Not The Onion: Pentagon Wanted US Taxpayers To Reimburse Taliban

Saturday, May 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 05/17/2019

The Pentagon wanted to reimburse the Taliban for expenses the group incurred attending recent peace talks, according to the BBC, citing a US Congressional aide.

The request to cover the militants’ costs such as transportation, lodging and food was ultimately denied by a Congressional committee, despite the Pentagon’s request “to use funds to facilitate [the] meetings.”

The funding requested by the Pentagon was intended to reimburse the group for costs incurred while participating in the talks, including supplies, food, accommodation and transportation, according to Kevin Spicer, spokesman for Representative Peter Visclosky of Indiana [D]. -BBC

“The Defense Department requested fiscal year 2020 funding to support certain reconciliation activities, including logistic support for members of the Taliban and, in March 2019, they sent a notification letter to the Committee on using fiscal year 2019 funds for similar activities,” said the spokesman.

Visclosky chairs the House Appropriations defence subcommittee, which approved a $390.2 billion spending bill that specifically denies the Pentagon from reimbursing the expenses of the militants, as none of the funds may be used “to pay for the expenses of any member of the Taliban to participate in any meeting that does not include the participation of members of the Government of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of women,” reads the legislation.

According to the report, the language was included to avoid breaking laws concerning material support for terrorist groups, said Kevin Spicer, citing “the Taliban’s ongoing offensive operations against US service members, and their continuing lack of acknowledgement of the government of Afghanistan or the rights of women in Afghan society.”

The Pentagon says the funds were needed in order to negotiate ceasefires.

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