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Text of Rep. John Tierney's Report: War Lord Inc.

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2010 11:01 am
Here's a link to the actual report if anyone wishes to read it.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-22/u-s-military-supply-chain-relies-on-afghan-warlord-payoffs-report-says.html

Quote:
U.S. Military Contractors Pay Millions to Afghan Warlords for Protection
By Tony Capaccio - Jun 22, 2010


Contractors on a $2.1 billion job trucking U.S. supplies into Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars in protection money to warlords controlling their routes, according to a congressional report.

Contractors told congressional investigators they believe that, in turn, “the highway warlords make protection payments to insurgents” who are fighting the U.S., though there wasn’t direct evidence backing that claim, said the staff report, prepared for Democratic Representative John Tierney of Massachusetts.

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command has an open investigation into whether payments are going to insurgents, according to briefing charts prepared for a national security subcommittee that Tierney leads.

A 79-page report entitled “Warlord Inc.: Extortion and Corruption along the U.S. Supply Chain” will be released at a House hearing today. The Joint Chiefs of Staff’s top Pentagon- based Afghanistan expert is to testify.

The Pentagon “has been largely blind to the potential strategic consequences” of its supply-chain contracting, the report said.

The eight contractors who carry food, fuel, ammunition and other goods under the Afghan Host-Nation Trucking Contract are expected to provide for their own security without U.S. military escorts.

This has led to an ad-hoc system where the principal private security subcontractors are “warlords, strongmen, commanders and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority,” the report said.

‘Protection Racket’

The contractors and their truck subcontractors “pay tens of millions” of dollars in what “amounts to a protection racket,” the report said. While the warlords provide the paid- for protection, contractors have “little choice but to use them,” the report said.

The system “fuels warlordism, extortion and corruption and may be a significant source of funding for insurgents,” the report said.

The lack of U.S. escorts also means the Pentagon “has little visibility into what happens to the trucks carrying U.S. supplies between the times the trucks leave the gates in the Pakistan port of Karachi” to their destinations.

The trucking contracts cover 70 percent of the U.S. overland supply chain that typically starts in Pakistan, moving in convoys of as many as 300 trucks through Pashtun tribal lands to U.S.-controlled distribution hubs near Bagram Airfield and Kandahar Airfield.

Out of Compliance

The Pentagon is “grossly out of compliance” with government regulations to oversee private contractors and has “no visibility into the operations of private security companies” working under the trucking contracts, the report said.

Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins, a Pentagon spokeswoman who follows Afghanistan issues, said the military “takes seriously and investigates all allegations and incidents.”

A new task force set up to review the impact of U.S. contracting on Afghanistan corruption “is on the ground and reviewing allegations” of supply chain payoffs, she said in an e-mail.


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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2010 12:18 pm
@Butrflynet,
Here are summaries of the findings as written in the report. Each one has dozens of pages of supporting interview and documentation following the summary.

1. Security for the U.S. Supply Chain Is Principally Provided by Warlords

Finding: The principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority. Providing “protection” services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’etre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, the warlords thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government.


2. The Highway Warlords Run a Protection Racket

Finding: The HNT contractors and their trucking subcontractors pay tens of millions of dollars annually to local warlords across Afghanistan in exchange for “protection” for HNT supply convoys to support U.S. troops. Although the warlords do provide guards and coordinate security, the contractors have little choice but to use them in what amounts to a vast protection racket. The consequences are clear: trucking companies that pay the highway warlords for security are provided protection; trucking companies that do not pay believe they are more likely to find themselves under attack. As a result, almost everyone pays. In interviews and documents, the HNT contractors frequently referred to such payments as “extortion,” “bribes,” “special security,” and/or “protection payments.”

