Monday, July 31, 2006


Money the root of all evil in Afghanistan

Artwork from Lauras art web site.

In order to get the full picture of some of the pitfalls constraints and political/financial challenges facing our troops in Afghanistan you will need to read all three of these articles. I just pulled partial excerpts from each to try and tie them all together, but to fully comprehend the issues and situation on the ground you will need to read all three articles.
Afghan soldiers are being mocked by Taliban fighters, because the Taliban are getting paid three times more than the soldiers. Drug gangs are major sponsors of current Taliban operations. Then there is cash from wealthy Islamic conservatives in the Persian Gulf. This means that Taliban gunmen are getting up to $400 a month. Police and army commanders are also being approached, to see if they are willing to screw up, while pursuing Taliban gunmen, in return for thousands of dollars in cash bribes.

Operation Peacemaker is, among other things, a military manhunt. The Canadians are on the trail of the elusive Mullah Tahir and his notorious henchmen. Tahir is believed to be the brains behind the terrorist training camps that supply Al Qaeda. He's one of Osama Bin Laden's senior commanders.

For 20-year veterans like Master Cpl. Tom Cole they're well-oiled coping skills kick in.

"You don't try to think about the really super dangerous things. You just look at how to complete the mission without failing it," says Cole.

They pile into the tightly packed light armoured LAV-III vehicle and then it's outside the wire beyond the security of the base.

Thirty minutes down the road, however, the Afghan police force, who are supposed to provide an escort on this mission, prompt an unscheduled stop. Canada's commitment here includes training them and there's a lot to learn. The police have already run out of gas.

After a quick refueling Charlie company is back on the road but five hours into the journey lunch creates another complication. The fledgling Afghan police force tells Capt. Ryan Jurkowski they don't want food they want money.

"There is no negotiation," Jurkowski explains. "There is no money to give you."

Despite snacking on Canadian food rations the police insist they still want money so, with no money coming forward, they pull out and are not seen again for days.

The Canadian convoy has little choice but to push on alone but soon, the terrain presents the next pitfall, a flat tire. The soldiers keep a watchful eye on the horizon for the next hour as the 163 kilogram-tire gets changed.

NATO says Afghan aid too slow
Afghan army soldiers

By Mark John

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The failure by major donors to follow through on aid pledges to Afghanistan could undermine its efforts to quell an insurgency in the impoverished Muslim state, NATO warned on Thursday.

A crucial part of NATO's strategy is to provide protection for development projects aimed at wresting local support away from the Taliban, but the alliance raised concerns that cash pledges to fund those projects were not coming through.

"We are putting a lot of people's lives on the line," said NATO spokesman James Appathurai of the plan to double troop levels of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force to some 18,000 by the end of the month.

"It makes no sense to invest very heavily in the military resources for peace but not put in the civilian resources to make that peace stable," he told a news briefing.

Dozens of international donors pledged some $10.5 billion (5.6 billion pounds) for Afghanistan reconstruction over the next five years at a conference in London in January. But Appathurai said they appeared to be dragging their heals on delivering the cash.

"Disbursement of funds has not been implemented as quickly or as effectively as we hoped," he said.

Appathurai said NATO was looking to supply Afghanistan's poorly-resourced national army with weaponry such as small and medium arms, and called on other organisations such as the European Union to do more to help train local police.
Afghan Police Kill 7
Comrades - Defect To Taliban

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- Five Afghan police shot dead seven fellow officers as they slept, before defecting to join Taliban guerrillas fighting in southern Afghanistan, a provincial official said on Monday.

So what is the solution or at least a pathway to a solution?
Well money would seeem to be the root cause for some of the short falls for the fledgling Afghan military and police. That combined with expertise, training and equipment. Because if the Afghan Police and Army aren't nursed and supported to do this on there own we will never get out of there and hence the world and the Afghan people will be that much worse of because of our/their failure.

If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
Think back to All Capone and the organized crime of the time. They were defeated not because of increased policing but rather by a combination of the IRS and the court systems in conjunction with policing.

The same could be said for Prohibition which was fueling funding AL Capone and organized crime at the time. Legalizing and regulating booze not only removed organized crimes funding but it aided in funding the IRS, courts and policing which eventually destroyed the organized crime element of the time and help return the rule of law.

Legalized/regulate Opium growth for the pain killer market. Codine morphine like the Senile Think Tank suggested.

Afghan/Pakistan and the world needs to prosecute and confiscate monies gotten from the illegal drug trade. We can't blame Afghan for our own weakness and societal problems with regard to drug use. We need to deal with that problem on our own and stop blaming someone else Afghan has their own problems.

The reason I propose not only cutting off the Talibans funding but increased funding for the Afghan Army/Police is because money alone won't solve the problem, but it is apart of the problem according to these reports.

Some other articles along these lines.
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