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Author Topic: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage  (Read 1432 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« on: June 25, 2010, 01:57:40 AM »
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dcnow/2010/06/us-contractors-bribing-afghan-taliban-for-safe-passage-house-probe-finds-.html

Quote
WASHINGTON — Private security contractors protecting the convoys that supply U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars a week in “passage bribes” to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads, a congressional investigation released Monday has found.

The alleged payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors,

...

US contractors are involved in the sex slave trade.
US contractors work to cover up rape and sexual harassment cases against their own employees.
US contractors commit atrocities on foreign soil in our name.

It occurs to me that this is a symptom, rather than a cause.

Offline Wolfy

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 10:04:18 AM »
MGS was right.

PMC's are Evil.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 07:32:38 AM »
I find it interesting that the corporation of military interests to 'save manpower' has done nothing of the sort.

I was talking to a buddy and some of the 'cost saving' took 3 E4/E5's  in one material workcenter for a GS11 and 6 GS5-6s. (Which is a LOT more pay than a trio of petty officers)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 02:08:20 PM »
I can solve this - bring all of our fighting men and women home as fast as possible say six months at most. I would prefer 90 days just demolish anything that we can't bring out if we have to.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 04:28:31 PM »
Here's a fun note.. we didn't do good by the Afgan people after we helped them run the Russians out of their country. If we had help establish a government and infastructure the Taliban wouldn't have been able to take power.

Of course a lot of people would think pulling out and minding our business is the proper course of action. They thought the same thing before WW1 and WW2. We as a country don't exist in a vaccum, we can either extend a hand to help others or pay for it later.

Do I think Bush did the right thing? No. I think Iraq was stable and we could have focused on the Taliban more completely, because they were making moves into Pakistan and nothing scares me than a religious fundamentalist of any type with a nuke.  But now that we are there, we have to remain and rebuild both countries, aid them in setting up a society of laws and order.

Offline Lyell

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 05:07:47 PM »
"We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight. Because what happens over here, matters over there. We don't get to sit one out. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare is the difference between the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you freedom. But we can give you the know how to aquire it. And that, my friends, is worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the bigger stick, but it matters a hell of a lot more who's swinging it. This is the time for heroes. A time for legends. History is written by the victors. Let's get to work." -General Shepard, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Offline Cheka Man

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 03:30:49 PM »
We should pull out,Afganistan cannot be won.

Offline SuperHans

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 04:02:56 PM »
Quote
The alleged payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors

Pointless, as they'll take the money and attack travellers anyway. Back in the 1840s the British army had to pay fees to the hill chiefs to keep the Khyber Pass open, and these people started slitting throats as soon as the fees were lowered.

Offline TheScarletBlade

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 11:40:23 PM »
We should pull out,Afganistan cannot be won.

This is a completely inaccurate statement.

Its sad that is seems to be the sentiment more and more in America but there is so much bullshit in Afghanistan that it seems a little overwhelming,we have to change almost everything over there: for example, The taliban tell the farmers that if they dont grow Opium than they are gonna kill there families. Well the farmers make opium just have Us Marines burn down there fields and then,so when the Taliban comes back, they kill the farmers family,suddenly he has no reason to live,he takes 100 dollars and an AK47 from the taliban and shoot the next Americans who pass by. So we stop burning the fields? Well that presents a unique problem because the Taliban are completely funded by the drug trade,with 80% or more of the worlds heroin coming out of Afghanistan, its estimated that the Taliban is worth 800,000,000 million dollars a year, it was almost double that before America invaded but still it only cost the Taliban 500,000 dollars to plan,prepare and execute 9/11,so they got the money to finance their Jihad.

This is not WW2, its not an easy fight with someone to just conquer, we are fighting a whole different war.

As for all the military contractors, I find it hard to believe that all of them just pay the Taliban off, I have rode around with a group of them before and with their loose ROE's and shady missions,they seem more into killing anything that moves as compared to just paying the Taliban off.

Offline Nyarly

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 10:01:45 AM »
MGS was right.

PMC's are Evil.
I wouldn't say they are "evil". They are just unconcerned with what is right or wrong and who they help or harm with their actions. They only care for there own interests. You know, like capitalists. And a lot of other people.

The right thing to say would be "humans are bastards".

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 11:19:21 AM »
We should pull out,Afganistan cannot be won.

I disagree, the country can be built up. It can be done. If we had done the right planning back in the 80s we would have avoided a LOT of the problems if we had stayed and helped the Afgan People build up a proper infrastructure and government. But instead we did the popular 'no our problem' outlook that comes back to bite us in the ass.

Offline Nyarly

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 11:30:03 AM »
Am I the only one, who agrees with Cheka Man? Going there in the first place was a mistake and it won't get better. Do you really expect the American Army to help build Afghanistan up?

No, that won't happen. Not unless the politicians really have an interest in it. But they don't and never will.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 02:06:29 PM »
Am I the only one, who agrees with Cheka Man? Going there in the first place was a mistake and it won't get better. Do you really expect the American Army to help build Afghanistan up?

No, that won't happen. Not unless the politicians really have an interest in it. But they don't and never will.

