Friday, January 8, 2010

The Cost Of Security (Meaning: Terror)

(Updated below)

The terrorists keep on winning - my point ... exactly.

In the meantime, what has been the monetary cost of "fighting terrorism and improving our security"?

For Canada: the Afghanistan "mission" overall price tag will be an estimated $11.3 to $18.1 billion by 2011. $23.1 billion in successive increases to National Defense spending have been dished out since 2001. The military budget for 2008-2009 was $18.2 billion, which increased to $21.2 billion for 2009-2010 - a 60-year high. Spending for development in Afghanistan up to 2006 was $466 million - by 2011, it is expected to reach $1 billion. In between, more than $2.6 billion have been committed to enhancing aviation security since 2001 - just last year, airport security cost $450 million and its further "beefing up" will cost $590 millions this year (apparently not including the installation of 44 body scanners @ $250,000 a piece for a whopping $11 million price tag). In the same vein, the budget for CSIS ballooned from $248 million in 2001-2002 to $356 million in 2006-2007, along with an additional increase of $80 million over two years beginning in 2008. And by the way - the security budget for the 2010 Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver will amount to about $900 million.

For the USA: the cost of the war in Afghanistan so far amounts to approximatively $235.9 billion (about $57,077.60/minute). The running tab on the Iraq war stands now at about $716 billion. The combined cost of both wars is now almost at $1 trillion. Military spending (excluding the costs of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars) has increased from $404 billion in 2001 to $626 billion in 2007, and then to $636 billion by the end of 2009. $23 billion have been spent on reconstruction and development contracts in Afghanistan since 2002. Another $53 billion have been likewise spent in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. In between, the TSA's budget went from $6.5 billion in 2003 to almost $8 billion in 2009. The number of body scanners in airports will more than triple, going from the 40 already in use to 150 (@ $150,000-$190,000 a piece). Meanwhile, the budget for the DHS has reached $55 billion for the 2010 fiscal year (pdf here). And for 2009 alone, the estimated (i.e. classified) budget for the National Intelligence Program (which includes the CIA, FBI, NSA and various military intelligence branches) stood between $55 billion and $66.5 billion.

I am reminded of the infamous words of one Osama bin Laden (emphasis added): "We, alongside the mujahideen, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat ... So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."

Incidentally - Canada's accumulated deficit stood at about $55.9 billion for 2009, whereas that of the USA now stands at about $12.3 trillion.

And never you mind that Canadians and Americans are now essentially living in Corporatocracy-run National Security and Surveillance States - all for nothing.

But do you know what's even worst? All those people on the right who keep screaming, yelling, crying, asking, demanding, insisting, promulgating, encouraging, preaching, enabling, pushing that we continue further surrendering to the terrorists - all the while lying about terrorism in order to score political/ideological points, if not actually advancing themselves politically.

It has worked before - why should it not work still?

All of the above constitute proof again that the ever-expanding and wasteful, so-called Global War on Terror is only about scaring people, not protecting them.

All of the above furthermore constitute proof again that we are the real problem with terrorism.

And that is why the terrorists keep on winning.

Any questions?

Update 01/26/2010: Glenn Greenwald discusses the sanctity of US military spending and the fear of terrorism driving it, which I offer as note added in proof herein ...

(Cross-posted at The Peace Tree)


  1. Those right-wing commentators are really out of date. The new THz airport security scanners allow for almost strip-searching of everyone...

    Considering that someone demonstrated that one could still hide explosives from a THz imaging scanner if the explosive was deformable, it is a wonder why they don't just do THz spectroscopy using single-cycle THz pulses. I guess looking at Fourier power spectra of reflected pulses isn't as "easy" as looking at effectively naked people...

    I guess that anything goes nowadays, in a time when killing children in covert military operations can happen... beyond disgusting...

  2. All in the name of Security ...

  3. These numbers are astonishing. I don't know where you take you info from, because on the news they declare much lower numbers. All in all i tend to believe that they're trying to lower the real numbers. Nowadays you have biometric scanners, computerized passports, it's unbelievable

  4. See the links for the numbers. And with regards to biometric scanners et al. - just more notes added in proof of the mounting cost of security (aside, that is, from the cost of the further erosion of our constitution and civil rights) ...


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