Friday, June 21, 2013


Last month I wrote about the CIA giving Afghan President Karzai large sums of cash on a regular basis for a long time.  Both the CIA and the Karzai government acknowledged these payments and the CIA said they would continue.  You may have thought that someone in the U.S. government, perhaps the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would look into this.  Well, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn), the ranking member, has sent three written requests (May 2, May 14 and June 13) to the White House seeking information about the payments.  The White House has not yet replied to any of his three written requests for information.

In his letters, Corker states “I write again to request an explanation of the incoherent United States policy in Afghanistan made evident by the claims of cash payments to President Karzai.  Regarding reducing corruption, he goes on to say “I am deeply concerned that these alleged cash payments undermine these efforts and enhance corruption in Afghanistan.  Even if these alleged payments may have short-term value for the United States from a national security or intelligence perspective, they may be severely counterproductive in the long run.”

Given the responsibilities and authority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this seems like a reasonable request.  The problem could be that there is no “good” answer.


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