In Afghanistan, being the laughing stock of the world is made clear

Filed in Gather News Channel by on August 19, 2011 0 Comments

As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq surge on, the United States’ sputtering economy is heading towards a second recession while it keeps dumping its precious resources into futile efforts of telling Middle Easterners how to govern themselves, and once again, good intentions backfire.

The U.S. has a long history of getting involved in other countries’ conflicts, funneling funds and arms to those believed to be in this country’s best interest, only to have the weapons and funding end up in the wrong hands and eventually used against America.

Examples overflow through the decades, one such is the embarrassing offering of weapons in the 1980s to Iraq in order to fight its neighboring Iran for 10 years. It did not take too long for Iraq to turn on the U.S., however. More recently, as the U.S. faces the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the country’s economy has steadily spiraled downward causing massive amounts of desperation for its own citizens, the U.S. government continues to burn money by throwing it at Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others, who, in turn, divert it to the enemy.

There are currently $31 billion in active contracts in Afghanistan, of which $360 million has been discovered to have been diverted to criminals, power brokers, and the Taliban since a task force was set up last year to monitor spending. Not only was the Task Force 2010 under General David Patraeus set up after almost ten years of possible stealing and corruption within the hands of contractors the U.S. has been aiding since the war effort began, but many of those funds have been manipulated in reverse money laundering schemes, as the cash which has been passed through companies assigned to help set up the infrastructure of Afghanistan move it along straight to criminal networks.

The greatest percentage of the stolen money has been lost to profiteering, bribery, and extortion. Over $180 million flowed through a transportation contract with Host Nation Trucking. The Task Force 2010 discovered that subcontracts were set up for the purpose of transport, including the movement of supplies to U.S. troops.

One such subcontracted entity was Rohallah, who not only received almost $2 million for its services but would also intercept convoy shipments and charge a $1,500 per vehicle fee to pass between Kabul and Kandahar without incident of attack. Many of these funds have been sent right to the Taliban. Security has been a major component in the corruption in Afghanistan. As these savages are thwarting efforts and “good intentions,” the U.S. has entered into new agreements with 20 new transportation contractors for almost $1 billion. Many of these companies can turn out to be corrupt as well, but the effort will continue. Another $2 billion has been promised to Pakistan, but due to misuse of funds and failed promises, the U.S. may hold back $800 million… and still give them $1.2 billion!

In the most desperate time in America in a hundred years, when the people of this great country need the assistance and security of its government, so much is squandered abroad for what reason? For control of oil? For a piece of the corrupted pie (as Dick Cheney so enjoyed)? For the pursuit of peace and democracy throughout the world? It sure would be nice if that were the case! But as resources continue to be exhausted overseas and predictable patterns continue, the one thing that can be deeply considered is the definition of insanity—to repeat the same behaviour, over and over, and expect a different outcome.

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