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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/17/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Investigation shows US has been paying the Taliban to fight.

A careful audit of combat support and reconstruction contracts reveals that at least $360 million in US tax dollars has gone to fund the Taliban and terrorist operations in Afghanistan. Corrupt contractors and subcontractors are responsible for the diversion of funds which have surely resulted in harm to soldiers and civilians throughout the region. 

Millions of US tax dollars have financed terrorist and other criminal operations.

Millions of US tax dollars have financed terrorist and other criminal operations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/17/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Corruption, Taliban, Afghanistan, terrorists, enemies, contractors


LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online) - The losses demonstrate one of the challenges the US faces in Afghanistan, specifically, rampant corruption. Private Afghan corporations are providing many support services to the US and NATO forces and are collecting payments from the military for their services. However, the audit has revealed monies flowing to nonexistent entities, and into the hands of corrupt officials and terrorists.

The review was started last year by a special task force organized by Gen. David Petraeus. The task force was asked to look into the connections that many Afghan companies had with subcontractors and criminals. The investigation revealed a process they refer to as, "reverse money laundering" in which legitimate payments are paid to contractors and diverted to subcontractors who in turn, garnish the funds and give money to terrorists or other "malign actors" as the US military refers to them.

These malign actors include the Taliban, responsible for countless attacks on American and other international personnel as well as civilians. While the overall sum of monies under review was $31 billion, the $360 million that has gone to terrorists is quite significant. Terrorist operations in Afghanistan are very low-tech and very cheap. It costs very little to conduct operations, so the $360 million is enough to finance large-scale terrorist operations.

The Defense Department announced that is has ended its contracts with the organizations identified as having corrupt ties and has solicited new bids to replace them. The new companies, which have not been named to protect them from larger corrupt companies, are vying for a share of some $983.5 million in contracts.

Congress is examining the problem. Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass. explained, " When war becomes good business for the insurgents, it is all the more difficult to convince them to lay down their arms." For its part, the military is working harder to ban companies who violate the terms of their contracts, have corrupt ties, or patronize terrorist networks. Success is crucial, the US cannot win a conflict when it's paying the enemy to fight.

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