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What were the USA’s costs for the Afghanistan war ?

Since invading Afghanistan in 2001, the United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Note that this total does not include funds that the United States government is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

The Costs of War Project also estimates that 241,000 people have died as a direct result of this war. These figures do not include deaths caused by disease, loss of access to food, water, infrastructure, and/or other indirect consequences of the war.

The figures for Afghanistan are part of the larger costs of the U.S. post-9/11 wars, which extend to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The numbers are approximations based on the reporting of several data sources.

August 17, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The War On Afghanistan Was A $2 Trillion Scam

Americans will hate whoever they’re told to—Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, China. After a while they don’t even remember why they hate them, they just do. Getting the war machine going is easy, just throw the press a few bones about ‘terrorism’ and soon enough there’s bones in the ground. The New York Times will even make terrorism up. CNN will film the bombs raining down. It’s a great, hateful show.

It’s important to understand Afghanistan not as a $2.26 trillion failure of good intentions but a $2.26 trillion success of bad. This is what America does. This is who Americans are. They have reduced war to its most crass objective, a way to profit from misery. Afghanistan was no mistake. It was a very successful scam.–

America just pumped-and-dumped an entire country,

The American war on Afghanistan was a $2.26 trillion scam. Somebody pocketed all that money, and it certainly wasn’t the people of Afghanistan. That amount is 115 years of Afghan GDP, and it mostly went to arms dealers, the corrupt US military, and corrupt US politicians. Meanwhile the Taliban gets to keep the weapons. This wasn’t just a waste, it was a gigantic fraud

Afghanistan was not an isolated incident. This is the American war machine, working as intended, grinding bones and printing blood money. America has reduced war to one simple fact: war costs money and somebody’s gonna get paid. This is their galaxy brain idea, starting wars with no objective just to make money for arms dealers. You don’t even have to win. In fact, it’s better if you spend 20 years losing. That’s the beauty of the scam.

Just follow the money. American taxpayers have been defrauded well over $6.4 trillion in their wars ‘of’ terror alone. People keep saying this money was ‘lost’ or ‘wasted’ but it didn’t go nowhere. American people had their pockets picked while saluting the flag. This is what America does. This is who they are. The vaunted American military is a fraud.

A Simple Scam

It’s a simple scam, really. 

  1. Pick some random poor country (and get your people to hate it)
  2. Attack it
  3. Profit

The entire war machine is an endless grift. Donors throw a little money at Congressmen, Congressmen throw infinite money at the military, and some poor person ends up crushed under a $25,000 bomb. What does it accomplish? Who cares? We made money on the bomb.

In Afghanistan, the waste was insane(ly profitable). The American military transported fuel via helicopter. They kept every single car, truck, and tank idling 24 hours a day. They spent $1 million dollars per soldier shipping Burger Kings, gyms, and bottled water across the Arabian Sea. Nobody cared. The government just kept giving money and the military kept spending it. War machine go brrrr. It wasn’t their money and it’s wasn’t their lives. It was all a bloody scam. 

The original article here posts  a 2019 Afghanistan document dump which everyone has forgotten about

America invading Afghanistan was just like the mafia taking over a legitimate business and bleeding it dry. The American military is just a global racket of torturers and thugs, doing bust-outs on an international scale.

Suckers And Losers

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August 17, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | 2 Comments

New research on baby teeth will show the impact of nuclear bomb testing, and the connection with later cancers

Three decades later, [after the 1950s] Washington University staff discovered thousands of abandoned baby teeth that had gone untested. The school donated the teeth to the Radiation and Public Health Project, which was conducting a study of strontium-90 in teeth of U.S. children near nuclear reactors.

Now, using strontium-90 still present in teeth, the Radiation and Public Health Project will conduct an analysis of health risk, which was not addressed in the original tooth study, and minimally addressed by government agencies.  Based on actual radiation exposure in bodies, the issue of how many Americans suffered from cancer and other diseases from nuclear testing fallout will be clarified.

