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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

This is just one of the many things surrounding this absurd war that I fail to understand. So as a tribute to briefness I shall only point to some of the main incongruencies I find.

DoD is funding the Taliban, whom they are suppossed to fight, because they can't beat them in the ground. This money is handed to "contractors" through the army that is supposed to fight the Taliban (if I were a field officer, I'd surely be pissed off ). The bribes are paid in order to secure US bases with the provisions needed. Top Afghan goverment officials (puppets) are part of the scheme, since they are all relatives, and part of the same illicit association.

So to make it short, why doesn't the US government consider buying off the Taliban, something that would prove to be a far cheaper way of having them controlled, and with the side benefit of stopping the blood drainage of its soldiers.

Forerunners of this attitude can be found in deals such as the purchase of Alaska or Lousiana, just to mention a couple.

War is a very complex achievement to be left in the hands of the military. What you need is counsel from your accountants, and don't worry about the possible "moral" consecuences, since there are numerous precedents in your near history.

Horacio Garm

Salta, Argentina

Nov 20 2009 - 8:11pm

Web Letter

Aram Roston's piece is telling and revealing. However, not surprising, because that's how America wages wars against native insurgencies opposed to the evangelical (democracy)and business-minded (arms) US. The US will never learn a lesson from illegal/unwanted wars. One Vietnam war is insufficient! "God bless America."

Valentine Anthony

Baguio City, Philippines

Nov 17 2009 - 4:19pm

Web Letter

The article is not completely clear as to what factions in the Taliban are being paid. We have been told often that there are those with whom we could negotiate, i.e., "more moderate" members of the Taliban. Are any of them getting in on this action? Even in spite of this possibility, the reality according to Mr. Roston apparently stands; war on such a financial footing of a 10-20 percent "security, extortion or form of insurance" cannot possibly continue successfully. If this is truly the case, millions will be spent eventually to simply devastate our future troops. With realities such as this on the ground, no wonder President Obama is taking meaningful deliberation to reconsider the Afghanistan policy.

Riad Mahayni

Richmond, VA

Nov 17 2009 - 2:03pm

Web Letter

In Seymnour Hersh's book Chain of Command, (Harper, 2005), he writes about how the United States paid some neutral Afghan warlords to fight against the Taliban.

John Molina

Chula Vista, CA

Nov 14 2009 - 8:33pm

Web Letter

Roston's writing is an important exposure on realities in Afghanistan. The flow of US government dollars to all manner of private entities in Afghanistan, both domestic to the country, and foreign, for security and other war-zone contractor businesses, does not bode well for Afghanistan. If war, insurgency and heroin themselves are an enormous economic functioning in a poor place like Afghanistan, in which people can hope to be employed or even rich, then they will be become systemic in the economy. Many Afghanis will then depend on war, occupation and heroin for their livelihoods, and will not want these horrors to end.

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Nov 11 2009 - 9:13pm