We Pay Afghan Soldiers Less Than the Taliban Does

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Perhaps the biggest unexpected fact to emerge in the hearing comes in response to a question from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). According to Gen. McChrystal, the Taliban pays its soldiers about $300 U.S. per month — which is more than the U.S.-sponsored Afghan government does.

It’s a shame Chambliss moved on so quickly, but he made the essential point. McChrystal said that in coordination with the Afghan government, the pay scale for the Afghan security forces has just almost doubled, to the point where it’s “almost at parity” with the Taliban now. Of course, that still means the Taliban pays its recruits more than the Afghan government does. And if the Obama administration and NATO are correct that many Taliban foot soldiers essentially fight because of economic opportunity, then this is a glaring, flashing red light of a problem.

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Tweets that mention We Pay Afghan Soldiers Less Than the Taliban Does « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
Pingback posted December 8, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by TWI_news: We Pay Afghan Soldiers Less Than the Taliban Does http://bit.ly/4z4ySa...


strangely_enough
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

When you consider what we pay our own soldiers, versus what we pay them when they go to work for Blackwater, Triple Canopy, and the rest of the merc's, seems to be a pattern.


Matthew Yglesias » The Price of Soldiering
Pingback posted December 8, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

[...] seems to have made some news at today’s hearings with the revelation that the Taliban pays higher wages than the Afghan government for a soldiers. As Spencer Ackerman says “if the Obama [...]


AfPak: The Counter-Intuitive Strategy | One Utah
Pingback posted December 8, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

[...] Today on Capitol Hill, General McChrystal identified one fairly large problem: the Taliban pays its fighters more than the Afghan Army pays theirs. Share [...]


badtux
Comment posted December 9, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

Sad to say, this isn't going to change as long as the Afghan government is thoroughly corrupt. We had the same problem in South Vietnam. We gave the South Vietnamese government enough money to pay the troops, but the paymasters tended to embezzle the money into their Swiss bank accounts rather than paying the troops with it. There's many a restaurant here in the USA that was started with money that was intended to be paid to ARVN soldiers.

Anyhow, the eventual result in South Vietnam was that the troops basically said, “no pay, no play” and, lacking any allegiance to any nation (since there was no real South Vietnamese national identity, no leader had built a cult of nationhood there just as Afghans don't view themselves as Afghans but, rather, as members of an ethnic group or clan) saw no reason to fight hard. During the final offensive after their leadership mostly fled the country they by and large threw down their weapons and stripped off their uniforms and went home. Both NVA veterans and civilians who later escaped report that the streets of Saigon were littered with thrown-down weapons and uniforms as the NVA entered virtually unopposed.

What that history says about our chances in Afghanistan… you connect the dots yourself, okay?


The Cost of War « Just Above Sunset
Pingback posted December 10, 2009 @ 3:20 am

[...] be that as it may, Spencer Ackerman here notices an interesting bit of testimony from General McChrystal about the Taliban – they’re [...]


Hockey » Blog Archive » The Cost of War « Just Above Sunset
Pingback posted December 10, 2009 @ 5:54 am

[...] be that as it may, Spencer Ackerman here notices an interesting bit of testimony from General McChrystal about the Taliban – they’re [...]


Name
Comment posted December 14, 2009 @ 12:30 am

It's shocking to me on first blush, too. But thinking about it… isn't this always the way? The mafia pays better than the NYPD, the Mexican drug gangs surely pay better than the Mexican army. Heck, private defense attorneys make more than the D.A.s they go up against, if you want to push the metaphor.

Isn't there just supposed to be something to being “one of the good guys” that's it's own reward?

I dunno… maybe that doesn't apply here, since “good guys” and “bad guys” is probably not how the average Afghan sees it (or if they do, they might see it the other way 'round).


Name
Comment posted December 14, 2009 @ 5:30 am

It's shocking to me on first blush, too. But thinking about it… isn't this always the way? The mafia pays better than the NYPD, the Mexican drug gangs surely pay better than the Mexican army. Heck, private defense attorneys make more than the D.A.s they go up against, if you want to push the metaphor.

Isn't there just supposed to be something to being “one of the good guys” that's it's own reward?

I dunno… maybe that doesn't apply here, since “good guys” and “bad guys” is probably not how the average Afghan sees it (or if they do, they might see it the other way 'round).


Taliban Pays Its Troops Better Than Karzai Pays His « Overseas Civilian Contractors
Pingback posted July 27, 2010 @ 9:28 am

[...] Stanley McChrystal testified to Congress that the pay scale of the Afghan security forces was “almost at parity” with the estimated $300 that the Taliban pays its foot soldiers per month. But look at the [...]


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