June 22nd, 2010
07:23 AM ET

Afghan insurgents allegedly getting U.S. taxpayer money

The U.S. military is investigating whether American taxpayer dollars from a more than $2 billion contract are being used to pay off Afghan insurgents in return for not attacking contractors.

The issue at hand is whether contractors working for the U.S. government in Afghanistan are paying protection money to local security companies, which in turn give the money to Afghan insurgents so they will not attack the contractors.

The money allegedly ending up in Taliban or warlord hands is from a number of Pentagon contracts, according to a U.S. military official not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

In order for trucks to pass safely through certain areas in Afghanistan carrying everything from ammunition to food for the U.S. military, the contracted trucking companies pay the local security companies responsible for their safe passage. The security companies allegedly have ties to the Taliban or warlords who control the roads in a specific region of the country, according to the official.

The official said there is a tight lock on releasing details of the case because investigators are still following the actions of some of the security firms.

The official would not say how much money has been paid or what part of the country this is occurring.

Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) spokesman Christopher Grey said the CID does have an investigation on "host-nation trucking" underway but he would not discuss details.

The Afghan Host Nation Trucking contract is split among eight companies to provide ground transportation in Afghanistan for over 90 percent of Department of Defense (DoD) goods and materiel, including food, water, fuel, equipment, and ammunition, according to a congressional subcommittee.

Since mid-2009, contractors have completed over 40,000 missions, subcommittee statistics show.

Most goods and materiel, including U.S. military vehicles, are shipped through Pakistan to Bagram Airfield and then distributed to several hundred U.S. camps, airfields, forward operating bases, and firebases.

A separate congressional investigation to be released Tuesday raises similar questions about a $2.16 billion trucking contract to provide transportation for a majority of U.S. goods and materiel in Afghanistan.

"It would mean that the United States is unintentionally engaged in a vast protection racket and, as such, may be indirectly funding the very insurgents we are trying to fight," said U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Massachusetts, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, said in December.

The subcommittee is holding a hearing on the issue on Tuesday in Washington.

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. BSTeh

    Maybe I read too many books and watch too many movies but I can't help wondering why I keep seeing deja vu. The US is fighting in Afghanistan but their war effort is also arming the very people they are fighting. The same trend started when the US supported the Chinese Kuomintang against the Chinese Communists. Invariably the arms supplied by the Americans fall into the hands of the communists. In effect, the Communists were largely armed by the US!

    The same pattern of events happened in South Vietnam when the US backed the Ngo regime against the Vietcongs who also benefited from US largess. The US govts and American citizens did not benefit from their country's participation in these foreign adventures. The contrary would result. The US 'lost' China and Vietnam and is now on the verge of losing Afghanistan not because the American soldiers were less courageous or spirited.

    The Afghans, like the Communists in China and Vietnam, have an overriding raison d'etre which the professional American soldiers do not. Fighting for ideals like democracy and freedom is fine and noble but how can it stand up to fighting for your country's liberation and independence. Likewise, if the US is invaded, every American citizen would fight to the death because they are no longer fighting for the liberation and emancipation of some third world country but their own.

    If we do not deny the power of nationhood and the force of nationalism, why do the Americans with their superior intellect and technology persist with their military misadventures? If the American taxpayers do not benefit from these costly adventures, then who benefits from these massive drain on American treasures? The mathematics of cost-benefit simply do not add up even if the US were to secure vast oil fields that will protect their supply line.

    The direct costs of carrying out the business of war is draining the Treasury while the indirect costs of caring for the wounded is longer term and incalculable. High and escalating national debt eventually raises the interest costs, a depleted treasury is hard pressed to provide unemployment relief, create employment, ease availability of credit to impacted businesses. And the cycle turns and the snowballing effect kicks in....

    Meanwhile, the Talibans cash out on US initiatives to take the war to the next level, that is, to pay the Talibans to agree not to fight. Mission accomplished. The Talibans takes the money and suffers momentary amnesia and topples Karzai once the US led forces leave Afghanistan as happened in Cambodia, Vietnam and more than we care to remember. The wounded and the families of killed servicemen will be left to their thoughts of the futility and senselessness of their sacrifices and sorrows.

