Inspector General: US Gave Taliban Backers $150 Million in Contracts

No Law Against State Dept Giving Terrorists Contracts

US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko has revealed that since 2008, the US government has granted more than $150 million in reconstruction contracts to known supporters of the Taliban and other insurgent factions.

Scandals surround this have been going on for years, with both SIGAR and Centcom warning that large sums of money from various contracts were ending up in Taliban hands, a significant source of income for the insurgency for the past several years of the occupation.

Sopko says that despite several high profile warnings, there has still been little to no effort that the Army or anyone else to get a handle on the problem, saying it was troubling that the US was willing to put so much effort into killing terrorists but seemed resigned to the idea that there was no way to keep them from winning contracts.

The law also seems to be a serious obstacle, as a ban on giving terrorists government contracts only applies on bigger contracts from the military, and doesn’t apply to the State Department or USAID at all.

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.