Baby teeth collected six decades ago will reveal the damage to Americans’ health caused by US nuclear weapons tests AUGUST 16, 2021 by Lawrence Wittner by Lawrence Wittner and Joseph Mangano

In 2020, Harvard University’s T. C. Chan School of Public Health began a five-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that will examine the connection between early life exposure to toxic metals and later-life risk of neurological disease. A collaborator with Harvard, the Radiation and Public Health Project, will analyze the relationship of strontium-90 (a radioactive element in nuclear weapons explosions) and disease risk in later life.  

The centerpiece of the study is a collection of nearly 100,000 baby teeth, gathered in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information.

The collection of these teeth occurred during a time of intense public agitation over the escalating nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Soviet governments that featured the new hydrogen bomb (H-bomb), a weapon more than a thousand times as powerful as the bomb that had annihilated Hiroshima.  To prepare themselves for nuclear war, the two Cold War rivals conducted well-publicized, sometimes televised nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere—434 of them between 1945 and 1963.  These tests sent vast clouds of radioactive debris aloft where, carried along by the winds, it often traveled substantial distances before it fell to earth and was absorbed by the soil, plants, animals, and human beings.  

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August 17, 2021 Posted by | radiation, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Reclassifying nuclear wastes, and other ethical and technical problems at Hanford

“DOE sort of granted itself the authority to do that reclassifying,”

“We’re not convinced of any need to reclassify any of the high-level wastes,” said Ecology Department spokesman Randy Bradbury.

“We believe this rule lays the groundwork for the department to abandon significant amounts of radioactive waste in Washington State precipitously close to the Columbia River,”

Reclassifying a significant amount of high-level waste into low-activity waste is key to reaching that 80%, the report said.

Ultimately, this project, originally scheduled to be finished this decade, will likely be completed in the latter half of this century. In other words, it could take 70 to 75 years (mid-1990s to 2069) to deal with the 56 million gallons of radioactive tank waste created by 42 years of manufacturing plutonium.

A plan to turn radioactive waste into glass logs has raised a lot of questions, many of which don’t appear to have public answers. CrossCut, by John Stang, August 16, 2021”……………………..Whistleblower alarm

Red flags have also been raised over the quality of construction of the new treatment facilities.

In 2010, Walt Tamosaitis, a senior manager at a subcontractor designing the pretreatment plant, URS Corp., alerted his superiors and managers at lead contractor Bechtel to a risk of hydrogen gas explosions that could bend and burst pipes in the plant, spraying radioactive fluids. He also pointed out that radioactive sludge could clog the pipes and tanks in the plant, increasing the chance of uncontrolled releases of radiation. And he raised the issue of corrosion causing leaks in the pretreatment plant.

Tamosaitis’ superiors told the Energy Department that the design problems were fixed as of July 1, 2010 — over Tamosaitis’ protests, but in time for Bechtel to collect a $5 million bonus from the department.

For raising the alarm, he was demoted and exiled to an insignificant offsite job, Tamosaitis alleged in a lawsuit against Bechtel. He alleged illegal retaliation, eventually reaching a $4.1 million settlement with the company. Meanwhile, in 2011 and 2012, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, a technical advisory body monitoring DOE, plus the Government Accounting Office, confirmed Tamosaitis’ concerns.

In 2015, the Energy Department announced that it would not have the entire complex operational by 2022, the deadline at the time. Department officials pointed to the same issues Tamosaitis had identified in 2010.

Also on hold is construction of the pretreatment plant — a prerequisite to the high-level waste glassification project, which is scheduled to begin production in 2023, according to the current state and federal agreement.

What the future holds

The U.S. Department of Energy has been giving contradictory signals about new plans for dealing with some of the high-level waste. 

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August 17, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Opposition to nuclear power plants in Poland

 On the edge of a lake near the Baltic coast, half-flooded and overgrown with fir trees and shrubs, lie the remains of Poland’s last attempt to build a nuclear power plant. Begun in 1982, the project in Zarnowiec was abandoned after years of protests, and its half-finished concrete shell was left to the elements. Four decades on, Poland is trying again.

Last year, the government signed off on a plan to build the country’s first nuclear plant by 2033. Five more are due to follow by 2043 as part of a broader effort to wean Poland’s economy off its increasingly uneconomic dependence on coal. The final location for the first plant has not yet been chosen.

