Levin: US paying Insurgents to Attack US

Sen. Carl Levin of the Senate Armed Services Committee announced a report on Thursday on the way the private security contractors hired by the US military (even to guard bases!) are subject to little oversight, are corrupt, and sometimes pass on money or resources to what are essentially Taliban.

That is, the US may be indirectly hiring the Taliban to hit US bases.

At the same time, the some 3000 Afghans serving in the private CIA army in AFghanistan have been accused of carrying out among the worst attacks in that country. Erica Gaston of the Open Society Institute talks about her own experiences on the ground in this regard.

The Open Society Foundation reports the finding of Open Society Institute social scientists that ordinary Aghans blame US and NATO military actions as much or more than they blame the Taliban for civilian losses.

The tendency to blame the US is visible in Todd Pitman’s excellent piece revisiting Marjah. Remember Marjah? This cluster of farm houses in the Taliban poppy-growing region of Helmand Province was supposed to be a demonstration project for Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s counter-insurgency campaign (take, clear, hold and build). All these months later, the US forces have not dislodged the Taliban, and it seems clear that there are places that GIs cannot go without incurring a firefight. That is, the ‘clear’ phase has hit a Himalayan-sized snage. Much less hold and build. It was on the “success” of the Marjah campaign that the long-delayed attack on the major southern city of Qandahar was to have been modeled. I wouldn’t advise the US to try to attack and occupy Qandahar if they cannot even deal with Marjah.

While it won’t yield results soon, the negotiations of the Karzai government with insurgents are likely to point the way toward the end of the foreign military presence and the establishment of a new, more inclusive government in the medium to long term.

4 Responses

  1. That is, the US may be indirectly hiring the Taliban to hit US bases.

    And among those contractors will be the master planner, one Milo Minderbender!

  2. I saw a story this morning that some of those trucks in Pakistan are being blown up by contractors, not Taliban. They’re selling off most of the gas in the tanks, leaving enough behind to make a big fire when they toss a grenade under it.

  3. So, the US is sending millions and millions to overseas contractors who pay off the locals for protection. Yea, verily, we need to keep these jobs at home.

    There are already well organized crime groups hire here in the US that need our tax dollars. We should be paying them off instead. It would lower the unemployment rate and simultaneously demonstrate to the world that America is truly the greatest nation on earth.

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