New York, Sep. 4 (ANI): American taxpayers' money which is meant for building roads, bridges and schools in Afghanistan, may be getting salted away into protection payments to the Taliban.
According to CBS News, US funded contractors have been spending a hefty chunk of development aid to the Taliban - for years.
"That translates into money that the Taliban are using to attack and kill American military personnel, and that's just simply outrageous," said Rep. Bill Delahunt.
The report quoted several contractors who said 20 percent of their budgets - or more - go to pay off the Taliban so it won't bomb their projects, or their people.
It's a protection racket far more sophisticated than the typical mob-style shakedown.
"The Taliban literally has an office in Kabul where it works out what percentage will be charged on these contracts. This is so open," said Charles Sennott, the executive editor of the GlobalPost.
The US State Department has spent more than 4 billion dollars on development contracts in Afghanistan since 2002.
Contractors have good reason to fear the Taliban. As of last September, 291 State Department-funded contractors, most of them foreigners, had been killed by Afghan insurgents.
The US State Department has launched an investigation into the alleged protection payments.
"In Afghanistan, any diversion of funds for any reason makes it that much more difficult for us to achieve our objectives," said P.J. Crowley, an assistant secretary of state for public affairs.
Especially because the public support for the war in America, which has fallen lately, could sink ever further if taxpayers fear their money is going to fund our adversaries. (ANI)