How the US funds the Taliban – The Nation — An excellent article and one that left me thinking what the hell is the REAL reason troops are in Afghanistan. It sure as hell ain’t saving the country from the Taliban. The whole thing a gigantic farce.

Welcome to the wartime contracting bazaar in Afghanistan. It is a virtual carnival of improbable characters and shady connections, with former CIA officials and ex-military officers joining hands with former Taliban and mujahedeen to collect US government funds in the name of the war effort.

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.

The real secret to trucking in Afghanistan is ensuring security on the perilous roads, controlled by warlords, tribal militias, insurgents and Taliban commanders. The American executive I talked to was fairly specific about it: “The Army is basically paying the Taliban not to shoot at them. It is Department of Defense money.” That is something everyone seems to agree on.

But the heart of the matter is that insurgents are getting paid for safe passage because there are few other ways to bring goods to the combat outposts and forward operating bases where soldiers need them. By definition, many outposts are situated in hostile terrain, in the southern parts of Afghanistan. The security firms don’t really protect convoys of American military goods here, because they simply can’t; they need the Taliban’s cooperation.

  1. Troublemaker says:

    Gotta get natural gas and heroin somehow…

  2. ECA says:

    I will give you a GOOD THOUGHT..

    Military in Afghanistan <8000
    Military in Iraq About 40,000
    CONTRACTORS in IRAQ +100,000

    "The security firms don’t really protect convoys of American military goods here,.."

    Security firms?? that isnt military.

  3. Mike Portson says:

    I heard that Italian troops are doing it (not very surprising in my opinion) but I’ve never heard that American army is also practicing such thing. This way we will never win this war.

  4. soundwash says:

    Hmmm, that’s odd, i hear a different version of the same (support) story
    over here: (and it’s much more “fun”

    As President Obama ponders whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, there is mounting evidence the Taliban is supported by the CIA. If correct, the Afghan war is a charade with a hidden agenda.

    First, we have many reports that unmarked helicopters are ferrying the Taliban to targets, and relieving them when cornered.

    “Just when the police and army managed to surround the Taliban in a village of Qala-e-Zaal district, we saw helicopters land with support teams,” an Afghan soldier said. “They managed to rescue their friends from our encirclement, and even to inflict defeat on the Afghan National Army.”

    This story, in one form or another, is being repeated throughout northern Afghanistan. Dozens of people claim to have seen Taliban fighters disembark from foreign helicopters in several provinces.

    “I saw the helicopters with my own eyes,” said Sayed Rafiq from Baghlan-e-Markazi.

    “They landed near the foothills and offloaded dozens of Taliban with turbans, and wrapped in patus (a blanket-type shawl).”

    “Our fight against the Taliban is nonsense,” said the first soldier. “Our foreigner ‘friends’ are friendlier to the opposition.”


    Last February, there were reports of CIA airbases within Pakistan used for drones. If this is true, Pakistanis are being attacked by drones based in their own country. Obviously, the CIA helicopters supporting the Taliban could also come from these bases.

    In May, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, told NBC News that the CIA and the U.S.-Funded Pakistani ISI intelligence service “has created the Taliban.”

    Zardari said that the CIA and the ISI are still supporting the Taliban.

    –and there is more.

    So many illusions, so little time.


  5. Glenn E. says:

    Doesn’t really surprise me. But it does appall me. It fits in with my general theory of this all being War Theater. But on for the taxpayers’ benefit. A huge pretense that there’s a need to keep the military financed to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Even though we’re not fighting another WW2. It’s all just dragged out conflict, for the sake of profits and careers. Keepin the M.I.C. well funded, during a down economy.

    Next holdup. NASA really needs that revisit to the Moon, soon. So pony up the dough, all you space chumps. Those moon rocks aren’t gonna pick themselves up. You know why moon rocks are worth so damn much, even thought there are millions of tons of them? Because it doesn’t take millions of dollars to mine (or pick up) a few pounds of diamonds, on earth, like it does common rocks on the moon. All the surface exploration and rock gathering could be done by robots, far more easily and cheaply. But you know that that’s not gonna fly with the aerospace contractors who profit big time from the manned missions. So they’ll whistle up Hollywood to make some more movies explaining to all us dumb ass taxpayers, why astronauts must be sent there. Kind of like that 2000 “Mission to Mars” movie. This time they’ll probably remake “2001: A Space Odyssey”. There’s a monolith on the moon waiting for us (but not robots). Oh Sure!

  6. jbellies says:

    I also saw the Italy news item, and assumed that Canada didn’t make these payoffs. That would explain why so many of our boys are being killed in the hot zone, where they have been assigned. Not happy November 11th news.

