In a last-minute dissent ahead of a critical war cabinet meeting on escalating the Afghan war, US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry has cast doubt on a troop escalation until the Afghan government can address corruption and other internal problems. Meanwhile, a report reveals how the US government is financing the very same insurgent forces in Afghanistan that American and NATO soldiers are fighting. Investigative journalist Aram Roston traces how the Pentagon’s civilian contractors in Afghanistan end up paying insurgent groups to protect American supply routes from attack....Well, well, well. Just when I thought the inanity and corruption of the U.S. adventure in Afghanistan couldn't get any weirder... I thought the scandal about Karzai's heroin-kingpin brother had already topped it all. Then there was the excellent article by Jane Mayer on the Predator assassinations in the Ag-Pak war. Now it's U.S. funding of the Taliban. Oh boy, no wonder Obama reportedly doesn't like any of the options presented on Afghanistan.
“How the US Funds the Taliban” is the cover story of the latest issue of The Nation magazine.
Investigative journalist Aram Roston traces how the Pentagon’s civilian contractors in Afghanistan end up paying insurgent groups to protect American supply routes from attack. The practice of buying the Taliban’s protection is not a secret. US military officials in Kabul told Roston that a minimum of ten percent of the Pentagon’s logistics contracts consists of payments to the Taliban.
How about this, President Obama? Withdraw now.
And, by the way, as long as I've brought up the Predator issue, Mayer is now reporting that:
Philip Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s investigator on extrajudicial executions, issued a formal warning to the Obama Administration, demanding proof that the C.I.A. program doesn’t violate international law:While there may be circumstances in which the use of such techniques is consistent with applicable international law, this can only be determined in light of information about the legal basis on which particular individuals have been targeted, the measures taken to ensure conformity with the international humanitarian law principles of discrimination, proportionality, necessity and precaution, and the steps taken retrospectively to assess compliance in practice.