Money Pumped into the economy? Dinner for 25 - let's go mad $1000. Now read this (Billions is the key word).There was a time that troops could walk about Kabul in berets, soft skin vehicles and stop off for a chat with the locals inside their homes and restaurants without the QRF hanging around outside. From a COIN perspective those civilians you like to belittle are probably achieving more to stabilise the country by pumping money into the economy that any squaddie hunkered down in a FOB.
This isn't poor drills. This is an effective way of isolating ISAF from the civilian population by ensuring they can't mix with them.
Because the owners of these establishments pay a monthly “bribe” fee to Afghan police who then indirectly purchase a security guarantee from the Taliban to put these locations off of the target “hit” list. (Here is a NYT story about Afghan police not being paid since last November: http://nyti.ms/1kxSqta). In 2010, the western media reported about how USAID indirectly paid the Taliban billions not to attack incoming logistical convoys traveling from Pakistan to Afghanistan. (Here is a link: http://nyti.ms/1eHUZS3)
So as far as i can see it we have just been renting space off the Taliban.
And we had to pay Karzai off. Billions. Pakistan too, who still close the border when there's a domestic political or 'economic' need.
We missed the hearts and minds window in my opinion, probably around 2002.
And from the same article:
The identity and itinerary of the victims were relayed and the killings were well orchestrated with point precision.
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