3. Protection Payments for Safe Passage Are a Significant Potential Source of Funding for the Taliban

Finding: Within the HNT contractor community, many believe that the highway warlords who nominally guard the trucks in turn make protection payments to insurgents to coordinate safe passage. This belief is evidenced in numerous documents, incident reports, and e-mails that refer to attempts at Taliban extortion along the road. The Subcommittee has not uncovered any direct evidence of such payments and Commander Ruhullah, the Popal brothers, and Ahmed Wali Karzai all adamantly deny that any convoy security commanders pay insurgents. According to experts and public reporting, however, the Taliban regularly extort rents from a variety of licit and illicit industries, and it is plausible that the Taliban would try to extort protection payments from the coalition supply chain that runs through territory in which they freely operate.



4. Unaccountable Supply Chain Security Contractors Fuel Corruption

Finding: HNT contractors and their private security providers report widespread corruption by Afghan officials and frequent government extortion along the road. The largest private security provider for HNT trucks complained that it had to pay $1,000 to $10,000 in monthly bribes to nearly every Afghan governor, police chief, and local military unit whose territory the company passed. HNT contractors themselves reported similar corruption at a smaller scale, including significant numbers of ANP checkpoints. Military officials confirmed that they were aware of these problems.

5. Unaccountable Supply Chain Security Contractors Undermine U.S. Counterinsurgency Strategy

Finding: While outsourcing principal responsibility for the supply chain in Afghanistan to local truckers and unknown security commanders has allowed the Department of Defense to devote a greater percentage of its force structure to priority operations, these logistics arrangements have significant unintended consequences for the overall counterinsurgency strategy. By fueling unaccountable warlords and funding parallel power structures, the United States undercuts efforts to establish popular confidence in a credible and sustainable Afghan government.

6. The Department of Defense Lacks Effective Oversight of Its Supply Chain and Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan

Finding: The Department of Defense has little to no visibility into what happens to the trucks carrying U.S. supplies between the time the trucks leave the gate to the time they arrive at their destination. Despite serious concerns regarding operations, no military managers have ever observed truck operations on the road or met with key security providers. The Department of Defense’s regulations, promulgated in response to direction by Congress, require oversight of all private security companies working as contractors or subcontractors for the U.S government. These requirements include ensuring that all private security company personnel comply with U.S. government and local country firearm laws, that all private security company equipment be tracked, and that all incidents of death, injury, or property damage be fully investigated. The Department of Defense is grossly out of compliance with applicable regulations and has no visibility into the operations of the private security companies that are subcontractors on the HNT contract.

7. HNT Contractors Warned the Department of Defense About Protection Payments for Safe Passage to No Avail

Finding: In meetings, interviews, e-mails, white papers, and PowerPoint presentations, many HNT prime contractors self-reported to military officials and criminal investigators that they were being forced to make “protection payments” for “safe passage” on the road. While military officials acknowledged receiving the warnings, these concerns were never appropriately addressed.

0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2010 12:50 pm
@Butrflynet,
What a mess.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2010 01:03 pm
I can't believe this is being treated as something new.

Afghanistan, or the areas of the world now known as Afghanistan, has been since the beginnings of recorded time, a society of warlords, chieftains, self-proclaimed leaders and various kinds of poobahs. They all would, in accordance with all the local rules of tradition, take bribes, give bribes, impose sanctions, remove restrictions, arrange passages and marriages and make up or dissolve allegiances in a manner that looks to Western eyes as willy-nilly. The ally of today will be tomorrow aiming a large cannon at your door.

It's not immoral or haphazard to do business in this way, it is just the way it is.

If the USA intends to become the Great Khan of the Twenty-first Century, she had better be prepared to do it in the Afghan way. All others from Marco Polo to the Russians either had to flee back to Italy and the Soviet Union or their bones are to be found in the dust of the roads.

Joe('tis the center of the earth, unchanged since Adam)Nation
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2010 04:19 pm
Quote:
Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins, a Pentagon spokeswoman who follows Afghanistan issues, said the military “takes seriously and investigates all allegations and incidents.”


Why do they bother to even print this bullshit?

Better, "A nondescript uniform provided the usual pablumized piece of drivel".
0 Replies
 
 

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