U.S. intel focuses on Afghan corruption

June 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, June 13 (UPI) -- U.S. intelligence in Afghanistan in part is concentrating on uncovering rampant corruption, military sources told The New York Times.

The senior officials describe Afghan corruption as a "plague."

The United States and NATO allies may end up following leads to the top levels of the Afghan government, the report said. Even close family members of Afghan President Hamid Karzai have been accused of trading in drugs and dipping their beaks into lucrative business deals, The Times said.

The newspaper said U.S. contractors are among those suspected, but some U.S. officials have ignored the corruption rather than upset Karzai.

The U.S. military intelligence network in Afghanistan is designed for identifying and tracking terrorists and insurgents, but it is also learning about the widespread corruption of Afghan power brokers. The Times said the corruption is a problem for the U.S.-backed effort to build an effective and competent regime acceptable to the Afghan people.

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