Last week, I wrote about Senator Rand Paul’s efforts to stop U.S. taxpayer dollars from supporting Afghanistan military units that turn a blind eye to child sexual abuse. As I mentioned, this practice is common, but U.S. troops have been ordered to ignore it.
This is a difficult topic to write about, but an important one for several reasons. As taxpayers, we have a right to know when funds are being used to support such activity. Supporters of the war in Afghanistan claim we are there to promote human rights. I cannot possibly imagine any security interest that would justify turning a blind eye to rape, but I can see how this would create further resentment of the U.S. among Afghans -- especially since the Taliban put an end to the practice and uses the promise of rescuing sexual slaves as a recruiting tool.
Jack Hunter, writing in The American Conservative, provides some more details on this issue.
American troops have been in Afghanistan since 2001. According to the State Department, U.S. officials have obviously been aware of this problem on some level since at least 2010.
For years, it appears to have been the policy of both the Pentagon and Afghanistan’s allies to tell U.S. troops to look the other way when Afghan soldiers raped young boys.
Why aren’t we sounding the alarm on this? Why isn’t anyone trying to stop it?
In December, Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis noting that the report exposes “rampant pedophilia among high-ranking Afghan military and police leaders” and that the “American people must know the entire truth about this horrific issue.”
This abuse “has been going on for years and we’ve been supporting it financially,” Jones told NBC News.
Last week, Senator Paul offered an amendment in committee that would withhold all American funding of Afghan forces until a “U.S government watchdog in Afghanistan could verify those forces were not using children as child soldiers or sex slaves.”
Paul told his fellow members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to a transcript obtained by Breitbart, “I think that the committee is right to be gravely concerned with sexual trafficking and abuse of young people around the world in a variety of countries. I think we shouldn’t turn a blind eye towards when our allies are responsible for this, as well.”
Sen. Paul’s amendment was by blocked by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Sen. Corker said that while he agrees with Sen. Paul in spirit, withdrawing U.S. funding of Afghan forces to verify “zero cases of sexual slavery” was impractical from a “broad U.S. national security standpoint.”
In other words, not even rampant pedophilia enabled by U.S. taxpayer dollars is enough to stop funding our unwinnable war in Afghanistan.
It’s darkly amusing how abuse is invoked by Washington hawks to get involved in wars, but when it’s pointed out that U.S. military intervention is actually enabling human rights abuses, no argument is strong enough to bring the troops home.
It’s as if war itself is the priority.
“Why are we still shedding our soldiers’ blood for pedophiles?” Congressman Walter Jones asked on the House floor in February.
It was a good question then.
Read the whole piece here.