KABUL — It is the open secret no one wants to talk about, the unwelcome truth that most prefer to hide. In Afghanistan, one of the richest sources of Taliban funding is the foreign assistance coming into the country.More at the Reuters link.
Virtually every major project includes a healthy cut for the insurgents. Call it protection money, call it extortion, or, as the Taliban themselves prefer to term it, “spoils of war,” the fact remains that international donors, primarily the United States, are to a large extent financing their own enemy...
“In the past there was a kind of feeling that the money all came from drugs in Afghanistan,” said Holbrooke, according to media reports. “That is simply not true.”
The manager of an Afghan firm with lucrative construction contracts with the U.S. government builds in a minimum of 20 percent for the Taliban in his cost estimates. The manager, who will not speak openly, has told friends privately that he makes in the neighborhood of $1 million per month. Out of this, $200,000 is siphoned off for the insurgents.