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Is McChrystal scandal 'wagging the dog' for an even bigger story?

Posted By Crush • [June 23, 2010]

The scandal surrounding the release of the Rolling Stone profile on McChrystal may have been designed to shift the media's attention away from the real story - the release of the Congressional report on tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars going to the Taliban and Afghan warlords in a mafia-style protection racket.

The Host Nation Trucking contract for moving NATO supplies into Afghanistan is worth $2.16 billion. And much of that money, has ended up in the hands of corrupt Afghan warlords as well as the Taliban. But thanks to the media circus surrounding McChrystal, a major story that incriminates not only the DoD, but also the Obama administration has gone virtually unnoticed. This major story isn't on the front page of any newspaper or website that I can find. No mention at any think tank or influence group. Coincidence? Entirely possible. But consider that the government has known the release date of the investigation for months.

While "The Runaway General" is an indictment of the current Rules of Engagement and the COIN strategy in Afghanistan, Gary H. Johnson, Jr.'s piece "The McChrystal Flap" places Michael Hasting's bombshell report into context with the problematic private security contractor situation centered in Kandahar.

Warlord, Inc. details that the security for the U.S. supply chain is “principally” generated by a warlord protection racket.  This protection racket is a potential source of funding for the Taliban, fuels corruption in Afghanistan and undermines counterinsurgency operations.

[...]

The U.S. Department of Defense had four major opportunities to step up and seal the breach in the failed elements of the supply chain; but, it chose, instead, to continue down the path of a failed policy – a policy, which has crippled all political shaping efforts in Kandahar, and has literally created an environment in which upwards of 70,000 armed Afghan civilians are operating with differing levels of oversight and regulation throughout Afghanistan.

[...]

The blood of all coalition soldiers and civilians, the blood of all Afghan and foreign contractors, who have died along the supply routes in southern Afghanistan since the signing of the HNT contract, falls to the hands of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If our government desires victory in Afghanistan - and I don't think they do - wouldn't it be better to have convoys that we could trust delivering our supplies? American military truck drivers may cost more, but they are exponentially more reliable. Besides, I would rather my tax dollars go to loyal Americans rather than to corrupt warlords and the Taliban. Full victory, nothing else.

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