US Army Contracts Made Afghan Billionaires


In the wake of the chaos that accompanied the exit of the Americans from Afghanistan, and the efforts to expel those who cooperated with them during the past two decades, the American media began studying the war that lasted all those years, and the huge material cost was remarkable, as it exceeded two trillion dollars, most of which is supposed to have gone into a war. Many do not know its details, as are the attempts to build a government and perhaps a civilian Afghan state loyal to Washington.

While he was receiving accusations because of the tragic scene of the departure of his forces, US President Joe Biden Jam poured his anger on the Afghans, the leadership and the army, because of their failure to defend their country, which took only nine days to completely fall into the hands of the Taliban, and hundreds of billions spent in the wind. .

The Cost of War Project, affiliated with Brown University, estimated the daily cost of that war to American taxpayers at no less than $290 million, over a period of 7,300 days, but it left only remnants of weapons, abandoned bases, and incomplete defense projects.

On the other hand, America’s billions have caused the creation of a new class of war-rich people, whom the American media called “September 11 millionaires,” who were able to raise millions of dollars through their work as contractors and suppliers to the American forces in Afghanistan, and became stars to be emulated by thousands of young people. Afghans, especially in light of the severe weakness that afflicted the country’s economy, and destroyed the hopes of most of them for a decent life. The Afghan economy was considered among the 6 weakest economies in the world in 2020, according to data from the World Bank.

Away from the huge, undiscovered wealth that many talk about its presence in Afghan lands, and in light of a small economy the size of the Afghan economy, it was only natural that hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the Americans there caused the emergence and spread of corruption, and its out of control, so that the Ryan Crocker, the former US ambassador to Afghanistan, said in an interview with CNN that “the main reason for the failure of our efforts in Afghanistan was not the insurgency (meaning resisting the Taliban forces), but the weight of corruption that is rampant in the country.”

And Crocker, who was among 500 people questioned to find out what happened in Afghanistan, as part of a project called “Lessons Learned”, considered that the United States was primarily responsible for the existence of corruption in Afghanistan, adding, “You cannot pump all that money into a society and a country.” This fragility and you imagine that this will not ignite corruption.”

In the early days of the invasion of Afghanistan, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and unlike what happened during the invasion of Iraq, the Americans preferred to use local suppliers in government projects funded by the American government, considering that this might allow, in addition to pumping money into the exhausted economy after the years of the Soviets and what It was followed by confusion, by building networks of interests with citizens, and facilitating the tasks of the Americans by introducing them to the mysteries of the difficult-to-reach country, as well as helping to train local suppliers in the American way of business.

These steps allowed many of those who initially worked as translators for the US military to become millionaires after obtaining some government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

And American media talked about two people by name, the first of whom was an English language teacher, before he was appointed as a translator for the American forces upon their arrival in Afghanistan, and then to establish, after a period of time, a company through which he could contract with those forces to supply food and fuel to them, so that his company now becomes a huge empire that owns A TV channel, several factories, real estate, trucks, and a startup airline, all in Afghanistan, more than most people would imagine being in this war-weary country.

The other is not much different, as he also started as a translator for the American forces, to rent after five years a truck and through which he supplies fuel and food commodities to those forces, then to expand in renting and buying trucks, and in the types and quantities of goods he supplies, and his profits increase with the increase in the number of American forces, Even CNBC reported that the total amount he received from US forces during the period from 2007 to 2012 amounted to 167 million dollars, before it was discovered that he had tampered with bills, and not completed the tasks for which he obtained funds to carry out, and also transferred money to one of the dealers. With the Taliban, the US government would recover some assets from him, whose value was estimated at about $25 million, despite the support of quite a few American soldiers during the investigations.

Profiting from the US military in Afghanistan was not limited to Afghans, as a report prepared by Bloomberg several years ago referred to a company founded by an American in the Netherlands, and the agency said that its revenues had multiplied 50 times, to reach $5.5 billion in 2011, after it was able to obtain contracts to supply meals High-quality food supplies to US forces in Afghanistan for ten years.

The company’s financial official said that 90% of its revenues came from its business in Afghanistan, and a Defense Ministry official was appointed as CEO of the company in 2009, and the company would get a new contract, worth several billion dollars, one year later, with direct attribution.

In 2014, the company admitted to fraud and fraud, and paid a fine of about 389 million dollars to the US government, but the fines and refunds were the exception in the corruption cases in Afghanistan during the past twenty years, while dozens of other cases went unnoticed.

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