The results of an internal study by the Pentagon shows that monies paid to trucking contracts sometimes end up in the hands of the Taliban.
Cash from part of a $2.16 billion U.S. transportation contract in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon said on Monday.
The disclosure is another example of the persistent difficulty the U.S. military has in keeping its massive war funding from reaching the insurgents it is fighting in the unpopular, decade-old Afghan war.
The United States is spending more than $6 billion a month in the conflict.
Pentagon officials have repeatedly warned of the need to tighten controls on U.S. contracts and last year announced the creation of a task force to crack down on misuse of funds by contractors, some of whom pay Taliban protection money.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the discovery of the siphoning of funds from the trucking contract was part of that previously announced effort. He said the U.S. military's Central Command, which oversees the Afghan war, aimed to sign a new trucking contract in September.
There's probably a lot more of that in other areas. Private contracts don't like to get shot at or blown up so paying the Taliban not to kill them makes perfect business sense.
How that fits into fighting and winning a war is another matter.