    Humour relief: a German General Staff meeting during WW II. One general suggests that they get the Americans to pay for safe passage at the upcoming D-Day. The meeting chair says “Brilliant, Erwin, as usual. But there is a flaw in your plan. You haven’t foreseen that, in 988 years, American dollars will be worthless.”

  7. Dallas says:

    You got a better idea?

  8. jescott418 says:

    Part of the Stimulus plan??

  9. 1894 says:

    America’s greed and dependence on foreign bananas did the same thing. I would like to suggest we simply go back to horses, carts, apples, and fighting over tobacco and cotton.

  10. Phydeau says:

    What a clusterf*ck. We should get out of Afghanistan ASAP.

  11. gmknobl says:

    Sounds familiar. “The Surge is a success.” Only because we paid the fighters off. Will it work after the money is gone? Probably not. Will these Taliban fighters stop fighting once the money is gone? Probably not.

    Letting alone the arguments for and against using U.S. money to pay off these rabble when it could be better used at home, if these people could find a legal way of making money – not drugs but perhaps quarrying marble – then maybe they will stop fighting. After all, when you’re poor as dirt and your life is miserable, you’ll fight anyone at the drop of the hat, particularly when you see some monetary advantage to it.

  12. Winston says:

    Actually, after paying off the Sunni insurgency in Iraq worked so well at only $300 per month per bribed guerrilla which is vastly, VASTLY less than what it would have cost to kill them, I think all of our wars should be converted into bribing the other side. In the end, it would be vastly cheaper than a hot war.

  13. soundwash says:

    end thought: humanity needs a mind wipe.


  14. Timuchin says:

    Might as well. The Muslim American president put them in there with no mission except to get killed and waste armament. Oh, yes, and to keep them far away so they can’t coup the president if he tries to turn dictator.

  15. nicktherat says:

    talibans like the usa’s kid. first we train and make the taliban, than the taliban turns into a rebellious teenager, than we go to war with them and slap them on the nose, but we taught them so well that they wont go away, so we give them allowance so they don’t draw on our walls as we rape their country of resources

  16. Phydeau says:

    #15 That’s right, Timuchin, the Muslim American president, with his super-evil muslimofascist powers, reached back into the past and started that war! Dubya had nothing to do with it!

    Has to be true, I read it on a blog somewhere.

  17. Micromike says:

    Wouldn’t be so bad if they were smart enough to mail a bomb instead of a paycheck.

    Many people say Bush & Cheney paid the bad guys to blow up the world trade center, it’s the same kind of partnership.

    Me, I’m still wondering what brought down building number 7. It wasn’t airplanes or terrorists, so what did bring it down exactly like an implosion of an unneeded building.

    Today’s dose of pure evil is brought to you by the United States of America. Long may we bitch and do nothing about it.

  18. ECA says:

    SOP=standard operating procedure..

    Give them enough money, over time(about 1-2 generations) and they forget the OLD ways..when MONEY wasnt the ruler. when you could DO THINGS WITHOUT money.. when playing KICK THE CAN was a game.
    Look at the welfare state created in the Pacific islands after WWII. we went in and saw they didnt have money, that they FISHED and foraged for food(they were happy), we gave them MONEY and gave MONEY VALUE(we set up stores, insted of TRADE) and they were hooked. they didnt need to fish, as we gave them MONEY. 40 years later, the kids didnt know HOW TO FISH OR FORAGE OR TRADE.. We have had to pay for this EVER SINCE..
    Pay them off, and rebuild EVERYTHING..let them become DEPENDENT on the USA Dollar.. then TAKE IT AWAY.. show them the POWER of capitalism..

    (think hard NOW) think about CHINA and JAPAN and KOREA, and the USA dependence on THEM for goods..
    THEY can sell to other nations..and shut the USA DOWN, and you wont have a VCR/DVD/TV/CAR/CLOTHES…no matter how much money you have.

  19. deepysix says:

    “…what the hell is the REAL reason troops are in Afghanistan?”

    The initial reason was to get the 911 mastermind dead or alive.

    For 8 years though, the combined armed forces and intelligence agencies of the Coalition of the Willing have failed to track down the old, sickly, yet magically elusive cave-dwelling Saudi responsible for us living in “post 911 world” for the foreseeable future.

    I say we get my son’s cub scout troop to go get him and then we can hang him from the statue of liberty and call the war over.

    Then again, think of the NEWT (Never Ending War on Terror) jobs that would be lost.

  20. Great headline. If your cookie has a bite-sized action and your reader completes the action, I think two things happen. Their self-confidence goes up (which feels good) and their trust in you increases.

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