Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know

August 13, 2009

U.S. soldiers (L) and an Afghan policeman keep watch near a building which is held by the Taliban in Logar, south of Kabul August 10, 2009. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

The article by Jean MacKenzie originally appeared in GlobalPost. This is part of a special series by GlobalPost called Life, Death and The Taliban. Click here for a related article Funding the Pakistani Taliban.

KABUL — It is the open secret no one wants to talk about, the unwelcome truth that most prefer to hide. In Afghanistan, one of the richest sources of Taliban funding is the foreign assistance coming into the country.

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 is almost impossible to determine how much the insurgents are spending, making it difficult to pinpoint the sources of the funds.

Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef, former Taliban minister to Pakistan, was perhaps more than a bit disingenuous when he told GlobalPost that the militants were operating mostly on air.

“The Taliban does not have many expenses,” he said, smiling slightly. “They are barefoot and hungry, with no roof over their heads and a stone for their pillow.” As for weapons, he just shrugged. “Afghanistan is full of guns,” he said. “We have enough guns for years.”

The reality is quite different, of course. The militants recruit local fighters by paying for their services. They move about in their traditional 4x4s, they have to feed their troops, pay for transportation and medical treatment for the wounded, and, of course, they have to buy rockets, grenades and their beloved Kalashnikovs.

Up until quite recently, most experts thought that drug money accounted for the bulk of Taliban funding. But even here opinion was divided on actual amounts. Some reports gauged the total annual income at about $100 million, while others placed the figure as high as $300 million — still a small fraction of the $4 billion poppy industry.

Now administration officials have launched a search for Taliban sponsors. Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told a press conference in Islamabad last month that drugs accounted for less of a share of Taliban coffers than was previously thought.

“In the past there was a kind of feeling that the money all came from drugs in Afghanistan,” said Holbrooke, according to media reports. “That is simply not true.”

The new feeling is that less than half of the Taliban’s war chest comes from poppy, with a variety of sources, including private contributions from Persian Gulf states, accounting for much of the rest. Holbrooke told reporters that he would add a member of the Treasury Department to his staff to pursue the question of Taliban funding.

But perhaps U.S. officials need look no further than their own backyard.

Anecdotal evidence is mounting that the Taliban are taking a hefty portion of assistance money coming into Afghanistan from the outside.

This goes beyond mere protection money or extortion of “taxes” at the local level — very high-level negotiations take place between the Taliban and major contractors, according to sources close to the process.

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.

The manager of an Afghan firm with lucrative construction contracts with the U.S. government builds in a minimum of 20 percent for the Taliban in his cost estimates. The manager, who will not speak openly, has told friends privately that he makes in the neighborhood of $1 million per month. Out of this, $200,000 is siphoned off for the insurgents.

If negotiations fall through, the project will come to harm — road workers may be attacked or killed, bridges may be blown up, engineers may be assassinated.

The degree of cooperation and coordination between the Taliban and aid workers is surprising, and would most likely make funders extremely uncomfortable.

One Afghan contractor, speaking privately, told friends of one project he was overseeing in the volatile south. The province cannot be mentioned, nor the particular project.

“I was building a bridge,” he said, one evening over drinks. “The local Taliban commander called and said ‘don’t build a bridge there, we’ll have to blow it up.’ I asked him to let me finish the bridge, collect the money — then they could blow it up whenever they wanted. We agreed, and I completed my project.”

In the south, no contract can be implemented without the Taliban taking a cut, sometimes at various steps along the way.

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.

“We assume that our people are paying off the Taliban,” said the foreign contractor in charge of the project.

In Farah province, local officials report that the Taliban are taking up to 40 percent of the money coming in for the National Solidarity Program, one of the country’s most successful community reconstruction projects, which has dispensed hundreds of millions of dollars throughout the country over the past six years.

Many Afghans see little wrong in the militants getting their fair share of foreign assistance.

“This is international money,” said one young Kabul resident. “They are not taking it from the people, they are taking it from their enemy.”

But in areas under Taliban control, the insurgents are extorting funds from the people as well.

In war-ravaged Helmand, where much of the province has been under Taliban control for the past two years, residents grumble about the tariffs.

“It’s a disaster,” said a 50-year-old resident of Marja district. “We have to give them two kilos of poppy paste per jerib during the harvest; then we have to give them ushr (an Islamic tax, amounting to one-tenth of the harvest) from our wheat. Then they insisted on zakat (an Islamic tithe). Now they have come up with something else: 12,000 Pakistani rupee (approximately $150) per household. And they won’t take even one rupee less.”

