War on Terror

U.S. Military Contracts Funding Taliban

A bruising new report from the Senate details how the millions of military dollars that fund subcontractors in Afghanistan—an amount that employs at least 26,000 Afghans—are being re-routed without the government’s knowledge to the Taliban and warlords. Critically, the Pentagon has barely any oversight over these subcontractors, allowing Taliban-linked insurgents or even Iranian informants easy access to U.S. funds. The corruption, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) said a press conference today, “helped play into the hands of the enemy.” The report recounted one event where the target of a U.S. raid on a Taliban meeting actually turned out be a subcontractor. The report did note that General Petraeus has issued new contractor guidelines. In an addendum, Republicans also pointed out that, until recently, forgoing private contractors was not possible because of the large number of troops held up in Iraq.