The Afghanistan Government is Brought to You in Part by the CIA


The Washington Post reports on how–allegedly because they don't trust the Big Man Karzai himself to know what's going on–the CIA has members of his administration on the payroll. While I'm sure many non-agency defenders of the value of foreign intelligence would insist that of course that's exactly something they need to be doing, the CIA itself denies it to the Post. Details from the story:

The CIA has continued the payments despite concerns that it is backing corrupt officials and undermining efforts to wean Afghans' dependence on secret sources of income and graft….

A former agency official said the payments were necessary because "the head of state is not going to tell you everything" and because Karzai often seems unaware of moves that members of his own government make.

….Even as agency dollars flow in, U.S.-backed investigative units are targeting prominent Afghans in the government and trying to stem an exodus of more than $1 billion in cash annually from the country….

The agency's approach has drawn criticism from others in the U.S. government, who accuse the CIA of contributing to an atmosphere in which Afghans are conditioned to extend their hands for secret payments in almost every transaction.

"They'll pay whoever they think can help them," the U.S. official said. "That has been the CIA attitude since 2001."

We broke it, we bought it, we bought it, we broke it, causation can get so tricky with warfare and tradecraft. Just remember, whatever fair or foul comes from the Afghan government, you paid for it!