What? You mean... we bribe people to help us?
Mr. Roston tells his story like we should all be surprised. First, I think the author is forgetting that there aren't many companies willing or able to do the job of moving fuel into Afghanistan. It's not like Shell, Exxon, BP and Chevron are all setting up competing gas stations across the street from one another.
Second, the amount of money currently being spent on US and NATO fuel is probably close to $3 billion a year. If Red Star only gets a third of that, it's hardly a monopoly. The $1 billion is revenue, not profit--a lot of hands to fill in between (some probably wearing camo).
Third, the fact that we have influential leaders that have vested interest in our fuel supplies getting through is a good thing--a necessary thing--in Afghanistan. If we didn't have these (paid-for) allies, I'm convinced that not a single fuel truck would get to Bagram or Khandahar... unless, of course, we want to start moving Army fuel tanker convoys with gun truck and attack helicopter coverage between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We'd lose a lot of great Americans in the process.
So the bottom line is, yeah, it's dirty business. But it's a dirty business that NATO and US Forces absolutely, strategically depend upon.
Kansas City, KS
Apr 26 2010 - 1:28pm