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Friday, December 12, 2008 

NATO Supply Convoys Pay Taleban For Safe Passage In Afghanistan!

Want more proof that the NATO mission in Afghanistan is screwed up beyond all recognition? Well digest this - NATO contractors who move goods and supplies to bases around the nation are paying the Taleban for safe passage to prevent attack!

"The Times has learnt that it is in the outsourcing of convoys that payoffs amounting to millions of pounds, including money from British taxpayers, are given to the Taleban.

The controversial payments were confirmed by several fuel importers, trucking and security company owners. None wanted to be identified because of the risk to their business and their lives. “We estimate that approximately 25 per cent of the money we pay for security to get the fuel in goes into the pockets of the Taleban,” said one fuel importer.

Another boss, whose company is subcontracted to supply to Western military bases, said that as much as a quarter of the value of a lorry's cargo went in paying Taleban commanders.

The scale of the supplies needed to keep the Nato military operation going is vast. The main British base at Camp Bastion in Helmand province alone requires more than a million litres of diesel and aviation fuel a week. There are more than 70,000 foreign soldiers in the country for whom food and equipment must be imported, mostly by road. The US is planning to send at least 20,000 more troops into Afghanistan next year.

Other than flying in supplies, the only overland route is through Pakistan and Taleban-controlled areas of Afghanistan.

A security company owner explained that a vast array of security companies competed for the trade along the main route south of Kabul, some of it commercial traffic and some supplying Western bases, usually charging about $1,000 (£665) a lorry. Convoys are typically of 40-50 lorries but sometimes up to 100.

Asked whether his company paid money to Taleban commanders not to attack them, he said: “Everyone is hungry, everyone needs to eat. They are attacking the convoys because they have no jobs. They easily take money not to attack.” He said that until about 14 months ago, security companies had been able to protect convoys without paying. But since then, the attacks had become too severe not to pay groups controlling the route. Attacks on the Kandahar road have been an almost daily occurrence this year. On June 24 a 50-truck convoy of supplies was destroyed. Seven drivers were beheaded by the roadside. The situation now was so extreme that a rival company, working south of the city of Ghazni, had Taleban fighters to escort their convoys.

Times Online

Meanwhile, Canadians soldiers continue to die in Afghanistan to maintain the Conservative's military obsession .....

Whooee! Don't worry, Lefty. The Merkans is comin'. Soon Afstan'll be as quiet an' peaceful as EyeRack.

Karzai's been negotiatin' with the Taleban fer years. The Taleban been subsidizin' the Afghan Army wages fer years, too. Canajuns capture Taleban, hand 'em over to underpaid Afghan Army. Taliban bribes Afghan Army, prisoners are back out killin' Canucks. Rinse. Repeat. Ad nauseum.

War is a sinkhole fer good money goin' bad.


Pakistan is a security nightmare. Anyone who thinks NATO's supply lines are going to improve anytime soon within a polity awash in extremists with backing from rogue elements within its ISA is sorely mistaken.

Until the national government there can bridge the sectarian divisions within the wider society things will remain as they are - chaotic. Barring an internal civil war I see no reason to believe anything will change soon. Bet you dollars to ruptured Rupees that soon Western forces will be forced to resupply their front line troops in Kabul with emergency gear a la a Berlin Airlift scenario.

Time we got out.

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