But in villages that dot the wooded countryside around Zarnowiec, there are already placards protesting against the prospect. “Why destroy one of the most beautiful places in Poland?” asks a member of an initiative against a plant near Lubiatowo, a hamlet some 20km from Zarnowiec. “Anyone who comes in here [to build a nuclear plant] will have a war.”

 FT 16th Aug 2021

August 17, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Secrecy, delays, budget problems as USA tries to clean up Hanford, the most radioactively polluted site in the nation.

Hanford has 56 million gallons of radioactive waste in those 177 underground tanks at this remote decommissioned nuclear production site near the Columbia River in Benton County

Those leak-prone tanks are arguably the most radiologically contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere.

At least 1 million gallons of radioactive liquids have leaked into the ground, seeping into the aquifer 200 feet below and then into the Columbia River, roughly seven miles away. Since the mid-1990s, Hanford’s plans involve mixing the waste  in the tanks with benign melted glass and then storing it in glass logs.

Today, the project’s budget is at least $17 billion, and the first glassification plant for low-activity waste is scheduled to start up in late 2023. So far, the federal government has spent $11 billion on the glassification project, according to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative agency of Congress.

That one plant, however, will only handle 40% to 50% of the low-activity wastes, depending on who is doing the estimating. A second low-activity waste plant or a stil-to-be-determined new approach is needed to the remaining What will happen to the rest of the waste is still up for debate.

All of the single-shell tanks and the majority of the double-shell tanks are way past their design lives

Cleaning up nuclear waste at Hanford: Secrecy, delays and budget debates

A plan to turn radioactive waste into glass logs has raised a lot of questions, many of which don’t appear to have public answers.
CrossCut, by John Stang, August 16, 2021 Stephen Wiesman has worked for about three decades on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s project to convert the radioactive waste in its huge underground tanks into safer glass logs.

Although he’s retired now and involved in an advisory capacity, he understands the project — and its ongoing challenges — better than almost anyone.

Wiesman sees this task with a mix of cautious optimism, frustration, sympathy for the people dealing with its complexities, and a deep belief that the tank wastes must be dealt with. “There isn’t an emotion that I haven’t felt,” he said.

The project faces a cluster of challenges: financial, technical and political. And the secrecy around the plans to solve these issues makes it difficult for anyone to gauge whether the most polluted spot in the nation will ever become a benign stain on the landscape of eastern Washington.  

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August 17, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Frozen conflicts and forever wars — John Quiggin

The chaotic scenes now playing out as the Taliban take over Afghanistan have unsurprisingly drawn comparisons to the collapse of the South Vietnamese government in 1975. But there have been many similar instances, though most were a little slower: the end of Indonesian rule in East Timor (now Timor L’Este), the French withdrawal from Algeria,…

Frozen conflicts and forever wars — John Quiggin

August 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The tie between climate change and nuclear weapons

WCC reflection on climate change, nuclear weapons

  • Daniel Högsta
  • News Date Icon Aug 16th, 2021   

Daniel Högsta is campaign coordinator for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. In this interview with WCC he reflects on the tie between climate change and nuclear weapons, as well as on global progress toward a nuclear-free world.Would you highlight some of the ties between a nuclear weapons-free world and the climate emergency? How can we care for creation-instead of annihilating it?

Högsta: The nuclear weapons threat and the climate emergency are the two of the major existential challenges faced by humanity – and they are linked in several ways. First of all, a climate-stressed world is an even more dangerous place for nuclear weapons. Global warming and the potential for conflict that arises out of it could lead to the use of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons also themselves threaten climatic disruptions – studies have shown that even a limited nuclear war would have devastating impacts on the whole planet, especially areas with populations who are already vulnerable to agricultural disruptions.

The investment in the continued maintenance of nuclear weapons comes at a huge cost – money that could be used to develop sustainable and green technologies.

Nuclear weapons also harm the environment long before they are being used. Uranium mining, nuclear waste dumps and of course testing of the actual bombs contaminate the earth, causing people to leave their homes.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons addresses this issue in Art VI, obligating Sates to carry out environmental remediation and assistance to the victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons.

What are your continued hopes for the ratification of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons? How can we hope to get the nuclear nations and their allies to sign? Is there any progress?

