Reopened NATO Supply Routes Mean Millions for Taliban

Apparently, the US can't do anything right in the lost war in Afghanistan

by John Glaser, July 31, 2012

After seven months of blockade, the US and Pakistan on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding reopening NATO supply routes to Afghanistan. And the Taliban are reportedly happy about it.

The reopening of the supply routes means the US can move arms and equipment to its troops occupying Afghanistan for billions of dollars cheaper than going through the northern route. Additionally, it means that the Pakistani government will again be eligible for increase US aid.

But the two uneasy allies aren’t the only ones getting a monetary benefit from the agreement. In 2010, the Taliban and related warlords managed to raise $360 million, and┬ámore than half that amount stolen from convoys along the supply routes.

“Stopping these supplies caused us real trouble,” one Taliban commander told the Associated Press. “Earnings dropped down pretty badly. Therefore the rebellion was not as strong as we had planned.”

“We are able to make money in bundles,” another commander told the AP. “Therefore, the NATO supply is very important for us.”

Essentially, even when the clumsy US counterinsurgency mission  believes itself to have gained a strategic advantage in the lost war in Afghanistan, it unknowingly screws itself and benefits the enemy.

Last 5 posts by John Glaser