American Conservative to Trump: before you give billions more to the military, figure out what happened to the $6T we lost in the Middle East

The US lost — as in, can't account for — $6 trillion fighting disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a fact that Trump was quick to point out during his speech to both houses of Congress, just before announcing that he planned on giving the same government department that literally claims not to know what happened to that money billions more.

As Andrew J Bacevich — a retired Army colonel and conservative historian — writes in The American Conservative, this is nuts. If Trump was serious about fiscal responsibility, he'd be announcing an "inquiry into the misjudgments and failures that have saddled future generations with a six-trillion-dollar bill," not "more war."

Where precisely did all that money go? Republicans and Democrats alike profess to find the question without interest or merit.

Most of the trillions have long since sunk into the arid wastes of Iraq and Afghanistan. Remarkably, neither of these two places even qualified for mention in Trump's hour-long oration.

Instead, the president used the occasion to urge Congress to give the Pentagon more money still—lots more. Trump is calling for "one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history," as if attributing the disappointing results of our recent wars to fiscal niggardliness.

For U.S. military leaders, for the national security apparatus as a whole, for defense contractors, and for the Congress itself, Trump was the bearer of good news. As commander-in-chief, he will observe the agreement forged by his immediate predecessors: When it comes to war and basic U.S. national security policy, there will be no accountability and no awkward questions.

Trump and the Six-Trillion-Dollar Question
[Andrew J Bacevich/The American Conservative]

(Images: The Pentagon, Mariordo Camila Ferreira & Mario Duran, CC-BY-SA; Burning Money Isolated on White, Images Money, CC-BY)

(via Naked Capitalism)