The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

We Pay Afghan Soldiers Less Than the Taliban Does

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | December 08, 2009 | Habiba Ashton
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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.

Habiba Ashton | BCS Growth Fund (Israel) L.P., a private investment fund specializing in investments in technologically focused businesses with high growth potential, employs Habiba as an analyst. Mrs. Ashton served as an analyst and information manager at the Israel International Fund, the first Israeli venture capital fund designed specifically for Japanese corporate investors, prior to joining BCS. Habiba graduated with honors from Israel's College of Management with a B.A. in Business Administration.

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