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Thursday, October 14, 2010

US Contractors Hired Afghan Warlords.

RevolutionNewz | October 08, 2010 - Contractors working for the Pentagon "funneled US taxpayer dollars to Afghan warlords and strongmen linked to murder, kidnapping, and bribery, as well as to Taliban and anti-coalition activities," says a congressional report released Thursday.

A year-long investigation into private contractors in Afghanistan, carried out by the Senate Armed Services Committee, found, among other things, a contractor that had two alleged Iranian spies on its payroll, and another contractor who hired two rival Taliban-linked warlords, only to see one kill the other in an ambush.

The report (PDF, 32MB), which looked at 125 defense contracts over three years, provides further evidence that the coalition war effort in Afghanistan may be becoming a lucrative source of financing for the very groups the coalition is fighting.

Claims that security contractors have been paying bribes to the Taliban have been around for the better part of the year. And this summer the New York Times reported on evidence of "all-out collusion" between some security contractors and Afghan insurgents.

One contractor on which the new congressional report focuses extensively is ArmorGroup, which the report alleges hired two rival warlords, one of them Taliban-linked, to guard the Shindand airbase in Herat province. ArmorGroup referred to the two warlords as "Mr. White" and "Mr. Pink," in reference to the violent criminal characters in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.