Somehow, this strategy seems…how do I say it…dumb as a fucking bag of rocks hanging from a stick of stupid?:
Writing for The Nation, Aram Roston has uncovered a tangled web of former military and CIA officials, relatives of the Afghanistan President and Defense Minister and various other shady characters who act as a pipeline from the U.S. treasury to the Taliban:
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.
Here’s how the chain works: The U.S. government pays trucking firms to move supplies around Afghanistan to its rural and far flung outposts. These trucking companies then pay private security contracting firms, operated by druglords, warlords, the Taliban and relatives of senior Afghan Administration officials, or consortiums of any or all of them, for safe passage to American installations. As one American trucking executive said, “”The Army is basically paying the Taliban not to shoot at them. It is Department of Defense money.””
As part of the Sunni Awakening movement in Iraq, the United States paid Sunni insurgents who previously fought American forces to secure their own neighborhoods from foreign fighters, with the promise that they would later be folded into the Iraqi national security apparatus. That is very different then the way operations are being conducted in Afghanistan, where we are essentially telling insurgents “Here is some money, just don’t attack us here. Attack us somewhere else.” Then, we give them the money to do it.
I would argue that any situation that is so fubar that we have to pay our adversaries to attack us in more convenient locales is a situation that we should seek to remove ourselves from ASAP. Especially when we have to pay billions of dollars a month for the privilege.
But then what do I know. I’m nothing but a soiled, anti-establishment character from the 1960s engaging in coitus.