    June 24, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mr. Davidson

    Karzai says ,maybe we can stay ,maybe he'll make truce with the Taliban then again, how much was that?

    June 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vinnie The Snake

    Back in the day actual military personnel did those dangerous jobs of trucking supplies in war zones. Now, thanks to 'streamlining' the Pentagon, we are paying more for less. I've been saying for way too long that you cannot save money by paying a for-profit company to do what a non-profit organization does. PROFIT !!! Idiots in charge.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    You know they are.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Smith in Oregon

    During a recent Oliver Stone interview on his upcoming movie focusing on South America, a South American President was shown and interviewed about his set down with then president Bush jr. in Monterrey California. The South American President mentioned how effective a 'Marshall plan' would be in rebuilding a nations economy. President Bush strongly disagreed and told the South American President point blank, WARS build good economic bases. Wars are good, Wars stimulate the economy. WAR? asked the South American President, we have no wars in our country at this time. The Evil that was pouring off Bush jr. was said to be palpable and the discussion was soon ended.

    June 23, 2010 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Iraq Paramedic

    The longer I am over here the more stupid & under handed stuff I see & hear about starts coming to lite. I still believe in the moral high ground for our soldiers & staff but, it is getting harder to maintain with this kind of stuff coming to lite. What does anybody expect when you are using local truckers to ship goods; it's their country & they know best how to move stuff around in it, it is the way they have done buisness for ever. If you truely wanted to change the way things are done there & other third world countries you are going to have to occupy them for at least 20+ years & raise a generation of civilized people. You would have to first completely crush, with overwhelming & brutal force the entire region not just one country. I say let's since the world doesn't like us anyway we should pull all of America's military & equipment back to our shores, lock down the borders, secure our water ways & get rid of all illegal aliens nomatter what nationality & let these people deal with each other for a while & then they will come screaming to us for help & be responsive to more civilized ways. A great war, larger & more cruel than anything mankind has seen yet is coming & it is not far off. Woe be unto the warmongers for if you live by the sword ye shall die by the sword. Those who cause harm to children or keep them from coming to God & Christ, it will be better for them to tie a giant stone around their neck & jump into the deep ocean than what God has instore for them in hell.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. repsycler

    Money, drugs, oil – any excuse to wage war. Of course you have to pay both sides to keep all this absurd business up. I wonder how long it will take the public to understand the politics behind all these secret negotiations. Does anyone remember the "weapons for hostages" (Iran Contra) and our old buddy Oliver North? There will always be wars and war criminals to figure out how to line their pockets!!! I wonder how long the US government will borrow money from foreign countries and international banks to fund it's aggression and greed. It does sound stupid doesn't it? I wonder how long it will be before we attack Iran, North Korea, Pakistan,etc.? Seems like the US government wants to fight everyone, even it's own people! Can we say WARMONGERS?

    June 22, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey

    Wow, if this is true then that just proves that this whole war is a hoax and its only purpose is for sometime gain for an inside agenda that we don't know about. Think about it...We are paying insurgents to stop attacking us so we can replennish our supply to further "control them". Seems to me that both sides are gaining from this war. More proof that this war was soley for purposes of insider factions who run this world. YES PEOPLE! Is a conspiracy...no...not when you realize how simple the answer really is.. Try to look at yourself outside of your own little life. If you had billions of dollars and ran some of the richest companies in the world...which make our government and way of life even possible....you don't think you wouldn't have some secrets? HMMMM...Everything is starting to come out...pay attention to the next two years very closely...we will be seeing some monumental changes.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Smith in Oregon

    I imagine a good many American Taxpayers would be surprised to find out they are funding Both Sides of the War in Afghanistan! War's are very expensive and no way is Pakistan entirely paying the Taliban, providing the weapons, explosives and money themselves. In the 1980's the main Taliban banker was Hamid Karzai as stated by his own brother. Using the extensive Opium-Heroin export trade to generate Billions of untraceable dollars to fund the Taliban THEN, and NOW under the encouragement of the Pakistani ISI and CIA. American taxpayers should wake up, there is 1 Trillion dollars PER YEAR of shadow discretionary spending by the Pentagon, both sides of the Afghanistan War are being funded by the American Taxpayers. Bring our troops home!

