Inspector General: Army Refuses to Stop Giving Contracts to Taliban Backers

Army Insists Information on Backers Is Classified

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko has issued his latest quarterly report to Congress, and once again warned that despite repeated complaints, the US Army is refusing legal requirements to stop doing business with known backers of the Taliban.

Sopko has been warning about the Pentagon giving lucrative contracts to Taliban and al-Qaeda backers since summer of 2013, saying the contractor deals show a growing gap between policy objectives and actual policy.

In the past, the Pentagon has argued that because the evidence of the contractors’ Taliban involvement is classified, they can’t legally use it as a basis for decision-making, because the contractors couldn’t contest the secret info.

Yet the Pentagon seems more than willing to carry out most of the rest of its Afghan policy based on classified assessments, including its wholesale detention of “suspects” across Afghanistan.

The contractor issue seems to boil down to laziness among officials, who don’t want to have to go to the trouble of sorting through their contracts to avoid making deals with people backing the Taliban.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.