March 18, 2015: Strategy Page
It was recently revealed (during the American trial of an al Qaeda leader) that the CIA provided 20 percent of the $5 million ransom paid for an Afghan diplomat kidnapped by al Qaeda in Pakistan in 2008. This was not intentional. The American money was part of cash provided to the Afghan president each month to keep him in a cooperative mood (in other words, a bribe). The use of bribes in Afghanistan is not news as it was admitted during late 2001 that cash bribes were paid to persuade some tribal leaders to rise up against the Taliban in support of a quick campaign to overthrow the Taliban government by the end of 2001. That use of bribes was not a surprise in 2001 because during the 1980s when the U.S. supported the Afghan tribesmen fighting the Russian troops in Afghanistan it became widely known that cash (for tribal leaders) as well as weapons were required to keep the anti-Russian resistance going. That was not a surprise in the 1980s because anyone who has even had dealings with the Pushtun tribes (going back to Alexander The Great some 2,500 years ago) reported the same thing. Outsiders consider this rampant use of bribery a major problem but so far no one has come up with a cure.