Behold the strategic genius of the world’s most lavishly funded intelligence agency:
KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.
All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader… The new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.
Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.
“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.”
But don’t worry. Mr Karzai is an equal-opportunity money pit:
The United States was not alone in delivering cash to the president. Mr. Karzai acknowledged a few years ago that Iran regularly gave bags of cash to one of his top aides.
I would wager the mullahs are paying a lot less than American taxpayers – and getting better client service:
It is not clear that the United States is getting what it pays for.
You don’t say! It seems “stimulus” doesn’t work any better in Kabul than it does over here – and say what you like about Afghanistan but it’s certainly shovel-ready.