US Paying Warlords for Protection in Afghanistan

Monday, 21 Jun 2010 10:56 PM

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The U.S. military is funding a massive protection racket in Afghanistan to the tune of tens of millions of dollars going into the pockets of warlords and the Taliban to ensure safe passage of its supply convoys throughout the country, according to a congressional report obtained by The Washington Post.

The arrangements violate laws on the use of private contractors, as well as Defense Department regulations, and "dramatically undermine" larger U.S. objectives of curtailing corruption and strengthening effective governance in Afghanistan, a report released late Monday said.

The Defense Department is well aware that some of the money paid to contractors winds up in the hands of warlords and insurgents, according to the report. But military logisticians on the ground are focused on getting supplies where they are needed and have "virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided" for the local truck convoys that transport more than 70 percent of all goods and materials used by U.S. troops.

"The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking," Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., wrote in an introduction to the 79-page report, titled "Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan."

Read the entire story at The Washington Post.

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