It all adds up, of course. But all thingsare relative: if the Taliban are able to raise and spend say $1 billion per year — the outside limit of what anyone has been able to predict — that accounts for what the United States is now spending on 10 days of the war to defeat them.

69 comments

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P.O.T.T.- Pay Off The Taliban?Sounds exactly like business in New York City. So we can’t think sending treasury will help, we tried that here and they’d probably just give them another 4 trillion from the US Federal Reserve.That would be a Talibonus…I would not worry too much about it, when Wall Street finds out the Taliban is getting a 20% cut off US government spending, they’ll find a way to trade it, or get a Bonus off the percentage of government losses.Funny how Madoff made off with 65 Billion through Wall Street Banks with accounts at JP Morgan CHASE and we think the US Treasury is going to be able to track Taliban Funding on the back of goat carts?Look on the bright side, at least we’re inducing someone’s economy with a government spending program, too bad it’s not our own.Time to take care of our own.

I’m no longer sure the Afghans deserve our help.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Thanks for the investigative journalism and courage to publish, what we Pakistani’s already know.Just put yourself in our shoes and then you will realize why we hate Taliban and why we dislike the two-edged strategy of US.It will be really great, if you can highlight the 23 indian councilates working inside Afghanistan, along the Pakistani border.

Posted by Abbas Naqvi | Report as abusive

I have brothers and sisters killed in Irag and Afganistan wars, and I read this article with great sadness for the lives of my Samoan soldiers who died to save lives of these people who makes funs of our services. I rather sees my soldier brothers come home and give their lives to protect those who truly need freedom, and leave Afgans and Iragis save themselves from their internal tribal wars and kill themselves.I like to see the International soldiers leave these war zones and let them continue fighting as their way of life and live on poppies and drugs. Afgans and Iraq knows these illegal protection money schemes and wants to continue it so the wars be continue to bring in more financial aids at the cost of LIVES to foreign solders.

Afghans never asked for help from America. Reagan and Bush 1 went to Afghanistan to help defeat the Soviet Union. And when that was accomplished, America refused to leave Afghans alone.American spends $1 Billion every 10 days to fight a war they started and finance on both sides. And yet, schools in the US are under-funded, hospitals are closing, foreclosures are higher than ever, and ordinary people are homeless and suffering. But war continues unabated. There is never money for any social programs for American citizens, however when it comes to war, money is always flowing like water.Shame to the rulers of America. When American citizens have to risk their lives driving to Mexico to get medical treatment because they have no health insurance, it shows lack of concern for ordinary people. What is the benefit of being an American citizen today? None, except you pay taxes to finance endless wars and people you never met hate you for crimes your government is committing around the world.

Posted by Theo | Report as abusive

This is no new news, is like in Iraq where the US government lost track of 12 billions US dollars that’s not all they also lost a huge amount of Ak-47 who were supposed to go to the Iraqi’s army and they simple lost them imagine in the hands of whom they ended, is all business for the US gov, and the military industries and the contractors they are the real people who are making money right out of this wars and this article is right and well explained how the Taliban is getting their money, is like in Colombia the US gives out $1,500 mm every year to the government and they say to fight drug trafficking and other kind of business, so you may expect a reduction in drug’s amount and less guerrillas and less paramilitaries in Colombia but this is not happening in that country, everything is going in the other way, so this is how the companies or better say the military complex of the US is making a loop with the money congress approve,is a very complex theme to understand, to understand this sad story in our history you may have follow this from the beginning when the Afghanistan war started. I recommend you a book the first book of Richard Clark and then the second one ( When your government failed you)

Posted by rod | Report as abusive

So sad. Crook making money in USA and honest and patriot dieing. Looks like USA people are just sheep and goat and letting all this happen. Only good news for USA is they have President who listen.

Posted by Singh | Report as abusive

War cast Money. And those who are fighting in Afghanistan have pay the price for it.

Posted by Said | Report as abusive

Conception & Deception it’s what the world is all about Guys and Gals.Go back 30 years and you had no more than 10 countries controlling the world.There is an old saying in the Southern Hemisphere!’The speed of the Leader determines the rate of the pack’Well the pack now is 30 countries-wait another three years and there will be 50!The Southern Hemisphere is looking like a good place to be!

