Taliban reap windfall on U.S. Rebuilt Power Plant

Posted on July 16, 2010

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Afghanistan—After the United States has poured more than $100 million into upgrading the Kajaki hydropower plant, it plans on spending more, in hopes to lure more local sympathies away from the Taliban.

However the biggest beneficiary of this American taxpayer financed project are the Taliban.

Since U.S. funded repairs at the Kajaki plant doubled its capacity in October, nearly half of the total electrical output is flowing to districts in Helmand province where the Taliban administer the grid, according toAfghan officials. In those areas, residents pay their electricity bills directly to the insurgents, who then use the profits to continue their war against American and British troops.

“The more electricity there is, the more money the Taliban make,” says Hajji Gul Mohammad Khan, tribal-affairs adviser to the government of Helmand.

Read full story at WSJ By Yaroslav Trofimov JULY 13, 2010

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