contracts for weapons systems wholly useless for occupation and ground combat. Pizzo writes,

Here are few more facts from Jaffe's report.
  • The cost of equipping an infantry soldier tripled, from $7000 in 1999 to $24,000 today.
  • The cost of Humvee's went from $32,000 in 2001 to a breathtaking $225,000 each today.
  • The cost of training, feeding and housing Army recruits went from $75,000 per soldier in 2001 to $120,000 today. (The Army uses private contractors, largely Halliburton's Kellogg, Root & Brown, to provide most non-training services, such as food service and base maintenance. )
This is further evidence of that government is incapable of allocating resources accurately or rationally. It is also further evidence that war brings huge profits to some companies who will be content to see war continue. And that private contracting of government services is an expensive and dangerous proposition. If the government is the biggest corporate client, one thing we know for sure is that we're going to get more and more government.


1 comment:

  1. "If the government is the biggest corporate client, one thing we know for sure is that we're going to get more and more government."

    Good call, I will be looking for ways to repeat this sentiment.

    ReplyDelete