Going there wasn't a mistake. Going there and then splinting our limited forces between there and Iraq was a mistake. I have always thought the Taliban was a larger more threatening presence in the region. Their success in Pakistan demonstrates that. Oh yeah, I want a bunch of militant fundamentalists moving into power in a region like Pakistan. They would LOVE having nukes.

We left the Afgans in a lurch when the Russians pulled out. IF we had built up a proper infrastructure then.. we might not have the problems in the region we do. You don't just say 'well we're done buh-bye' and leave the ruins of a factionalized country behind and HOPE that things go your way.

Offline kylie

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Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2010, 02:45:10 AM »
Both Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought using money, bribes, as ammunition:         http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/petraeus_afghanistan_and_lessons_iraq
Quote
[In 2007 Iraq,] Petraeus changed U.S. policy from what was essentially warfare against the Sunnis in particular, but also the Shia, as undifferentiated entities. He sought to recruit elements previously regarded as irredeemable, and with threats, bribes and other inducements, forced open splits among Sunnis and Shia...

[In Afghanistan,] Petraeus’ goal should be dividing the various factions of the Taliban as he did with the Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Attempting this very thing in Afghanistan has gone on for quite some time, but like trying to divide water, the Taliban flows back together remarkably quickly. The United States can always bribe the Taliban leaders, but it has been bribing them for years. They don’t stay bought.
         I agree with Callie that we have not used overwhelming force in Afghanistan nor given it respectable infrastructure.  Beyond holding the ground, though:  I don't know that another 30,000 or 300,000 troops would be followed by a better infrastructure and civil society.  As the trucking articles suggest, we don't understand (or at least, can't seem to avoid) many of the deals we're involved in.

         We are having enough trouble at home with highway robbery from Wall Street, limitless campaign advertising by corporations, and tax/regulatory breaks for companies when failure can upset major regional fisheries.  It isn't surprising then, that when our various relief agencies, spooks and spec ops, military units plus numerous contractors all go abroad -- each with their own bureaucracies offering allies a payoff -- that we are having some difficulty.  We're exporting a somewhat corrupt enterprise culture into a region that has historically been resistant to outside influence.  Moreover, that region is as unfamiliar to most Americans, and has almost as many competing sub-groups and vague conditions as say, a contemporary subprime loan or derivative.  And if a long tradition of frustrating military occupations wasn't enough, those competing groups have been refining their "play the market" skills by bribing and/or fighting each other a good deal in recent years.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2010, 07:24:58 PM »
My PERSONAL opinion on how to handle the taliban and Al Queda (sp) requires more action that we're doing right now. Specifically areas that we don't normally regard as 'fair play'. We need to find ways to break their banks and recruiters. It's easy to defeat a guy with a gun.. they'll just replace him.  Lock up a recruiter or removed a money man from the mix and you'll hurt their base.

Locking up funds and such would be very helpful. Shame that requires human assetts and we've downsized our intel community to the point we can't even think about it.

Offline kylie

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Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2010, 07:48:58 PM »
Quote
Shame that requires human assetts and we've downsized our intel community to the point we can't even think about it.

        If I'm not mistaken, we've had that problem too, at least since involvement in Lebanon.  I don't know whether it's technically accurate to say that withdrawal there set off a whole intelligence retreat, but it seems to be conventional wisdom in major journalism that until 2001, even the intel community was particularly short of specialists on the Middle East (and a good chunk of Asia...).  Assuming that's true, and given the time it can take to not only hone a language but move efficiently through a culture, I agree:  Whatever the tactics of the moment, it's a practical strategic problem.  It exacerbates that tendency to sell programs we don't fully control, in societies we don't really understand.  And then the military has been booting gay interpreters... 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 07:50:28 PM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: US Contractors paying Taliban for safe passage
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2010, 08:12:25 PM »
        If I'm not mistaken, we've had that problem too, at least since involvement in Lebanon.  I don't know whether it's technically accurate to say that withdrawal there set off a whole intelligence retreat, but it seems to be conventional wisdom in major journalism that until 2001, even the intel community was particularly short of specialists on the Middle East (and a good chunk of Asia...).  Assuming that's true, and given the time it can take to not only hone a language but move efficiently through a culture, I agree:  Whatever the tactics of the moment, it's a practical strategic problem.  It exacerbates that tendency to sell programs we don't fully control, in societies we don't really understand.  And then the military has been booting gay interpreters...

We've been downsizing the 'field side' of intel for a LONG time. Since we supposedly 'won' the Cold War. The people in charge seem to think we can do everything with signal intercepts and satellite imagery. The 'guy in the backroom' intel art is vanishing and we're going to pay for that in the end.

As for booting Gays.. I know enough of them who are 'not out' yet to know that the rules are changing. I'm sorry, you go in.. you know the 'don't ask don't tell' rule. You don't have to like it (I don't think it was smart to put something wishy washy in place but..) but when you go in you can keep quiet. (Sorry.. that is the way it is.. I know more than a few folks in the closet in service. It's unfair but till things change...)

I'm more concerned with the thought that we can simply sit in a chair and do all the intel work we need to keep our people safe.