Thursday, July 08, 2010

Why we will end up losing in Afghanistan (hint: it's the Republicans' fault)

Republicans have a madness for privatizing everything. We are fighting two wars, so you'd think we'd need to expand our military, right? No, no, no says the Republican Party: let's get contractors to do everything. In Afghanistan there is very little that the contractors haven't screwed up. They've wasted and stolen tens, maybe hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer money. American taxpayers were conned into paying for the reconstruction of Afghanistan by contractors who are just stealing the money. And what's latest outrage you ask? What is the most recent example of (Republican) contractors undermining the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan?
If you'll forgive a gross oversimplification, the basic task of the United States in Afghanistan is to establish some basic governing institutions in the country that will outpace the radical elements of the Taliban in providing for the Afghan people, in the hopes that we will "win hearts and minds."

Here's the bad news: according to the Washington Post, a new survey of Afghans emphasizes that Afghans "see their country's police and judicial officials as the most corrupt in the government."

But the really bad news is that the Afghan government is getting some serious competition in the corruption department, and it's coming from a homegrown source. As Carlotta Gall reports in today's New York Times, U.S. contractors are basically running amok, and screwing the Afghans out of all sorts of money!
Yep, the (Republican) contractors are screwing over ordinary Afghans in order to pad their own bottom lines.
A number of Afghan construction companies working on contracts for American and NATO military bases in Afghanistan have accused American middlemen of reneging on payments for supplies and services, and in one case of leaving the country owing Afghan companies hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars.

The failure of American companies to pay for contracted work has left hundreds of Afghan workers unpaid in southern Afghanistan, and dozens of factories and small businesses so deep in debt that Afghan and foreign officials fear the fallout will undermine the United States-led counterinsurgency effort to win the support of the Afghan people.
You have to read this reporting. (Republican) contractors have probably cost us the war in Afghanistan.

While our friends, family members, and neighbors put their lives on the line, (Republican) contractors are robbing us blind and undermining the war effort.

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