Performance standards? Not so much.
I was deployed with a Transportation Brigade from 2011 to 2012. I happened to be stationed at HQ as well, so I got see how the logistics behind everything ran from a "top down" perspective.
The basic gist of it is that the civilian companies transporting our supplies don't give a damn. All they care about is getting paid, which tends to happen either way regardless of how late their cargo is delivered, or the condition in which it happens to arrive. The higher ups in the chain (as well as their civilian agenda setters) aren't interested in hearing "excuses" from their commanders on the ground either, only in results.
This basically results in a state of affairs where everyone in uniform is constantly chasing their own tails trying to figure out what's going on without getting their asses handed to them from above, while barely cooperative contractors laugh all the way to bank while doing the bare minimum to get by.
Last edited by Gathomas88; 11-06-14 at 03:50 PM.
"Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her." -- G.K. Chesterton
Just think about it, they LOST 420 million-worth equipment.
And then think that Iraq war has cost us $6 trillion within eight years.
This sum of money includes $76 billion of veteran benefits.
But if we cut the budget to $100 billion a year to support our military, it would be enough to pay the salary, to pay for bases support all over the world, to provide insurance, etc. Multiply it by eight years and add $76 billion of veteran benefit, and you will get around $1 trillion. Add here $1 trillion of interests we need to pay out. And we get $2 trillion within eight years to spend on military.
So, there are $4 trillion left. What could we have done to them if we hadn't spent them? Like, invest them in our economy? That might have boosted our GDP by 2% a year (and that's hell of a lot).
But that money wasn't invented, it was spent. Spent to gain what? Let's see.
Oil production in Iraq has grown 13 times during 2003-2011. But that hasn't given any benefit for the state budget. Why? Because the private companies earned the money having their offshore accounts. So, the citizens of the US paid for the military campaign in Iraq with their tax dollars ($6 trillion, remember?), but the state got nothing back. All income from the oil fields went to the companies. And we are supposed to be satisfied by the fact we helped to establish democracy.
So, yeah, Iraq war is very expensive.
The incursions in Afghanistan and Iran had nothing to do with directly earned profits as is good and fine. You do not want countries to grab land for profit like the Russians just did in Crimea. US interventions should be and usually have been of a very different nature.
And you are right. The costs were very high. But the cost of doing business is high, when the business is in a chaotic and dangerous region, which is the case for the international theater everywhere really. Don't forget, Ukraine or Bosnia are in Europe and the islands contested in the Far East are neighboring Japan or Taiwan. Until we have a robust global guarantor of safety and security run and paid for by the international community, we are going to have high costs. We are trying to defuse them by prodding countries like Germany or Japan to help shoulder the hard and soft costs of this public good with the US and NATO and will be asking more of China in future, I assume. But do not kid yourself. Security is expensive. Just think of what it costs domestically.
In their defense, though, $420 million is what, like five wrenches?
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.
- There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
- Idealistically, everything should work as you planed it to. Realistically, it depends on how idealistic you are as to the measure of success.
- Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.