It’s been nine years now since the United States invaded Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban. The Taliban have not been defeated, however. In all the years of fighting, the Taliban have grown more and more successful at killing Americans. 2010 is the most deadly year for Americans in the entire war.
The Afghanistan War is not only the longest war in American history. It’s also become a contender for the most corrupt war.
When people speak of the growth of corruption in Afghanistan under American control, the tendency is to refer to general problems. So, let’s get specific.
In a new Senate Armed Services Committee report, it is revealed that ArmorGroup Mine Action, a subsidiary of British private mercenary company ArmorGroup, gave money to supply an Afghan warlord with 14 cleaners and 5 cooks. That money came from the United States military, in just one of many deals the U.S. has made with international mercenary companies in Afghanistan.
The Afghan warlord, Reza Khan (nicknamed Mr. White II), turned out to be working for the Taliban. In a 2007 raid on his house in which he was killed, Khan was found meeting with a known Taliban leader, Mullah Sadeq. It was later determined that Khan had been feeding information about American military activities to other Taliban leaders. Furthermore, Khan was working to plant Mullah Sadeq, in a national government position as a spy, supplying weapons to the Taliban while posing as part of a “reconciliation process” with Hamid Karzai. In Khan’s house, among many other sorts of weapons, were the components of improvised explosive devices that were being used to kill American soldiers.
That’s what corruption in the Afghanistan war looks like: The Taliban get cooks and cleaners paid for with U.S. money, and American soldiers get blown up.
Nine years of this kind of stuff hasn’t brought the Taliban to their knees. It’s brought them more power. Now, the American-created government of Afghanistan is in negotiations to bring the Taliban back to power as a weird version of “victory”.
The next time you hear someone support a proposed war in order to “liberate” another country from terrible rulers, remember what’s actually happened in Afghanistan. The military has proved inept at creating change in Afghanistan, and has been paying for comfy perks for the enemy it was supposed to exterminate. In short, war has not worked.