Wednesday, 1 December 2010

HuffingtonPost: Extortion and Corruption Along The Supply Chain


The House Oversight Committee in June issued a massive report entitled "Warlord, Inc. Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan". The report culminated a six-month investigation into the Pentagon’s “Host Nation Trucking” (HNT) contract. It concluded that
the $2.16 billion contract “fuels warlordism, extortion, and corruption, and it may be a significant source of funding for insurgents.”

The report’s main points:

• Security for the U.S. Supply Chain Is Principally
Provided by Warlords. (The principal private security subcontractors
are warlords, strongmen, commanders and militia leaders who compete
with the Afghan central government for power and authority.)
• The Highway Warlords Run a Protection Racket. (The contractors and
their trucking subcontractors pay tens of millions of dollars annually
to local warlords across Afghanistan in exchange for “protection.”)
• Protection Payments for Safe Passage Are a Significant Potential
Source of Funding for the Taliban. (The highway warlords who provide
security in turn make protection payments to insurgents to coordinate
safe passage.)
• Unaccountable Supply Chain Security Contractors Fuel Corruption.
(There is widespread corruption by Afghan officials and frequent
government extortion along the road. The largest private security
provider for HNT trucks complained that it had to pay $1,000 to
$10,000 in monthly bribes to nearly every Afghan governor, police
chief, and local military unit whose territory the company passed.)

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