After twenty years and trillions flowing through the Pentagon’s war chest, the real winners were thousands of private military contractors that profited immensely.
The Taliban’s stunning takeover of Afghanistan in the aftermath of a bungling US departure has led many to conclude the war in Afghanistan ended in failure. But it is unlikely to be a view shared by many in the US military.
For them, the twenty-year-long conflict has been a massive success.
When discussing the politics of war, a central premise is often put forward: Cui bono? Who benefits? John Boyd, a former Air Force fighter pilot famously expounded on a theory where there was no contradiction between the military’s stated mission and disregard for combat success:
“People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy,” he said. “They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy. It is ‘Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.’”
And add to it they did.