On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO

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According to at least one investigative journalist, the U.S. can’t stop inadvertently paying the enemy in Afghanistan.

How much? That’s something we’ll likely never know.

Time’s Battleland blog held a chat with author Douglas A. Wissing who just published Funding the Enemy: How U.S. Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban. The gist of his message:

“I spent time in Afghanistan and in Washington trying to track that number down. One day at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, an American official serving in the Afghan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC) talked to me. …

The official told me that U.S. government officials estimated the insurgents’ annual budget to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. “Is it $1 billion? $500 million? The total amount is a tail people are going to chase until the end of time,” he told me. “We know they are raising substantial amounts of money; they can finance their operations. If you take away the Gulf money, they can make it up. If you take away the narco money, they can make it up. It’s like punching Jello.

The official confirmed the U.S. and civilian reports that the insurgents used extortion of U.S. development and logistics contracts for their funding. ...”

Read more in Afghanistan: A Bleak Report from the Front.

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