Afghan Positions Being Overrun By Taliban Due To Nonexistent “Ghost Soldiers” Used To Funnel Money To Corrupt Afghan Officials

200px-Army_of_the_deadAs the Taliban probes the strength of Afghan forces, they are finding it an easier task than anticipated with a sizable number of the Afghan force constituted of “ghost soldiers.” As much as half of the soldiers in frontline positions are missing. We previously discussed the same problem of “ghost soldiers” in Iraq who are paid soldiers but only exist on paper as part of the widespread corruption of that country. The Taliban are finding forward positions with only half of the troops claimed on paper. Something tells me that these same Afghan officers and officials will claim that, while the real soldiers perished at their under-manned outposts, their “ghost soldiers” somehow miraculously survived and will continue to fight . . . and draw pay.

Now, after pocketing money for years, Afghan officials are calling forth nonexistent soldiers to defend their country — a perfect embodiment of the hopes of a country betrayed by its own leaders.

Senior policy and army officials have left their country in peril due to their insatiable greed.  It turns out that the Taliban uses real soldiers. Estimates put the percentage of nonexistent soldiers at 40 percent of the Afghan army, a shocking level of corruption even for Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, a ghost army did not fare well and the Taliban has now seized some 65 percent of Helmand province — Afghanistan’s largest. The provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, could fall.

We have been discussing for years how the United States tolerated and even fostered corruption in Afghanistan. I have previously written about the waste of billions of dollars by the government without any significant discipline of government officials. We have become accustomed to reports of unimaginable corruption and waste in Afghanistan from bags of money delivered to officials to constructing huge buildings immediately torn down to buying aircraft that cannot be used to buildings that seem to “melt away”. Much like our useless campaign against poppy production where we continued to spend billions because no one had the courage to end or change the program.

What I am waiting for is the slew of family and funeral expense claims for “ghost soldiers” killed in the offensive by these same corrupt Afghan officers and officials.


Source: AP

45 thoughts on “Afghan Positions Being Overrun By Taliban Due To Nonexistent “Ghost Soldiers” Used To Funnel Money To Corrupt Afghan Officials”

  1. We should elect a President who proclaims in advance that he or she is against America being the Policeman of The World. Take the Muddle East and ISIS. Something needs to be done with huge use of force. The term “boots on the ground” really means humans wearing boots and carrying rifles and on the ground to fight war. IF the Europeans and others will put some humans wearing boots on the ground armed with rifles and more then and only then, we, the Americans should consider joining. There was a song out in the 70s or so called Leader of The Pack. We should not sing that song as we send trillions off to the thieves in Afghanistan. It is a “Stan” territory. Get it? All those Stan territories are in the ambit of Russia. We need Putin to join the fray and invade. Today. Maybe women in Afghanistan will be able to go back to college and med school.

  2. And yet many of the same people who decry the abject government waste and corruption in Afghanistan still proclaim that we should have single payor healthcare. It will be a panacea. They totally ignore that veterans died because of fraud that went unpunished in our one single payor system, the VA. Those who engaged in this fraud are still working for the government, still getting massive 15% bonuses.

  3. It’s true, corruption is rife in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, too. It makes it very difficult to aid Afghanistan, when you know you’re throwing money down a hole of extremism.

    But what absolutely haunts me about our efforts in Afghanistan is when our government looked the other way when Afghani officers brought boys to the base to rape. Our soldiers and marines were told to ignore it as a cultural difference, and were punished for protesting.

    Sorry, but honor demands that any man or woman who witnesses such an atrocity stop it, get the guy arrested, and if he gets the tar beaten out of him between the two, so be it.

    I hope every officer and government official who approved the policy of ignoring get court-martialed or charged in civilian court, fired, and disgraced.

    The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.

    “The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

    The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.

    After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

    Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.

    “The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who hopes to save Sergeant Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general.

    In Sergeant Martland’s case, the Army said it could not comment because of the Privacy Act.

    When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.

    This is the inescapable problem in the Middle East, including Syria. It is not like Canada, that shares our values. Which side do you pick? We employ the enemy of my enemy is my friend technique, which can be useful at the time, but we inevitably train and arm bad people. They don’t suddenly have respect for women, tolerance for other faiths, or modern values. That has to arise from within, and it is very difficult to impose without taking over the country permanently. In Syria we have Assaad killing thousands of men, women, and children, and we have ISIS fighting Assad, and also killing men, women, and children. The good people are crushed between oppositional forces of extremism.

    What a mess. Perhaps the best approach is punative bombing and getting out. National building does not work. Look at all the money we’ve spent trying to build a democracy, only to realize they never fixed their core corrupt foundation. And looking the other way at child rape because of “cultural differences” is unacceptable.

  4. The American people are the suckers here. SUCKERS! Military industrial zionist financist complex shearing you like so many sheeple!

    Oooo, the Taliban, the ones that elminated the poppy trade and bacha bazi, and who brings them back? OUR ALLIES! As bad as the Saudis.

  5. Paul,

    Saudi Arabia created the Afghan mess with help of Osama Bin Laden and $250 million cash.

    It’s the fog of war. This video shows UK NATO unit calling in a U.S. air strike from B-1B dropping 2000 pound bombs on the Taliban. I don’t like the Taliban. So there!

