More than $150MILLION in U.S. contracts with Afghan companies have gone to groups that back anti-American terrorist attacksBy Meghan Keneally
A new investigation has revealed that the U.S. government has paid more than $150million to groups that fund terror attacks against American soldiers.
The findings have been reported by the Pentagon itself as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction compiled a list of 43 such companies who are connected to Taliban leaders who have arranged bombs and attacks on American targets.
'It's like the United States government subsidizing the Taliban, al Qaeda, the Haqqani network, those groups that are trying to shoot and kill our soldiers,' New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen told ABC News.
The Haqqani Network may be lesser known of those three groups, but they are familiar to security experts.
The group has been blamed for the attack on the American embassy in Kabul in 2011 that left 16 people dead.
Rather than give money to the group directly, the way that American funds have made its way through to the organization is via a road construction company that is owned by the Haqqani Network.
The company is one of 43 such private companies that the government has given contracts to, and although they have denied the connection to the Haqqani Network, the Pentagon still listed them in the report.
Red tape and bureaucracy are keeping these contracts from being immediately pulled in light of the new revelations.
'The reason they've given us is that it's not fair to these contractors that the evidence that we've presented, and this is evidence collected by the United States government, is classified,' said Special Inspector General John Sopko.
'That's the absurdity of it. We can probably attack them via drone on Monday and we'll issue them a contract on Tuesday,' the told ABC News.
All told, the 43 contracts that have been highlighted by Mr Sopko's department's report total more than $150million.
'I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,' Mr Sopko wrote in a report he submitted to Congress last July.
'I feel such a position is not only legally wrong, it is contrary to good public policy and contrary to our national security goals in Afghanistan.'
Following the report, the Army put out a statement saying that the companies have not be awarded new contracts in light of the findings, but they did not say anything about ending the contracts currently in place.
'The army takes seriously any allegations of improper contractor activities and has vigorous processes to ensure that those with whom we do business are not supporting the insurgency or otherwise opposing U.S. and collation forces in Afghanistan,' the statement said.