The Scotsman has an article today about how the Taliban are being bribed to hold off attacks prior to the Afghan elections on Thursday. That is just the tip of the iceberg to do with the Taliban receiving our money.
After reading OldRightie's post, I decided to investigate where our aid money goes in Afghanistan.
Before you read further you must read How you are funding the Taliban.
We are regularly told by the Westminster government that our aid money is going towards large scale infrastructure projects in Helmand, projects including a major road and hydro-electric plant. Also £18m is being spent on agriculture and rural enterprise development for young men and women in rural areas of Afghanistan.
Did you know we supply the Taliban with free bomb making materials? The fertiliser for agricultural projects is brought from Pakistan and we probably pay a 'tax' to the Taliban to ensure its safe arrival. Then we give it to the Taliban.
I'm also very reliably informed that to get supplies to British troops from across the Pakistan border, the transport contractors have to pay the Taliban a 'tax' for safe passage. This is built into the price we pay the contractor. My source states: We do not pay direct... in order to maintain "plausible deniability".
The UK is the third largest development aid donor (after the US and European Commission), giving just over £100m every year since 2004-2005, 80% of which is channelled through the central government. The fact that the Afghan state relies almost entirely on external capital and the provision of military support undermines its domestic legitimacy and this deters it from considering durable solutions and lasting peace. The security of one's family is the primary determinant of Afghan loyalty and Afghans know better than anyone how inherently precarious their position is if they are seen to be too close to NATO or ISAF forces.
One of the reasons Afghans can be hired but not bought is that they have an acute sense of history and of the relatively brief presence of foreigners in their country. Reflecting on the 10 year Soviet occupation of the 80s, many Afghans know there is nothing unique about this latest attempt to bring 'peace and development' to their country.
So far the cost to the British taxpayer of the Afghanistan 'conflict' is £12 billion. Losing the Plot - Britain's losses in Afghanistan is a must read to see the overall picture.
Am I any more informed as to why our troops are fighting in this war? No, but I am certainly more aware of how the Taliban survive and expand. We are giving them the money to make their bombs and IEDs to kill our soldiers.
The despair of the killings is felt by this writer. He gives little about his identity but from his post I think he is a Pakistani based IT consultant.