"Wardak sits atop a murky pyramid of Afghan subcontractors who provide the vehicles and safeguard their passage. U.S. military officials say they are satisfied with the results, but they concede that they have little knowledge or control over where the money ends up.
According to senior Obama administration officials, some of it may be going to the Taliban, as part of a protection racket in which insurgents and local warlords are paid to allow the trucks unimpeded passage, often sending their own vehicles to accompany the convoys through their areas of control.
The essential question, said an American executive whose company does significant work in Afghanistan, is "whether you'd rather pay $1,000" for Afghans to safely deliver a truck, even if part of the money goes to the insurgents, or pay 10 times that much for security provided by the U.S. military or contractors.
President Obama made a surprise trip to the country Sunday to press President Hamid Karzai to do more to clean up corruption in Afghanistan. Congress has warned repeatedly that U.S. assistance depends on progress in this area.
The likelihood that U.S. money is finding its way to the enemy as well as lining officials' pockets — charges that Wardak says could be true for other transport contractors but not for his company — is "one of the many very important things that came to light" during last fall's White House strategy review, an administration official said." de Young
Wardak's father is the Afghan Minister of Defense. This may all be innocent, but how likely is that? A $360 million contract for doing what, exactly? Hiring sub-contractors? This is a "pass through" on a truly grand scale.
1- Do we know that this is the only DoD contract in which the younger Wardak has his fingers?
2- How was this contract awarded? Were normal contracting procedures followed?
3- What happens to our supply chain if Wardak loses the contract? pl
I fear all ‘normal’ contracting procedures ended with the Bush/Cheney regime. The corruption Cheney engaged in appears to be the new ‘normal’. Military procurement has ALWAYS been ripe for chicanery but now seems unstoppable and unsustainable.
you should also ask who is trucking all our stuff from Karachi to Peshwar. Hint: it isn’t the good guys.
Wardak the younger seems to be following in his father’s footsteps. Wardak the senior has a long history of involvement with USG and DOD extending well before 9/11. He is entrepreneurial or what others may call overly aggressive, manipulative and deceptive. In either case, he is successful at what he does. My guess is that he is very proud of his son’s entrepreneurial success. If the Wardaks were not “on our side,” their entrepreneurialship would no doubt have caused them to become highly dangerous HVTs. I wouldn’t trust them with anything of value to me, but I think the Wardaks and others like them will shape the future of Afghanistan.
As far as paying warlords and Taliban protection money for not stealing and/or burning all the supplies needed by our forces in Afghanistan, well, do you want the stuff to get through or not? If we want to play “The Great Game,” then we have to play by the existing rules… or invest the blood and treasure necessary to try to change the rules.
Perhaps it would make more sense if young Wardak were to change his name to “Milo Minderbinder.”
“play by the existing rules… or invest the blood and treasure necessary to try to change the rules.”
Perhaps those inside the beltway should realize it is past time to spend less of our blood and treasure and more of thiers – it’s thier country, let them fight for it.
Following the money should be feasible. “The Carpet Wars”, a book on the Persian carpet industry, has a few paragraphs detailing the sophistication of financial services in the region. You can pay by cheque, American express, Visa, direct debit, etc. in the middle of nowhere thanks to satellite telephone.
I would expect that the NSA would overhear Mr. Wardaks instructions to his bankers in Europe, Dubhai, etc. and perhaps a distillation of this information is driving Preisdent Obama.
twenty dolla me luv you long time, was what GI’s got in Vietnam, twenty billion dolla me help your war and no sex for GI’s is today’s war
Ah, the US government is funding both sides of the war. Talk about a self-licking ice cream cone!
This all goes back to the Clinton Administration, if not before. Remember “Reinventing Government”? Eliminate burdensome rules and regulations.
A whole infrastructure of crony capitalists has been built on corruption and a never ending war to kept the money flowing. To fight the war to win; “pay 10 times that much for security provided by the U.S. military” and draft enough young American boys and girls to secure every village in Afghanistan; would instantly destroy their cash flow edifice. So, a colonial war of occupation by undermanned foreign infields continues unabated until the Empire finally falls into its sea of debt..
Lets not forget Cheney’s involvement as Secretary of Defense and subsequent move to AEI and then Halliburton as CEO. That’s only the ’90s. Corporate corruption in military procurement is as old as the Republic.