Apologies to President Obama may be in order as 51 is so yesterday with his decree of 57 states already in existence (or was it the 57 Islamic states his heartstrings were tugging at?). When he hears the “most beautiful sound in the world“, otherwise known as the Islamic call to prayer, perhaps he gets a bit confused about numerology and to which State his allegiance lies.
There should be no confusion on the President’s view on our relationship with Afghanistan. The impending SECURITY AND DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT will likely be signed by both countries soon guaranteeing a long-term U.S. presence in Afghanistan. The agreement is for 10 years with the option for perpetuity beyond that should both countries agree in its necessity.
Hardly surprising. Our stated goal of entering Afghanistan to eradicate the Taliban and al-Qaeda has been an abject failure. Only the highly intoxicated Kool-Aid drinkers of government spin ever bought into the notion of our occupation there as a noble one. Only those same drunks hungover from our Nobel Peace Prize winning Commander-in-Chief’s hope and change proclamation believed we would simply pull out cold turkey next year.
But I digress. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. Perhaps our military is being utilized honorably and only to promote freedom. You know, win the war quickly to minimize casualties. Get in and get out. No long-term ambitions or occupation or nation-building. Perhaps I’m dreaming the Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) doesn’t really exist. Perhaps this isn’t their mission statement.
Since 2006, TFBSO’s mission has been to reduce violence, enhance stability, and restore economic normalcy in areas where unrest and insurgency have created a synchronous downward spiral of economic hardship and violence.
We do this by developing economic opportunities through a range of efforts, including the encouragement of private investment, industrial development, banking and financial system development, agricultural diversification and revitalization, and energy development, among other initiatives. Read more – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/more-proof-of-why-we-really-fight-on-in-afghanistan/
We would never utilize the TFBSO as a procurement facility to award government contracts rather than just to promote local economic growth, would we?
The Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement is a contractor’s dream. It is vague and filled with generalities. For instance, any potential commercial purposes of our presence would seem to be covered in this article.
Importation and Exportation
1. United States forces and United States contractors may import into, export out of, re-export out of,
transport, and use in Afghanistan any equipment, supplies, materiel, technology, training, or services.
The authorizations in this paragraph do not cover the activities of United States contractors that are not
related to the presence of United States forces in Afghanistan. Identifying documents shall be provided
to indicate that such equipment, supplies, materiel, technology, training, or services being imported by
United States contractors are for United States forces’ purposes and not for any private commercial
“Not for any private commercial purposes” seems pretty straightforward. But what if our military were to contract out activities? It would be exempt under the agreement including taxation.
1. The acquisition in Afghanistan of articles and services by or on behalf of United States forces shall
not be subject to any taxes or similar or related charges assessed within the territory of Afghanistan.
2. United States forces, including members of the force and of the civilian component, shall not be liable
to pay any tax or similar or related charges assessed by the Government of Afghanistan within the
territory of Afghanistan.
3. United States contractors shall not be liable to pay any tax or similar or related charges assessed by
the Government of Afghanistan within the territory of Afghanistan on their activities, and associated
income, relating to or on behalf of United States forces under a contract or subcontract with or in support
of United States forces. However, United States contractors that are Afghan legal entities shall not be
exempt from corporate profits tax that may be assessed by the Government of Afghanistan within the
territory of Afghanistan on income received due to their status as United States contractors.
You don’t suppose our corporate interests in America would partner with the TFBSO to contract out certain activities exempt from taxes and legal under this agreement? Determining just what is a requirement of the United States forces as the agreement refers to them is a red tape boondoggle if there ever was one.
If you haven’t caught my drift yet, let me clarify. Who is to say that we could not legally pursue our true goal of raw material acquisition such as precious minerals, gas and oil under the auspices of providing security and training? And tax-free to boot? Perhaps a payoff for the massive bill our military has rung up in the last decade? The legalities are in place (or will be as soon as the agreement is signed). The DOD organizations are in place.
They don’t call it the military-industrial complex for nothing. So we may not formally annex Afghanistan as the 51st State, but we can certainly conduct business there for the foreseeable future just as if they were a part of our nation’s economy. Almost as if we had it planned that way all along, don’t you think?