US taxpayers unwittingly funding Afghan warlords to protect NATO convoys

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Kabul (Afghanistan) June 22 (ANI): A Congressional investigation has revealed that American taxpayers have unwittingly funded a network of warlords across Afghanistan to ensure the safety of NATO convoys operating outside the control of the Afghan Government and NATO forces.

The House Subcommittee for National Security that began the investigation last year discovered that the money given to these Afghan warlords amounts to little more than mafia-style protection payments.

They further found that the American taxpayer money is making its way to Taliban to stop them from attacking the region.

The taxpayer money called 'Host Nation Trucking' is a 2.1 billion dollar contract, which pays for the movement of food and supplies to some 200 American bases across Afghanistan.

The investigation team has come up with a 79-page report, entitled "Warlord Inc". It reveals that hundreds of unregistered private security companies are based in Afghanistan that employ around 70,000 largely unsupervised gunmen to control the highways in the country.

"The principal private security sub-contractors are warlords, strongmen, commanders and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan Government for power and authority," the New York Times quotes the report, as saying.

The report also says "The warlords thrive in a vacuum of government authority, and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government."

"Long after the United States leaves Afghanistan, and the convoy security business shuts down, these warlords will likely continue to play a major role as autonomous centers of political, economic and military power," the report reveals.

The report also lists the names of warlords like Ruhullah, Matiulllah Khan and Abdul Razziq.

The report quotes Ruhullah as saying: "I am willing to ruthlessly exploit the lack of military control along the routes on which I operate." (ANI)

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