Friday, October 30, 2020
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For Karzai, It’s About His Authority and 10%

It isn't civilian casualties. It isn't the party hearty drinking, lurid behavior or frequenting Kabul brothels. It isn't even the bribes paid by contractors to the Taliban. Karzai sees an opportunity to take control of the funding and the patronage it buys, bringing potential challengers close to the breast.  

The majority of the contractors are not Americans or third country nationals. They include local militias large and small; mafia-like "insurance" providers. They are organized paramilitary forces and bands of thugs whose loyalty is bought and paid. This payoff money is funneled directly to them without the opportunity for a cut at the federal or provincial levels. To the Karzai government, they are a parallel shadow government. In reality they may be.