The story which reared its head then dropped off the radar in summer of 2010 is still alive: that the major source of funding for the Taliban is likely the Department of Defense itself, estimated around $400 million per year, which is funneled to Afghan "security" companies as "protection payments," for allowing the massive and constant ground traffic of convoys of supplies for US bases to crisscross the country unhindered by attacks. So says a report, "Warlord Inc.," by a House subcommittee chaired by Rep. John Tierney.
The Soviet Union devoted nearly one-third of its force during its occupation to protecting its supply lines. The Americans have figured out a different way: pay insurgents to not attack. The Tierney report - the report of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, laid bare the system of payments of Department of Defense contracting funds to Afghan warlords with ties to both sides of the conflict. Through both extensive data collection and excerpts the Subcommittee describes the realities of getting military supplies to the network of over 200 American bases and outposts across Afghanistan. The CEO of one "security company says:
"Matiullah has the road from Kandahar to Tarin Kowt completely under his control. No one can travel without Matiullah without facing consequences. There is no other way to get there. You have to either pay him, or fight him."