How the US Funds the Taliban

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MEDIA FREEDOM INTERNATIONAL– US military’s contractors in Afghanistan pay suspected insurgents to protect American supply routes. An estimated ten percent of the Pentagon’s logistics contracts of hundreds of millions of dollars are paid to insurgents. It is a fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting.

In order for the US Army to transport supplies, they have to travel great distances in trucks, and there is a price to pay. For every corridor or checkpoint they pass, soldiers must pay to pass or else they take the risk of being attacked and killed.

Ahmad Rateb Popal and his brother Rashid are cousins to Afgan President Hamid Karzai. The Popal brothers control the huge Watan Group in Afghanistan, a consortium engaged in telecommunications, logistics and, most important, security. Watan Risk Management, the Popals’ private military arm, is one of the few dozen private security companies in Afghanistan. One of Watan’s enterprises is protecting convoys of Afghan trucks heading from Kabul to Kandahar, carrying American supplies. Watan is allied with the local warlord who controls the road.

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© 2011 Media Freedom International

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