Posted by Sumpo | Report as abusive

The world bank and Federal Reserve board is funding the entire war plus taking in ther 50% then charging us americans interst on the money we borrow from them to finance our side>>>>>>

Posted by gregge johnson | Report as abusive

What about funding from China and Pakistan? Granted that the US are indirectly funding the Taliban maybe even deliberately for some hidden agenda but I’m sure other countries are in on it too.

Posted by TheObserver | Report as abusive

Personally, I’d have to disagree with comments regarding american troops pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Regardless of whether the american government is funding its enemies, I feel that people should consider the big picture. The “wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq were started by americans trying to force democracy on cultures with a religion that seems to be almost incompatible with democracy. I’m still unclear how exactly the war in Afghanistan was justified – was there actually any proof that it was indeed the taliban who blew up the WTC? Did they invade only because some guy “said” he blew up the WTC? To date all the american government has managed to do is displace/destroy the governments in both respective countries – their job should not be finished until they have either succeeded in instilling democracy (unlikely, since democracy by nature is something that must be fought for, not something that should be forced upon a culture) or at a minimum, returning both countries to some form of stable government. I’ve heard a lot of americans complain about losing loved ones in both Afghanistan and Iraq. From my (hopefully) neutral perspective, the american army should stop complaining about its losses (although family members of the deceased have a right to). In starting an unprovoked war for “WMDs” and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanistans, how does america have any moral ground to complain when their losses are in the tens of thousands for a boulder they set in motion.Glad to be a CanadianCheers,Steve

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

These are a bunch of Peacenicks and communist remarks from those that do NOT appreciate freedom.

Im an American and I’m proud that that stands for freedom but, it breaks my heart and boils my blood to find worthless, treacherous, power driven eletists spending the innocent blood of God fearing citizens who have in the past or are at this very moment sacraficing all to unknowingly propel few banking, political and energy tycoons private desires of global dominace. I believe the war in Afganistan is about an oil pipleine from central asia to an ocean port, not one thing more or one thing less.

Posted by sick and tired | Report as abusive

It’s all about the wealthy promoters of wars selling arms to unfortunate misguided hopefuls.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Imagine…If there is no war whom will the big arms manufacturers sell their production to…who will need to upgrade their arsenal…Its dirty dirty Politics….and even US is engaged in it…Give 10 guns to terrorists for free and the governments will buy 2000 guns to counter them….Why cant the guns seized from operations be traced back to the source….Stop the arms and terrorism will stop

Posted by Piece - Keeper | Report as abusive

I can’t believe the “Afghans” are being blamed in some of these comments. We should be so ashamed–of ourselves! We complain a war isn’t working when our own people are undermining that project. We’re funding the group that is hurting its people and destabilizing their country. This is not about “the Afghans”, this is the dark side, the complications of intervention.

Posted by Lane | Report as abusive

KC: the funding of taliban is through pakistani eastablishment ISI and Pak Army,which is supplied by large populus in conservative /republican bents in CIA US Admin, UK MI6 and some denizens of oxford and cambridge in westminister and buiseness because the Idead of pakistan, pak occupied kashmir, mujahideen or taliban is their brainchild.

The real idiots are the British, who are dying and their country isn’t getting anything from it. If they were not the USA’s puppy, they wouldn’t be at risk from the worlds terrorists. Americans don’t care, or even notice them! Take a look at these comments for one.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I have always thought of America as a big con. My whole life I have heard loads of stories about how America has failed to provide for its people, and how it funds wars in round about way. I would not be surprised if they did find out that the American Government had planned both these wars to fund their pockets. Not their peoples pockets thier own pockets.

Posted by Raymond | Report as abusive

okay, thats article accounts for the money but never try to shed light on where is all the amuniation coming from ? Russia, India, where ?

Posted by sanityprevails | Report as abusive

I think we should leave Iraq and Afganastan , Leave them to their own self destruction , They come here to USA under Refugee Status and take what-ever is given to them free then complain about our country , if they don’t like us them give them a free RIDE back Home , Help Americans and Let God sort the others out , after all he is the Commander N Chief .

Dear friends, who is selling guns (small word) to insurgents? (irrespective they have funds or not)It is also mention about 4×4! BTW, what make?Does it make sense to any one? think by your self.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

I met recently with a member of RAWA, The Revolutionary Association of the Woman of Afghanistan. They have a clear message for us: GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN! They will fight the Taliban and all other forces of oppression, including us until Armageddon, or until we leave, whatever comes first. Our Actions are not helping the people, but driving extremism.The Graveyard of Empires shall keep its title.

This is the way every modern war has worked.Our government manufactures enemies that they use to scare people into giving up their rights and working as slaves.Did you know the US was propping up the USSR with free food going back to the 1970s? Did you know the US built North Korea’s reactor? Did you know the US built Iran’s reactor? Do you remember that Bush Sr’s CIA trained Osama?The list goes on and on.

Posted by Old American | Report as abusive

“religion that seems to be almost incompatible with democracy”There have been secular democracies in the middle east before, like Iran until America and Britain replaced the elected leader with a tyrant in the 50s (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Irania n_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat).Turkey is currently a secular dmocracy with a majority Islam population.

Posted by Marc Abian | Report as abusive

What did this get us? “Osama Bin Laden is either in Afghanistan, not in Afghanistan, or dead.” – Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by Doug | Report as abusive

Indeed, US, British and other soldiers should no longer be fighting and dying in Afghanistan. They never should have.After 9/11 (anyone remember that?) when the Taliban refused to hand over Bin Laden and his murderous crew, the US Air Force should have done nothing less than reduce this miserable hole to rubble, with a few hundred extra bombs to be sure the rubble bounced.No nation-building, no aid of any kind, just simple total destruction.

Posted by Siddhartha Vicious | Report as abusive

“The real idiots are the British, who are dying and their country isn’t getting anything from it. If they were not the USA’s puppy, they wouldn’t be at risk from the worlds terrorists. Americans don’t care, or even notice them! Take a look at these comments for one.”We, the people, do, in fact, recognize the loss of life that is taking place all across the board. I’m sad about the loss of patriots from every country on the same side as us (notice how i said “the same” side, and not “our” side.). The British, along with every other country that’s with us, chose to fight this war with us. America goes to war to protect and expand all of our interests (mainly financial). We do it so we can stay rich or get richer. We do it so we can have nice tv’s, a car, a house or an apartment. The only difference between our countries is the fact that the USA, being so large, and having such a powerful military, is the foundation for this type of lifestyle. that we are fighting for every single one of our countries Don’t say that american’s don’t care – we do. In fact, this is the most heated debate going on in america, and frankly, its not even a debate. NOBODY supports these wars. Please don’t blame the american people. It is the crooked politicians who stand for these huge corporations that benefit from conflict that ultimately choose to go to war, not the people. P.S. Britain is not the U.S. puppy. We are all collectively an international community that shares a lot of the same fundamental ways of life. These “interests” that the united states goes to war over, are often indistinguishable from Britain’s. Whats good for us is, 9 times out of 10, is good for you. (Or maybe i should say it this way, america is the land of patriots, who often kill and war to stand up for the stuff YOU believe in or benefit from.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Things like this make my blood boil. I hate the fact that governments always seem to have a hidden agenda to something. They forget that they’re supposed to be serving the people.I won’t be at all surprised if in the next decade or so the American government will manifest some reason to go to war with Iran and it’ll be history repeating it’s self.What really needs to be done is:1. Hold off any developments/ rebuilding so that they cannot be targeted by Taliban.2. Destroy every single Opium poppy. It maybe the back bone of the Afgan economy but to me that doesn’t justify the problems it causes with Heroin addicts and funding Taliban forces.3. Overwhelming force. Send like 200,000 ISAF soldiers to seriously boost numbers so that as territorial advances are made permanent bases can be setup.4. Push all the way into Pakistan. Really turn the screws on the Taliban.The war would be over in a year and the money saved could be used in redeveloping the country into another capitalist swine.

Posted by alex | Report as abusive

The Afghan war is just a subsidy for the US oil and arms industries.If there were no wars, would Americans be content to have so much of their taxes funneled to arms manufacturers? Probably not.Take a look at a map. Saudi Arabia, a friendly oil supplier, is next to Iraq. Iraq is next to Iran. Iran is next to Afghanistan. Afghanistan is next to Pakistan, another US ally. Next to Afghanistan and Pakistan are China and India, massive future markets for oil should a pipeline from Saudi Arabia become possible. US oil companies will draw massive profits from operating this pipeline under the protection of the US military, paid for by the US taxpayer.The politicians get rich getting bribed to hook up contracts for their friends. They and their children don’t serve. They are happy to let lower class Americans die for them.It’s a con game. It’s amazing that people are stupid enough to believe that it’s about promoting freedom.

Posted by Mark Cabal | Report as abusive

Fellow Americans, as an Afghan-American myself I am deeply offended that some of you have blamed the citizens of Afghanistan for the ruthless actions of Taliban commanders and major U.S government and foreign contractors. More than half the country is illiterate, starving, dying, getting blown up, burying their parents or children due to bombs/shells/grenades hitting their homes but they’re the ones that don’t deserve help or worse-responsible for funding the enemy?? What do they know about funding the enemy? They’re still trying to figure out how to fund breakfast the next morning! Instead of listening to the mainstream media, why don’t the people that are in doubt actually conduct a little research on the people behind the scenes, the victims, the forgotten ones. I am forever grateful for the U.S troops that are risking their lives in Afghanistan each day. I am also grateful for their families who have supported a U.S partnership with Afghanistan. And my heart goes out to those who have already lost a loved one in Afghanistan. However, the very same people need to also be proud of themselves because there was a time when Afghanistan witnessed two million deaths but that number had significantly dropped down to 20,000 when the U.S troops came in to help. That’s an amazing result! It benefit’s the U.S by fighting the Taliban because the Taliban are not just going after the Afghan people and its country, that’s just the beginning, rather the Taliban have a much bigger goal and that is to fight any nation that is not Muslim. Afghanistan is just the beginning of it. Now regarding the issue of them being funded by international aid is a very serious one that needs a comprehensive investigation. I don’t think the aid contributors would give another dime to these contractors if they were given some sort of evidence that the projects being funded are in reality funding the Taliban. The ones that really benefit from the projects are the contractors that win the contracts and the Taliban members who get a cut. The work itself gets destroyed or bombed, its workers get killed and the contributor that funded it just paid the Taliban to expand its payroll. Maybe we have to stop building and trying to reconstruct Afghanistan, but rather get rid of those that are trying to destruct it first. And hey, I’ll even admit that many of my own Afghan people are in Afghanistan trying to get rich off of its soil, rather than helping their homeland. These contractors have an insatiable hunger that will never end until something is done about it. I also think the contractors that are doing business in Afghanistan openly are ones that should definitely be investigated, especially if they’re still alive and well. After all, if they’re dead, who’d feed the Taliban members-right?

The U.S. military has always been a welfare state. Just as in Vietnam, we send troops out of the country to fight a propped-up 3rd world enemy for years with one real purpose: to get unemployment levels down and to generate income thru war contracts. George Bush’s administration saw the global economic collapse coming and attempted to avert much of the projected damage by creating a reason to send 10′s of thousands of people out of the country very quickly. During the Vietnam era the reason was similar in that we had a lot of young people coming of age in an economy that could not yet support them in the job market – we were still recouping from the great depression. war is big business and it creates jobs out of thin air.

Posted by Garden Gump | Report as abusive

Why don’t you look into Saudi connection? In addition, it is sure major portion of what US provides to Pakistan for anti-terror operation,finds its way to Taliban through ISI.

Would be professional if they were guided by the Pakistani Military outfit ISI, who had ample practice since the days of the Cold War regime of Zia ul Haq! It includes what went into planning 9/11. Nobody\’s investigating Pakistani military honchos, past and present, in the matter of lifestyle disproportionate to income! Its an open secret. You’ve been had!

Posted by Ananya | Report as abusive

Haven’t you Americans/Brits caught on that the 7/7, 911, anthrax attacks were all government operations ?What does a person have to do to sink that into your blockheads?Wake-up fools,the next falseflag operation will be WWIII and both oceans separating war criminal America will not help her :^/

Posted by Les Pisrael | Report as abusive

ABOUT TIME this was picked up by the mainstream media. My God!Oh wait who owns Reuters?

Posted by austin | Report as abusive

Don’t forget — that ol’ “radical”, Dwight Eisenhower, (President, Republican, former-General), warned us about the Military Industrial Complex. It now controls the economy, media and political process. They need an enemy? They can create one.The indoctrinated American public has been dumbed-down to the point where they don’t wanna know and don’t care. The Constitutional USA? Stick a fork in it.

Posted by Otis | Report as abusive

My country, (Canada), has lost over 100 men and women in Afghanastan since we invaded their country. It was all built on a lie.9-11 an inside job by Bush, and continued now by the Joker, Obahamanation.A pox on the U.S. military industrial complex and their N.W.O. banker buddies.

Posted by Scruff | Report as abusive

Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know…Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to knowPosted by: GlobalPostTags: Global News, Afghanistan, funding, GlobalPost, international aid, Pakistan, poppy, TalibanU.S. soldiers (L) and an Afghan policeman keep watch near a building whi…

Yeah, sure, everyone has to tack on an extra 30% for the “Taliban,” wink, wink.

check out arron russos interview with alex jones. that videosums it all up.

“Don’t want to know”??? I’ve known since the beginning!!! You can’t very well keep an illegal war against destitute people going for years and years without supplying them with arms and supplies. Without that aid there would be much less in the way of war and without much war the military contractors would be SOL. It’s very much to their advantage to send arms to anyone and everyone that would attack us. How else can they keep the taxpayer funds flowing to them?

Posted by Ted Blodgett | Report as abusive

I’ve been making the point for years on Nextrev that when we were in Vietnam we weren’t fighting communism, we were finacing it. We sent 58,000 Americans to die in front of weapons bought from communist countires like China. Russia went broke in Afghanistan just as we did in iraq & now Afghanistan & the wespons used to kill US?www.nextrevolution.netOur representatives are handed millions of $, members of both parties, by the same contrinbutors. Defense for example & their horse can’t lose in a two horse race. The people lose 100% of the time while beliving they win if their party is elected. Trillions in debt along with all our other problems are proof we lose 100% of the time & contrinbutors win 100% of the time.Don’t believe it? If a contrbutor like defense contractors hand a million to each party, their guy is eleted no matter what, he hands billions back to defense contractors & or tax cuts, then inevests in that contributor, & then promotes war for years onb end, whp paid the million to each party in the original campaign contribution?Sign the petition for full finacial disclosure on Nextrev. & we’ll see which of our representatives work for US.Swiss bank, UBS started releasing names & our representatives will no doubt be generous as initial indications suggest. No jail time, pay teaxes evaded plus a penalty maybe. The guy who lost his job, home, & his son or daughter died in Iraq is bailing out the crooks who broke US & we pay for everything from a seat belt violation to bailout?Let’s make names public, put the pieces of the puzzle together & in the end I guarantee we’ll see the names of representatives all over the map

Any American who votes for an incumbant, in the next election, is a fool.

Posted by m | Report as abusive

There are some areas where they can impose taxes, which perhaps reflects their power in those regions. US reconstruction funds? nonsense, not in any significant amounts.

Posted by unkLe_p | Report as abusive

what a mess. i guess people want to live under their thumb. which one wins, the one you feed. sad real sad. life without freedom is not life at all.

Posted by live free | Report as abusive

who do you think trained the taliban when they were fighting russia and gave them money and wepons. i know because i was one of the spec. ops. that did it. the taliban is controlled by england and the u.s.

Posted by gordy three horses | Report as abusive

Smedley Butler said, “War is a racket.” Enough said.

Posted by ernieson | Report as abusive

Welcome to the history of War. Duh.People keep sending your kids to die for the war profiteers.

Posted by Rob Pol | Report as abusive

this isn’t news. this is olds. pat tillman got killed for sending letters home saying US occupation was to manage poppy harvest and fund taliban

Posted by Daniel Plainview | Report as abusive

[...] add a member of the Treasury Department to his staff to pursue the question of Taliban funding. MORE __________________ When Obama be President – he gonna bring [...]

[...] add a member of the Treasury Department to his staff to pursue the question of Taliban funding. MORE __________________ When Obama be President – he gonna bring [...]

US and Obama should know who has become ATM of Taliban after CIA

dis graceful detestable, draconian measures should be taken in afghanistan in stemming funding for the taliban from Us/nato sources. just amazingly disgusting as the sands of that region soak with the youth of american militarys blood im sickened by the business as usual of the money men…unbelievable. the war on drugs is a farcial and useless as the war on terrorism. i hope the global populance will awaken soon and put the Military industrial complex to bed. disheartning.

[...] is funding the Afghan Taliban? We are! Global News Blog Blog Archive Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know | Blog… KABUL ? It is the open secret no one wants to talk about, the unwelcome truth that most prefer to [...]

All of this makes me very disenchanted with everyone’s government, especially my own.

Posted by ringo truth | Report as abusive

I’m curious, does Reuters not do its homework? The Taliban did not become a problem in Afghanistan until they BANNED the growing of poppy. They were trying to clean their country of the drug trade. So why would anyone presume that is where their funding comes from? One of the first actions by the Kharzi government was to once again allow poppy growing and opium production. (yes, our invasion made it possible for this to happen, and our puppet regime carried it out) For a change, I’d like to see a staff writer do some homework into their own stories and point out such inconsistencies with what current officials are spouting off.

Posted by Sam Adams | Report as abusive

Funding the enemy is TREASON. Start the investigations!

Posted by Alan8 | Report as abusive

I thought the CIA and their Pakistani stooges pulled the plug in 1989. They still financing the Taliban to fight them long after the Soviet were history. That’s funny.

Posted by Eldorado | Report as abusive

So, is that how Big Pharm in USA get’s their supplies to make pain killers and the like? Just wondering…..

Posted by USA Toots | Report as abusive

Why should anyone be amazed at the hypothesis formulated by this article? The U.S. government is currently carefully counting every little billion going into public health, but does not even know how much it spends into its “war on terror:” depending on who you ask, the “war” costs between 150 and 500 billions per year. No wonder the “enemy” would grab a few billions!In fact, does the reader remember how the highly sophisticated 9/11 terror attack was financed? We don’t know, because the U.S. government–at least according to the official version–never bothered to look for it.

Posted by Dan Noel | Report as abusive

So, using a purchasing power parity exchange rate, the Taliban are spending….about the equivalent of $42 billion a year. Not bad, we should probably up the ante.

Posted by Gav2269 | Report as abusive

y r footballers getting so much money n all they do is play football and theres our bois in afghanistan killed 4 a little a year. it not fair

Posted by ashley | Report as abusive

The poster below is correct. Funding the enemy IS treason. But if I recall correctly, all major media outlets reported during the invasion that we were not defeating the enemy on the battlefield, but bribing their commanders to join our side. So where do we start the investigation?Retired Commandant of the USMC, Major General Smedley Butler was absolutely correct 75 years ago and nothing has changed. War Is A Racket. The fearmongering (terrorism) directed at the American people and the western world comes more from western governments through the mainstream media than from radical Islamic jihadis. Remember the single issue GWB ran on in 2004? BE AFRAID!The Obama administration seems to have learned something from Bush. Now the greatest terrorist threats, according to DHS, are Veterans and Christians.

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive

Bush AND Cheney are now both free to SHOW US how much they really believe in the wars they started, and just how”PATRIOTIC” they really ARE. They surrounded themselves with flags and LOUDLY proclaimed their “love” of America….. Now they are free to pick up rifles and LEAD the Troops that they ordered, into combat.I am sure those two “HEROS” will be on the next plane to Afghanistan ………………1) FIVE DEFERMENTS to dodge SERVING the Nation during Viet Nam, too busy advancing HIS career.2) HIDES in a secret Bunker during and long after 9/11.3) Now FREE to get a rifle and a plane ticket to Afghanistan where he could LEAD the Troops into COMBAT to show us all how TOUGH he is, he prefers to JACK HIS JAW safely AWAY from any danger.4) “his” KBR/HALLIBURTON has murdered at LEAST three American Troops with faulty wiring in their WAR PROFITEERING in Iraq.Notice NONE of their children ever volunteer……….

Do you know what this sounds like? It sounds like the Taliban is a SUBSIDIARY of HALLIBURTON.Look how much Halliburton/KBR STOLE from the American Taxpayers in Iraq (and still does in all the war-zones). Pallet loads of cash just evaporating.

The question is Who is Richard Holbrooke?http://www.bollyn.com/index.ph p#article_11186

Posted by NotAnIObot | Report as abusive

[...] Read the full story at Reuters Blog [...]

[...] Most of his senior cabinet, including his own brother, are hip-deep in drugs trafficking and graft. Even the U.S. is funding the Taliban via protection money paid by contractors (h/t [...]

To Sam Adams,Yes the Taliban did issue a decree to halt Opium poppy production, however that did not eliminate the actual exportation of the crop.Instead Opium actually became more profitable due to higher prices caused by the cease in production. So they were actually benefiting from the supposed ban.It is like how the Seven sister oil companies were/are benefiting by keeping much of the guarded Iraqi oil off the market.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

[...] Global News Blog » Blog Archive » Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know | Bl…. September 21st, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | [...]

So, it really is coming to seem, the USA created and now uses AlQaida and the Taliban for their own goals. If that weren’t bad enough, the current goals are now aimed at knocking the USA to a lower world position and replacing it by the UN – the One-World Government plan of so many politicians for decades.If you add in that at current rates the world will be dominated by Islam, it all makes sense that Obama not only panders to Islam, was raised in Islam, and is against Israel.As to the bankers/Wall Street that he chose to reward, it seems that they have no religion other than money so they don’t care just who the minions (slaves) under them will be as long as they can be in their towers and “safe” from the “worker bees”.

Posted by stevor | Report as abusive

The real issue people have to worry about are China and a reemerging Russia under Putin. As america’s relative power decreases SCO’s power increases. Brzezinski (trilateral commission) has stated that those who control Eurasia will control the world, which is why he has favored so much intervention into central asia and afghanistan in particular. With blunders like in Georgia however and the declining dollar it seems that the strategy is starting to fall apart.The issue is not about islam taking over the world. No currently about 56-57% of the world population are either christians jews or muslims. The number of muslims in that number is supposed to rise to about 1/3 by 2050. So about 57-68% of the world’s population will be an adherent to an abrahamic faith. You also need to look a recent muslim birth rates, they are decreasing dramatically in the middle east and outside of South Asia especially. Almost all islamic countries are basically failed states or exporting natural resources to prop up their governments, Turkey being the exception.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

[...] lack the structure of LA gangs In Guatemalan gang culture rape and other crimes are encouraged. Global News Journal » Blog Archive » Who is funding the Afghan. Create a free edublog to get your own comment avatar (and [...]

[...] Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters The article by Jean MacKenzie originally appeared in GlobalPost. This is part of a special series by GlobalPost called Life, Death and The Taliban. Click here for a related article Funding the Pakistani Taliban. [...]

[...] the Taliban. While it cannot be quantified beyond unreasonable doubt that the Gulf regimes are actively funding the Taliban, it cannot be argued that these regimes would be anything more than similar paper tiger allies as [...]

[...] the Taliban. While it cannot be quantified beyond unreasonable doubt that the Gulf regimes are actively funding the Taliban, it cannot be argued that these regimes would be anything more than similar paper tiger allies as [...]

[...] a recap.  An estimated half of the Taliban’s funding comes from the protection racket it runs against [...]

[...] in this world, the more that do so, the more things will change… ©copyright//Source::blogs.reuters.com Bookmark [...]

[...] Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know [...]

[...] Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know [...]

[...] is it. This is what Northcom and the War on Terror is really all about. Nothing to do with the American funded Taliban, it’s for the citizens, for us. People are waking up to “Their” plan and they are [...]

[...] i august 2009 refererede Hodjas Blog til en artikel fra Reuters, som bl.a. skrev følgende: The article by Jean MacKenzie originally appeared in GlobalPost. This is part of a special series [...]

[...] 2009 – Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know [...]

how can a third world country like afghanistan be controlled by illitrate, below poverty, talaban rebels and fight a super power and all it’s allies for so long???? so what is our “free press” really telling us idiots???? yeah i figure it’s just a front for more theft of tax payers money and lives. the theives got to say they’re spending it legit on something. might as well give the people over there in the middle east a cut for helping them out. be interesting if the press would do there jobs and report on who these theives really are!!!!

Posted by lynnetime | Report as abusive

[...] The Taliban are also extremely well funded. As was pointed out in a 2009 Reuter’s report, less of this funding comes from narcotics trafficking than was previously believed. Most of it actually comes (indirectly) from outside development assistance. They go around to various tribal leaders and demand payment not to blow up bridges and other reconstruction projects. (see http://blogs.reuters.com/global/2009/08/ 13/who-is-funding-the-afghan-taliban-you -dont-want-to-know/) [...]

[...] over there.” Yes, that’s our BIGGEST FEAR, Stengel! You are 100% Correct. But also, via Reuters: Virtually every major project includes a healthy cut for the insurgents. Call it protection [...]

[...] an omelet or something? Let’s inspect some more “facts” and “data.” Via Reuters: Virtually every major project includes a healthy cut for the insurgents. Call it protection [...]

[...] [...]

Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

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Global Rumblings: 08/01/2009 – 09/01/2009