How the US Funds the Taliban
From Aram Rosten at The Nation:
In this grotesque carnival, the US military's contractors are forced to pay suspected insurgents to protect American supply routes. It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting. And it is a deadly irony, because these funds add up to a huge amount of money for the Taliban. "It's a big part of their income," one of the top Afghan government security officials told The Nation in an interview. In fact, US military officials in Kabul estimate that a minimum of 10 percent of the Pentagon's logistics contracts--hundreds of millions of dollars--consists of payments to insurgents.
In order to fight the Taliban, first we need to pay the Taliban. WTF?!?!?!
I wonder where those Taliban get funding to kill Americans? Maybe from tax paying Americans? WTF!
The bizarre fact is that the practice of buying the Taliban's protection is not a secret. I asked Col. David Haight, who commands the Third Brigade of the Tenth Mountain Division, about it. After all, part of Highway 1 runs through his area of operations. What did he think about security companies paying off insurgents? "The American soldier in me is repulsed by it," he said in an interview in his office at FOB Shank in Logar Province. "But I know that it is what it is: essentially paying the enemy, saying, 'Hey, don't hassle me.' I don't like it, but it is what it is."
As a military official in Kabul explained contracting in Afghanistan overall, "We understand that across the board 10 percent to 20 percent goes to the insurgents. My intel guy would say it is closer to 10 percent. Generally it is happening in logistics."
In a statement to The Nation about Host Nation Trucking, Col. Wayne Shanks, the chief public affairs officer for the international forces in Afghanistan, said that military officials are "aware of allegations that procurement funds may find their way into the hands of insurgent groups, but we do not directly support or condone this activity, if it is occurring." He added that, despite oversight, "the relationships between contractors and their subcontractors, as well as between subcontractors and others in their operational communities, are not entirely transparent."
In any case, the main issue is not that the US military is turning a blind eye to the problem. Many officials acknowledge what is going on while also expressing a deep disquiet about the situation. The trouble is that--as with so much in Afghanistan--the United States doesn't seem to know how to fix it.
No doubt why the military invented the term "SNAFU" - "Situation Normal All F@#ked Up". I can tell you one way to fix the problem though, leave that place for the stone age.
I am quite convinced we have no idea what we are doing or why we are really even fighting. The President doesn't seem to know either. If Obama decides to bail out he has my full support. It will be tougher for him than me. He has spent the last couple of years describing Afghanistan as the "Right War". I thought it was a bad idea all along.
And if we are to stay, we should force them to legalize the drug trade and buy up all the poppy production and make it into morphine. We need to stop the black market that helps fund the Taliban. And we need to stop paying the Taliban for security services. I guess that would be a starting point.
It is madness. I wish we would leave now. Leave in 5 or 10 years I doubt it makes much difference in that cesspool of humanity. That place was meant for the stone age. Leave now and let them on their way. Sphere: Related Content