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Funding the Taliban
Saturday, August 27, 2011
From Print Edition
It is an ugly truth that most prefer to hide. In Afghanistan, the richest source of Taliban funding is the money paid by the US taxpayers. The latest military-led investigation has provided credible evidence that the US taxpayers’ money meant to cover transportation costs in Afghanistan is making its way into Taliban hands.
In what can accurately be described as an orchestrated armed conflict, the Pentagon has already paid tens of millions of dollars in protection money to the Taliban who then use the money to buy weapons and explosives. According to media reports, US dollars are being indirectly funnelled to the Taliban and Afghan warlords to secure convoys carrying supplies to the foreign troops in Afghanistan.
And, what is even more shocking, six of the eight prime contractors in Afghanistan are involved in a criminal enterprise or support for the enemy. Critically, there is no system of oversight and accountability within the murky web of subcontractors involved in the shipment of more than 70% of all the US military food, fuel and weapons across Afghanistan.
General McChrystal, the former US commander of Isaf in Afghanistan, once confessed in a meeting with a Kabul-based ambassador that the US taxpayers’ dollars were a partial source of funding the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan. In the summer of 2010, the US House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, chaired by John F Tierney, published its report which revealed that there was an annual flow of approximately $400 million in US tax dollars to the Taliban.
Last year, General David Petraeus secretly fired Rear Admiral Kathleen Dussault, the director of Task Force in Afghanistan, who wanted to cut off the diversion of the US funds to the Taliban because the Pentagon did not want to stop paying protection money to Taliban commanders.
Further, it is an outrage that the military generals accepted their crimes and justified them on the basis that there is no other way to move the amount of military supplies required to re-supply the network of more than 200 American bases.
Unlike Iraq, where the Pentagon favoured using American contractors, local contractors are performing the bulk of those tasks in Afghanistan.
The Afghan troops also claim to have found US-supplied equipments in Taliban bases. It is widely believed in Afghanistan that the US is funding the Taliban and the Pentagon has no intention of ending the conflict. The US military-industrial complex wants to prolong the conflict so that its troops can stay in Afghanistan for the next few decades.
The US funds the religious seminaries both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, which produce young Taliban. US army helicopters regularly deliver supplies behind Taliban lines. CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking is also well-known. Under US watch, Afghanistan has become the largest opium and hashish producing country in the world, accounting for 85% of the global illicit production. And senior US officials publicly admit that ‘narcotics eradication is not on their agenda in Afghanistan’.
This finding of how the US government is financing the insurgents in Afghanistan debunks the “war on terror” as a cruel hoax. In addition, private contractors undermine the Obama administration’s exit strategy in Afghanistan, since Afghan soldiers routinely drop out of training to take more lucrative jobs as security guards hired by various private firms.
Now it’s a fact that the US is helping fund both sides of the war in Afghanistan, proving that the war in Afghanistan is inherently flawed and unwinnable. Rampant fraud and corruption continue to highlight the futility of the war. There is not, and never has been a military solution to Afghanistan.
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