WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military estimates that $360 million spent on combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has battled for nearly a decade: the Taliban, criminals and local power brokers with ties to both.
The losses, measured over the past year by a special task force, underscore the challenges the U.S. and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan. A central plank of the U.S. strategy has been to award U.S.-financed contracts to Afghan businesses to stoke the country's economy.
But until the task force began its investigation, there was little visibility into the connections these companies and their vast network of subcontractors had with insurgents and criminals.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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