It is bizarre, but nothing about the involvement of the US in Afghanistan should surprise anyone: the New York Times revealed in an article yesterday that the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai is apparently being bankrolled by the CIA. Ahmed Wali Karzai is also suspected of being heavily involved in the opium trade.
Part of the money being channelled seems to be paying for the maintenance of a paramilitary force, which doesn’t augur well for any notion of building a coherent state from which the USA can ultimately withdraw, with the confidence that it will hold together.
Also in the less than desirable category is the funding of someone involved in the drug trade, when the US is supposedly moving to cut back what is a lucrative revenue stream for the Taliban.
It’s sad, it’s baffling, but as previously noted, not surprising: the US has been greasing palms in the area since the time when the Russians marched in around thirty years ago. The duplicity of the CIA towards those whom it recruited earlier on – such as Osama bin Laden – has already had terrible consequences.
Here is one area where the Obama Administration needs to get a grip, and do it quickly.