The US involvement in Afghanistan corruption

The US government has become so blatantly shameless in its hypocrisy that people have largely stopped even noticing it, treating such behavior as the new normal. For example, who even bothers to comment anymore when the US warns other countries against ‘interfering’ in Iraq when it had actually invaded that country and maintained tens of thousands of troop there? The mindset is that the US essentially considered the whole world its territory.

But sometimes the actions are so bad or so novel that it penetrates this wall of world-weary cynicism. Remember the outrage in 2010 when there were charges (based on the usual anonymous sources that the US government uses when it is engaged in these propaganda efforts) that Iran was secretly giving Afghan president Hamid Karzai bags of money? There were expressions of outrage that Iran would dare to interfere in what was effectively ‘our’ property. Now it turns out that the CIA has been giving Karzai secret bags of cash every month.

Spencer Ackerman looks at what these latest revelations tell us about the mess that is the US involvement in Afghanistan and how difficult it will be to extricate from it. The only winner seems to be Karzai.


  1. says

    Karzai’s hardly a winner. He’s king of Afghanistan. I think that managing a local pub would be safer and confer more power and respect.

  2. maudell says

    I think many Americans don’t realize the asymmetry of their foreign policy. From a Canadian standpoint, it is interesting, because we are similar enough to America to know the culture well, but we don’t have patriotic ties to the US (obviously). Now, I’m not saying that Canada is superior in any way, in fact, I think that if we had the same military power we would be pretty similar.

    Regardless, I have two words to illustrate this culture: Monroe Doctrine.

  3. sailor1031 says

    I seem to remember suitcases full of $100 bills being handed out liberally in Irak back in the day. We’ll know when the crap is about to hit the fan in Afghanistan when Emperor Karzai quietly slips aboard his private jet and wings off to his private Mediterranean island. Just another of the many, many corrupt warlords the USA has partnered with over the years. Anybody remember Bao Dai and Diem?

  4. Bruce Breece says

    “Anybody remember Bao Dai and Diem?” That’s what popped up on my internal screen too, shades of South Vietnam in the early 70’s. A great read about that time and place: The Politics of Heroin by Alfred McCoy

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