Högsta: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been ratified by 56 countries and signed by 88 countries. We expect several more signatures and ratification over the next weeks and months, since we’re seeing progress in the national legislative procedures in many countries. We’re also not discouraged (or surprised) by the obstinacy of the nuclear weapon-possessor governments and other nuclear weapon-complicit countries towards the treaty. There are clear signs of political progress among the reluctant: Sweden, Switzerland and Finland (who have close relations with NATO) have confirmed their participation at the first Meeting of States Parties as observers; in late 2020, the new Belgian government became the first NATO state to positively mention the treaty in a governing coalition agreement; there are indications that upcoming elections in Germany and Norway will lead to political shifts as it concerns the treaty; and finally, a letter of 56 former ministers from nuclear umbrella states – including two former secretaries-general of NATO (Javier Solana and Willy Claes) spoke out in favour of NATO states joining the treaty.

At the grassroots level, meaning churches and communities, families and individuals, what are some initiatives we can help lead? Why does every person make a difference?

Högsta: Lobbying national governments can at times be cumbersome. That’s why every individual can help the campaign by speaking to local members of parliament in their constituencies and get them to sign the parliamentary pledge. Through the pledge, parliamentarians can show their support for the treaty and promise to work on progress towards its ratification. Additionally, grassroots campaigners can reach out to the local councils of cities and towns to join the ICAN Cities appeal and make their cities nuclear weapons free zones and request the government to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. To take just a recent example – the effort to get the city of Winnipeg to join the Cities Appeal was led by two high school students who showed some great initiative and drive to get their city to vote in favour of supporting the treaty.

August 17, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | 1 Comment

An expert explains that the Philippines’ nuclear power plant would be OK, but solar power would be faster and better.

Instead of nuclear power, why not solar power? Philippine Daily Inquirer  August 17, 2021,   Last July 8, Peter Wallace wrote in his column about nuclear power plants being safe and that there are many countries operating their nuclear power plants safely over the last 50 years: the United States, Germany, Taiwan, Japan. etc.

I agree about recommissioning the Bataan nuclear plant. As a chemical engineer, I can say that we have enough controls to operate it safely.

However, reviving the Bataan plant will take at least five years. Why not recommend the use of solar panels instead, per Republic Act No. 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, which requires building owners to use renewable sources like solar? The Philippines is the only country in the world with 2,000 hours of sun per year.

Germany went on to use solar panel systems on roofs and, in a short period of time, four million houses have been generating power, resulting in the shutdown of many coal plants. In the United States, New York appointed an energy czar to speed up the use of renewable energy.

Australia gives incentives to households that use solar batteries. lberdrola Spain has made tremendous progress on the use of renewable energy, becoming one of the top five electric utility companies in the world. Portugal and Spain have invested in photovoltaic battery storage systems.

August 17, 2021 Posted by | Philippines, renewable | Leave a comment

Strong local opposition to a proposed nuclear waste dump

 People opposed to the building of a nuclear waste dump have gathered on
Mablethorpe beach in opposition to the move. Around 150 people were at the
beach on Saturday, August 14, to mark their opposition to the proposal –
which would affect the former Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal.

Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) has flagged the site as a potential geological disposal
facility where radioactive waste would be buried deep underground. One of
the organisers of yesterday’s event, who didn’t wish to be named, told
Lincolnshire Live: “There is a lot of anger about what has been done here.
“People have moved to this area because they wanted a quiet, countryside
life and so the idea of having a nuclear waste dump has upset pretty much
all local residents.

“A local estate agent even said that people
immediately started to pull out of house sales when the news about the
proposal first came out. “They think that just to get the spoil out of the
ground will mean about 20 lorries an hour going back and forth, which
doesn’t seem realistic on the roads around here. “We’re waiting to hear
more details at the moment because we’re still in the dark on this, but
we’re going to continue to protest against it.

 Lincolnshire Live 15th Aug 2021

August 17, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

August 16 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “How Extreme Weather Makes Everything Harder, Except Climate-Risk Analysis” • The IPCC report has a clarity that is sobering. What does this newfound certainty mean for investors trying to hedge against climate risks? In the first half of this year, insured losses from catastrophes topped $42 billion, and they are growing. [Insurance Journal] […]

August 16 Energy News — geoharvey

August 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment