How about "NOTHING"
HOW MUCH should we be spending on the Military Industrial Complex?
Read this Tomgram and weep, for the hemoraging of the American Treasury in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be going on for the next 30-40 years, if the war hawks get their way.
Annual funding for U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, 2002: $20.8 billion.
Annual funding for U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, 2009: $60.2 billion.
Total funds for U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, 2002-2009: $228.2 billion.
War-fighting funds requested by the Obama administration for 2010: $68 billion (a figure which will, for the first time since 2003, exceed funds requested for Iraq).
Funds recently requested by U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry for non-military spending in Afghanistan, 2010: $2.5 billion.
Funds spent since 2001 on Afghan "reconstruction": $38 billion ("more than half of it on training and equipping Afghan security forces").
Percentage of U.S. funding in Afghanistan that has gone for military purposes: Nearly 90%.
Estimated U.S. funds needed to support and upgrade Afghan forces for the next decade: $4 billion a year ("with a like sum for development") according to former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West. (According to the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon, "It's a reasonable guess that for 20 years, we essentially will have to fund half the Afghan budget.")(my ems)
Afghan gross national product: $23 billion ("the size of Boise" Idaho's, writes columnist George Will) -- about $3 billion of it from opium production.
Annual budget of the Afghan government: $600 million.
Maintenance cost for the force of 450,000 Afghan soldiers and police U.S. generals dream of creating: approximately 500% of the Afghan budget.
(*so, even if we train them and get them inspired, the Afghan govt will not be able to afford to keep paying them*)
Amount spent on police "mentoring and training" since 2001: $10 billion.
Percentage of the more than 400 Afghan National Police units "still incapable of running their operations independently": 75% (2008 figures). (*this is about how well we're doing in Iraq, too*)
Cost of the latest upgrade of Bagram Air Base (an old Soviet base that has become the largest American base in Afghanistan): $220 million.
Cost of a single recent Pentagon contract to DynCorp International Inc. and Fluor Corporation "to build and support U.S. military bases throughout Afghanistan": up to $15 billion.
The Next War
The price tag the Obama administration's budget team reportedly put on U.S. future wars almost every year through 2019: More than $100 billion a year.
The cost of equipping seven Army brigades with a Boeing advanced coordinated system of hand-held drones, robots, sensors, and other battlefield surveillance equipment over the next two years: $2 billion.
Date when all 73 Army active and reserve brigades will be equipped with the system: 2025.
We're not only funding and arming "our" side of this war, we're funding and arming the opponent!
Whenever I hear fanatic wingnuts complain about our government using federal taxes for abortion funding without their consent...
I wanna shout: WHAT ABOUT ALL MY TAX MONEY YOU'RE WASTING TO KILL CIVILIANS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, HUH... HUH????