General Stephen Townsend told a Congressional committee that hundreds of millions of dollars being paid in Afghanistan to companies which do construction eventually winds up in the hands of the Taliban. “It is clear to us that some of the money is going to the insurgency.” Or, the money is also going to power brokers, criminals and assorted members of the Afghan government. People like President Karzai simply argue that is the way things are done in his country and you just can’t teach a dog new tricks.
Perhaps, there is a way to short cut the entire process and simply put the Taliban on our payroll. Why not have regular payments to members of the Taliban armed forces, but insist they pay Social Security taxes and some income tax. That way we can keep records of which members of the Taliban are on our payroll. It also means we can threaten those who do not pay our taxes that they will be taken off the payroll. Perhaps, if the Taliban worked for the US government, we can more quickly end this conflict!