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We are funding the Taliban.

Pic from GOT...Nobody, repeat nobody fucks up a war as well as New Labour.

They have made a total mess of this from day one, the original mission of going in to hunt down Al-Quada(Alki Ada as Gordon says it) and has become a hearts and minds mission.

Never mind the lack of body armour, lack of supplies, helicopters that seem to be every where except on the battlefield.

Our what is laughingly called a Defence Minister is actually pissing about in the courts trying to claw back payments given to injured soldiers. Yes, thats right, he seems to think that sending them off to a badly planned war is fine but not compensating them for getting wounded in that war.

Now it turns out we are proping up a government, that passes laws allowing its menfolk to starve women if they refuse them sex; whilst our PM turns up on TV- that very day -blathering on about bringing freedom to the people of that land.

Not a peep from defender of womens rights Harriet Harman on the plight of women in Afghanistan either, maybe its just women over here she is concerned about?

Plus of course the blowback that is hitting us, in that the Taliban who through cutting off of drug dealers heads heavily cut the supply of heroin from that land. Now they are gone from many areas the drug dealers are making a fine old living.

The following is from heresycorner, on the misuse of aid money....
To that end, billions of pounds, dollars, euros, yen - billions of our tax-money - are being spent on reconstruction projects of one sort or another.

The Taliban must really hate that, mustn't they? The altruism of western governments showing the Afghan people a positive alternative to all the infighting. Well, not quite. The Taliban, it turns out, are actually quite keen on reconstruction. Largely because it helps to keep them in bombs.

It works something like this. There's a construction project funded by the British aid budget - say building a school in some godforsaken patch of dirt, mainly so that a minister can point to it when he wants to claim - falsely, most of the time - that girls are being educated. But the government doesn't build the school, a private firm gets the contract to build it. And a very generous contract, too, which I suppose is fair enough given how dangerous it is to get anything done in that part of the world. In order to get the school built, the contractor then has to bribe local "community leaders" - that goes without saying. But it also has to negotiate with the local Taliban leadership - who insist on a cut of the aid money as their price for not blowing the place (or the workers) to smithereens. So British taxpayer's money goes to the Taliban, who spend it, among other things, on the IEDs which blow up British soldiers instead. 20% is the typical figure, although it's estimated that in some cases the Taliban are raking in as much as 40% of the international aid money.

Here's what I learned via Reuters:

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.

“Everyone knows this is going on,” said one U.S. Embassy official, speaking privately.
It's not, however, widely reported.

It isn't just informal arrangement on the ground, either. According to the report by Jean Mackenzie, "very high-level negotiations take place between the Taliban and major contractors":

A shadowy office in Kabul houses the Taliban contracts officer, who examines proposals and negotiates with organizational hierarchies for a percentage. He will not speak to, or even meet with, a journalist, but sources who have spoken with him and who have seen documents say that the process is quite professional.
In the south, says Mackenzie (that's where the British are based), "no contract can be implemented without the Taliban taking a cut, sometimes at various steps along the way." For example:

One contractor in the southern province of Helmand was negotiating with a local supplier for a large shipment of pipes. The pipes had to be brought in from Pakistan, so the supplier tacked on about 30 percent extra for the Taliban, to ensure that the pipes reached Lashkar Gah safely.

Once the pipes were given over to the contractor, he had to negotiate with the Taliban again to get the pipes out to the project site. This was added to the transportation costs.
Many Afghans can't see the problem with any of this. As a young Kabul resident tells Mackenzie, “This is international money. They are not taking it from the people, they are taking it from their enemy.”

Meanwhile our troops die, Bob Ainsworth claims its all down to lack of support on the home front and not a single Labour minister can be seen at any of the funerals.

We should forget the hearts and minds shit and get back to the basic job of killing terrorists in Afghanistan, rather than having Miliband fly them from Club Gitmo in a private jet at our expense.

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