US Contractor Funds Still Going to Taliban, Pentagon Admits

Brigadier General Tells Congress Army Still Working to 'Stem the Flow'

Paying for ten years of war in Afghanistan is expensive. But it’s even more expensive when you’re funding both sides of the conflict.

In testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee, top Pentagon official Brigadier General Stephen Townsend conceded that contractor funding is still ending up in the hands of the Taliban.

The comments come a month after the military estimated that $360 million had ended up in the hands of the Taliban and other criminals in Afghanistan, and Townsend would only say that the military is still working on how to “stem the flow.”

The problem is far from a new one though, and for years reports have kept cropping up that contractors are paying “protection” money to the Taliban out of their US funding. The military may be “working on” a solution, but so far that work has not paid dividends.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.