Public and Secret Buildups
As expected, President Obama will soon announce his decision to escalate the Afghan War to the tune of around 30,000 soldiers. Meanwhile, Blackwater is busy at work in Pakistan, heading up our governments secret assassination program and performing “various tasks” for the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jeremy Scahill’s article is worth quoting in detail:
“Part of this, of course, is an attempt to get around the constraints the Congress has placed on DoD. If you don’t have sufficient soldiers to do it, you hire civilians to do it. I mean, it’s that simple. It would not surprise me,” [said Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2005.]
Blackwater, he said, is already so deeply entrenched that it has become a staple of the US military operations in Pakistan. According to the former Blackwater executive, “The politics that go with the brand of BW is somewhat set aside because what you’re doing is really one military guy to another.” Blackwater’s first known contract with the CIA for operations in Afghanistan was awarded in 2002 and was for work along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
We are not told the extent of mercenary presense in Pakistan/Afghanistan, but some sources allege there to be one mercenary soldier for every US Army man there. So the true extent of the escalation has been hidden from the public, and it might be prudent to double any reported troop presence in Afghanistan. Obama’s stated “buildup” of 30,000 troops will bring the official total in the Afghan theatre to around 110,000 soldiers, which means there could be up to 200,000 actually there.
Good thing we elected such a progressive leader!