  6. Some of you old enough to have been cognizant of world affairs, and who have a memory, might recall the days when the Russians occupied and controlled Afghanistan. They were liberal in that they forced some schools there to admit females. They stomped down the radical Islamics. But, then along came America. We hired guerrillas to go into Afghanistan and create a rebellion and war on the Soviets. The present day al Qaeda forces such as that aimen al sawarhi guy (or however ya spull it) was then, 1980, an arab doctor living in Luxor, Egypt.

    When the Russians fled, all hell broke loose. We in America are much worse off. There is something to be said for forces in power who will suppress the nuts and radicals who live in their midst. Dictators are necessary in pirate territories. Now we Americans, and some so called NATO ‘allies’ are caught in the muddle. This is not even the Muddle East. It is Way East of Corfu.

    So, I say to Obama and all the candidates, Pull Out Now– Like Your Father Should Have.
    They are already in hell and I am not sure if they got there by handbasket or not. We have spent trillions for defense and a whole lot of tribute to boot. Boot out any Congressman who supports this fiasco. Tell em, on their way out, that grandpa needs a raise in the social security this year.

  7. Jake, I find your link to the A10 strike most disturbing. Now I know nothing about you, but if your intent was to show how great we (the U.S.) are then you are the embodiment of what is wrong with this country.

    Did this person just commit some atrocity that deserved his killing? I suspect he/she is just another one of those “suspected” terrorists that we have been killing. The problem is that we have heard that word “suspected” so often that we just ignore it, He/She must be a terrorist, therefore deserves to die.

    This country has become a war mongering state that is a true threat to civilization on this planet. We made a mess in Iran then left, we have made a mess of Vietnam, then left, we made a mess of Chile, then left, we made a mess of Central America, then left. Now we are in the process of making a mess in the Middle East, and we will likely just walk away, shrug our shoulders and say, what a mess.

    We created the Afghan mess, We created the mess in Iran that culminated in the 1979 revolution. Vietnam recovered from our massive bombing campaign to become a somewhat descent country. What about our killings in Laos? Cambodia?

    This country has gone completely mad if it thinks that military action and bombing campaigns (with A10s or drones) is the answer to anything that doesn’t look like America.

    We are creating terrorists. Can we just stop for a minute and talk to people? The way ISIS treats people is abominable, They are a direct result of our meddling in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. How about we just stop killing people. And please, not celebrate the killing of people on motor scooters.

    1. Paul – you act as though this were something new. During Desert Storm 1/3 of the Coalition Troops killed and injured were hit by friendly fire. How did that happen you ask. Mostly because the victims got into the wrong place. Kuwait was broken into 15 sq mi. Kill Boxes for the Air Forces. Anything that moved in those Kill Boxes was going to die. For example, a British unit got into the Kill Box of an A-10 by accident. 9 dead,
      Fratricide is common in warfare. S**t happens.

  8. It would appear the Afghan officials were fans of The Sopranos. Their crooked unions[they’re all crooked to varying degrees] all had “No Show” jobs.

  9. phillyT,

    Any of that missing cash wind up in the Clinton foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State?

  10. This is only slightly amusing because if it were not amusing it would be tragic.

    The pentagon has “lost” some $5.8 Billion in the last few years.

    Eight Billion in cash went missing in Iraq. Cash.

    And Reuters recently reported that the Pentagon is unable to account for some $8 Trillion, that’s “trillion” with a “T”, since 1996.

    And we are asking them to look into missing money in Afghanistan? That’s comedy, folks.

  11. The U.S. has very poor oversight of how money is spent right here at home. Why would they put any effort into seeing how it’s spent in Afghanistan, or any other country for that matter. It’s a crime or should be.

  12. When money is given to foster corruption, money is taken to look the other way.

  13. When men take money but fail to fight for the interests of foreign capitalists who have slaughtered and destroyed most of their country, that is not “corruption”. That is common sense.

  14. It seems that there is little to no oversight when the US, and perhaps other countries, fork over aid to these culturally different nations. Perhaps more Americans should be employed in place distributing the money precisely as it is needed. Good high paying jobs for Americans who are willing to take the risks of confronting cultural differences. Then the department could be expanded to perform oversight and verification back home here in the US. It should be included in the cost of giving away money.

  15. A-10 Thunder Bolt blasts Taliban on scooter off face of planet Earth. Guess who the ghost is?

  16. So where is the Pentagon’s Inspector General and his team of internal auditors? Are they ghost employees as well? It would seem that the U.S. must have some type of audit system in place to assure that taxpayer funds are being spent as tended and properly accounted for. Even in a country such as Afghanistan, if the expenditures can’t be reasonably accounted for, the program should be rescinded. I recall there was a federal agency called the Defense Contract Audit Agency that interviewed at my university. DCAA and IRS were always competing for accounting majors. Does DCAA still exist? And what about Congressional oversight? The checks and balances are clearly missing here. Some heads should roll…..

  17. If you know then people at the Prntagon know. It is time for some investigations and prosecutions of American officials who allowed this to continue. It is also time for the US to find and punish this Afgani officials who have absconded with our money!

    What is wrong with our leaders?

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