Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Karzai's Brother on CIA Payroll, N.Y. Times Says

Written by  Charles Scaliger

Ahmed Wali KarzaiAccording to a New York Times report published on October 27, Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, is on the CIA’s payroll. Not only that, Ahmed Karzai is suspected to be involved in the lucrative Afghan opium trade, although Karzai himself denied both CIA and opium connections in a recent interview.

According to the Times report, Ahmed Karzai has been receiving CIA payments for eight years for various services rendered, including the recruitment of an Afghani paramilitary force, the Kandahar Strike Force, operating around the city of Kandahar.

Karzai has acknowledged receiving regular payments from his brother, the president, but has denied knowing where the money was coming from. According to the Times report, the CIA’s relationship with President Karzai’s brother has been an irritant within the Obama Administration as it struggles to formulate a new Afghan policy to deal with the resurgent Taliban. The Afghan insurgency continues to use profits from the opium trade to finance its war against the NATO occupation force and the Karzai government, making CIA support of a prominent suspected opium trafficker problematic, to say the very least.

The CIA-Ahmed Karzai-opium connection, if true, shows yet again the moral follies that inevitably accompany an imperialistic foreign policy of nation-building. By injecting itself into labyrinthine Afghan politics and internal broils, the United States government finds itself forced to take sides and form alliances with individuals and organizations whose aims are at best morally ambiguous, and at worst inimical to American interests in the long run.

Photo of Ahmed Wali Karzai: AP Images

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