‘US money is Taliban’s biggest source of revenue’ | Pakistan Today

‘US money is Taliban’s biggest source of revenue’

US contracts have been the biggest source of funds for the Taliban except for the opium harvest, a report issued by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has said.
The report said the United States had wasted billions in Iraq and Afghanistan and more tax dollars would go down the drain unless the government introduced major changes. A separate investigation estimated that $360 million had ended up in the hands of the Taliban, CBS News reported.
“We are wasting between $30 and $60 billion during the course of our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Commission on Wartime Contracting Chairman Christopher Shays said.
The sheer volume of spending 260,000 contractors on the payroll at any one time amid the chaos of war was simply too much for the US to manage, the report said.
The commission warned of massive new waste, for instance, a $82 million Afghan Defence University had been planned which the Afghan government could not afford to keep up.
“What is the point of spending millions on projects that will later be of no use?” asked commission member Dov Zakheim.
Reliance on contractors has expanded drastically during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, feeding what is now a large for-profit military industry funded by US taxpayers.
Commission’s co-chairman Thibault Thibault said the aim was not to attack the reputations of individual contractors, but rather to identify problems in the government’s contracting process, adding that many problems had been identified.
“The cost of contract support has been unnecessarily high. The US government has not effectively managed contracts to promote competition, reward good performance, and impose accountability for poor performance and misconduct by government and contractor personnel,” Thibault said.

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