    June 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Maritta

    We are sitting ducks there. Our troops hands are tied. Make peace not war!!!! Send our politicians & their families there to fight with our family members. I see this and it makes me sick. I have a son there and they are letting these animals out of jail. Send the politicians and their families in to fight or make friends with these animals.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Julie

    Our servicemen need to come home from Afghan. explain to me why we are fighting over there ? Don't say because it is to protect our country from the insurgents coming over here. If our government wanted to protect our Country they need to protect our Borders first!!!!!!!!!!!! Does anyone have common sense anymore.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rik warren

    This money well spent. It is what we do best in America, pay for services. It worked (in the short term) in Iraq and any thing to reduce our lives lost and wounded returns dividends. We have yet to account for the continuing care cost our war fighters incur when they transition out of the war zone and back to civilian life. These costs will dwarf those of the war and inevitably we will short change those who have served. This is the GOP s strategy from the beginning. Hide the cost of the war and deny benefits to those who return. Bush s off balance sheet funding of the war was only the tip of the iceberg. Denial of continuing care, physical and mental, is the MO.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JoOrwell1984

    I read about one paragraph into the following article. This is almost no surprise to me. If the "insurgents" or should I say the PEOPLE we're fighting out there have to be paid off by the American government, I mean American taxpayers, or else how would the war continue? The war must go on right?? War is Peace! Stop the fighting, a childish way for adults to argue. With only self-destruction in sight.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Val

    I hate to find out that these "security companies" are giving money to the Afghan insurgents because that not only prolong this war, it gives the terrorist more ability to harm people worldwide. Such allegations such as this should be taken very seriously. If indeed these companies are handing cash to the insurgents, we would need to find someone else to trust with our cash, or do the operations these companies do for us. I'm following this issue.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. ImNoExpert

    But if the money changes hands twice between the US military and the insurgents, doesn't it stop being US taxpayer dollars? The US isn't funding the insurgents, people we aren't even dealing with directly are.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Val

      To be honest, ImNoExpert, it really does not matter if this is taxpapyer money or something else. The news people might have added "taxpayer" to get your attention. What is important is that money being spent on the Afghan war might, I repeat, might be falling into the heads of those we are fighting, a serious security hazard, which demands an immediate and thorough investigation of the companies in question.

      June 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Yeah and if we use Westren Union to transfer money to contractors who are paying Taliban then we can have anohter layer to it and thus we will not be even paying the contractors (directly).....

      June 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Onesmallvoice

    I wonder if this not just another ploy by the Pentagon and the right-wing media to prop up more support for this obnoxious war.It's possible.

    June 22, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Please explain to me how this article and program is a "ploy by the Pentagon and right-wing media to prop up more support" for the war? How does that make any sense? If anything, this type of stuff goes against the war.

      You are so blinded by your one-sided point-of-view... it's sickening.

      June 22, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
      • ImNoExpert

        Way to feed the troll.

        June 22, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Meh... I like refuting the points that an idiot like him makes.

        June 22, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • flo

        Any money changing hand and going to the taliban to protect the contractor, is another purchase weapon that killed our soldiers!

        June 23, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Val

      I would hardly see this a ploy to increase support for the Afghan war. People of this age and time are sensative about where their money go and would be furious if they find out it is going to the sworn enemy of the state. Hopefully none of taxpayer's money is falling into insurgents hands, but if it's true... mercy on the souls who let this happen. They be scorn as traitors and traitors are rarely forgiven.

      June 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      How is this news in support for this war? If any thing it should be a more demoralizing news for supporters of this war whose tax money is going to Taliban.

      June 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  17. DJ

    This is no surprise...

    June 22, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |