In a report that had initially been marked “secret”, the Senate Armed Services Committee has provided the terrible details of corruption in the nine-year war in Afghanistan, now the longest war in American history. Among the revelations:
– 26,000 mercenaries were been operating in Afghanistan as recently as five months ago
– Failure to check the reliability of mercenaries has been a pervasive problem in American operations, not merely a matter of isolated incidents
– American money was used by British mercenary company ArmorGroup to provide 5 cooks and 14 cleaners to a Taliban warlord.
Announcing the release of the report yesterday, Senator Carl Levin declared, “We need to shut off the spigot of U.S. dollars flowing into the pockets of warlords and powerbrokers who act contrary to our interests and contribute to the corruption that weakens the support of the Afghan people for their government.”
In response to these revelations, the Republican senators on the committee appended a complaint that defended the use of mercenary companies and said that the report “fails to acknowledge the positive impact of providing employment to local inhabitants”.