Funding the Afghan Taliban
New report reveals that the US is indirectly funding the people their troops are fighting.
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2010 11:42 GMT

General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and Nato military forces in Afghanistan, has been ordered to report to the White House and explain comments he has made about the Obama administration's Afghan policy.

In an ironic twist of events, US citizens have discovered that it is their tax money that indirectly funds Taliban - the very people their troops are fighting in Afghanistan.
A congressional investigation revealed that millions of dollars spent by the US military for security puposes has inadvertently gone into the pockets of the Taliban.

The US pays millions of dollars annually to local warlords across Afghanistan in exchange for gunmen to protect the supply convoys.
Investigations revealed that these gunmen in turn bribed the Taliban not to attack.
When convoys refused to pay warlords, their trucks were often attacked.
The report concluded that this has undermined US efforts to end corruption and build an effective Afghan government. On the contrary, it has unwittingly funded the insurgency.

What are the ramifications for the strategy of the US and its allies in Afghanistan? And how will this impact the Karzai government?

Joining the programme are Thomas Ruttig, the co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, Farooq Bashar, a political analyst and lecturer at Kabul University, and Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

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