• We Pay for Both Sides of Iraq, Afghan Wars

    August 18, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Iraq, Military, Other Ideas

    What better way to ensure that our wars of terror will never end than to actually pay for both sides of the struggle. It worked well in Iraq, where our reconstruction and contracting money filtered down to the insurgents attacking us, and now, also, in Afghanistan. Think of it as a kind of terrorist “stimulus package.”

    In Iraq, in just one example, insurgent groups financed their war in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars in US rebuilding funds extorted from Iraqi contractors in Anbar. The payments, in return for the insurgents’ allowing supplies to move and construction work to begin, had taken place since the earliest projects in 2003.

    After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the US military estimates $360 million in your tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals and power broker thugs with ties to both.

    There’s good news: the Army maintains that “only a small percentage of the $360 million has been garnered by the Taliban and insurgent groups. The bulk of the money was lost to profiteering, bribery and extortion.” Whew, feelin’ better now.

    One Afghan warlord, Rohullah, operated a protection racket, charging contractors moving US military supplies along the highway as much as $1,500 a vehicle. Failure to pay virtually guaranteed a convoy would be attacked. While Rohullah’s guards regularly fought with the Taliban, Rohullah also moved money to the Taliban when it was in his interest to do so. He received over $1.7 million in USG money, the task force discovered.

    Contracting will be seen by historians as the achilles heal of the war effort. This, plus the losses to the bad guys detailed above, is no secret. The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan laid out the story quite clearly, stating:

    Poor planning and oversight by the US government, as well as poor performance on the part of contractors, have costly outcomes: time and money misspent are lost for other purposes. Criminal behavior and blatant corruption sap dollars from what could otherwise be successful project outcomes and, more disturbingly, contribute to a climate in which huge amounts of waste are accepted as the norm.

    The US Embassy in Baghdad declined to provide anyone to discuss the allegations. An embassy spokesman said “in terms of contracting practices, we have checks and balances in our contract awarding system to prevent any irregularities from occurring.”

    Not to worry in Afghanistan either. Army officials calmed those worried by noting “Overall, the $360 million represents a fraction of the $31 billion in active US contracts that the task force reviewed.”

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  • Recent Comments

    • Curtis said...


      Very interesting points. Thanks!

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      08/19/11 1:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Sagi said...


      This atrilce achieved exactly what I wanted it to achieve.

      09/3/11 11:29 PM | Comment Link

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