P.R. Troubles for the Afghanistan War


The Washington Post reports today on a congressional subcommittee document that says, as the Post sums up:

The U.S. military is funding a massive protection racket in Afghanistan, indirectly paying tens of millions of dollars to warlords, corrupt public officials and the Taliban to ensure safe passage of its supply convoys throughout the country, according to congressional investigators.

The security arrangements, part of a $2.16 billion transport contract, violate laws on the use of private contractors, as well as Defense Department regulations, and "dramatically undermine" larger U.S. objectives of curtailing corruption and strengthening effective governance in Afghanistan….

The report comes as the number of U.S. casualties is rising in the Afghan war, and public and congressional support is declining. The administration has been on the defensive in recent weeks, insisting that the slow progress of anti-Taliban offensives in Helmand province and the city of Kandahar does not mean that more time is needed to assess whether President Obama's strategy is working.

Can't we all just agree that the strategy is not only working, but that it has already worked well enough for any realistic affordable national interest (government that coddled Al Qaeda gone, elections that we approve of occurring, vital local industries thriving), and go home?

See the full report the Post was writing about, "Warlord, Inc." from the Majority Staff of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Public Affairs.

Also, portending further Afghanistan war P.R. troubles down the road, Wikileaks announces that it intends to release documents and footage of a battle airstrike incident in the village of Garani that killed over 100 civilians last May.

Jesse Walker wrote about the value of Wikileaks at Reason Online last week. I blogged about the backward-slipping deadline for the U.S. to get out of Afghanistan yesterday.