Why did we stay in Afghanistan for twenty years, despite accomplishing less than nothing? For all too many people, the enterprise was just too profitable to give up.
“Who Won in Afghanistan? Private Contractors: The U.S. military spent $14 trillion during two decades of war; those who benefited range from major manufacturers to entrepreneurs,” by Dion Nissenbaum, Jessica Donati and Alan Cullison, Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
The U.S. lost its 20-year campaign to transform Afghanistan. Many contractors won big.
Those who benefited from the outpouring of government money range from major weapons manufacturers to entrepreneurs. A California businessman running a bar in Kyrgyzstan started a fuel business that brought in billions in revenue. A young Afghan translator transformed a deal to provide forces with bed sheets into a business empire including a TV station and a domestic airline….