Thanks to Michael Hastings at Rolling Stone, we learn that Lt. Gen. William Caldwell repeatedly pressured the psy-ops (i.e. professional US Army trained propagandists) to use their skills to convince members of Congress to approve more money for operations in Afghanistan. From Rolling Stone:
At a minimum, the use of the IO team against U.S. senators was a misue [sic] of vital resources designed to combat the enemy; it cost American taxpayers roughly $6 million to deploy Holmes and his team in Afghanistan for a year. But Caldwell seemed more eager to advance his own career than to defeat the Taliban. “We called it Operation Fourth Star,” says Holmes. “Caldwell seemed far more focused on the Americans and the funding stream than he was on the Afghans. We were there to teach and train the Afghans. But for the first four months it was all about the U.S. Later he even started talking about targeting the NATO populations.” At one point, according to Holmes, Caldwell wanted to break up the IO team and give each general on his staff their own personal spokesperson with psy-ops training.
Caldwell wanted to use a small part of the resources the Congress provided him, a $6 million psy-ops team, on Congress to in turn convince Congress to provide him with even more resources.
While outrageous, this is basically just a very small scale version of how defense contractors in the military-industrial complex use political donations in the expanding growth spiral.
What Caldwell did was little different than how big defense contractors will take a few million taxpayer dollars from a hundred million dollar government contract and use it to pay psy-ops propagandist lobbyists to make large donations to members of Congress in order to convince Congress to give them even larger defense contracts. Which, of course, provides defense contractors with more money they can spend on psy-ops donations, PR campaigns and lobbying.
Sadly this form of basically legalized bribery has been such a defining characteristic of the military-industrial-congressional complex for so long, it isn’t even seen as abnormal anymore. Ideally, seeing a general wanting to use American troops directly in this kind of expansion feedback loop will cause us to re-examine the whole system.