Column originally published 02 July 2020
by Larry C. Johnson
Anyone who embraces the unfounded and absurd claim that Russia’s military intelligence outfit, the GRU, is paying (has been paying) the Taliban to kill U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, is either guilty of ignorance or congenitally retarded. It is that simple. There is not gray area here. The claim is a lie.
Let us start with this fact–the Taliban do not need a financial incentive to kill U.S. military personnel. They have willingly taken up that cause for more than 20 years.
Then there is this fact–the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the last six months in Afghanistan are dwarfed by the number of young black men killed in Chicago over the Memorial Day Holiday. If the Russians goal is to kill Americans they would be better off spending their money on the drug gangs that infest the American cities governed by Democrats. They would get more bang for their bucks. Only eight U.S. military personnel have died in Afghanistan in 2020 and only four of those were killed in “hostile” engagements. The other four succumbed to accidents. Twenty six U.S. military personnel died in Afghanistan in 2019. Twenty of those were from hostile actions. (Icasualties.org provides the details).
If it is true that Russia’s military intelligence unit is putting out hits on U.S. military personnel, then they are terrible at their job. The violence they are allegedly inflicting on our soldiers is so inconsequential that the U.S. media rarely does any detailed reporting when a soldier falls in action in sand pits of Taliban-land. And then there are the actual peace talks with the Taliban that, despite dire warnings that this was a fools errand, appears to have paid off. U.S. forces are not being besieged nor savaged at their outposts in Afghanistan.
The Democrats supposed concern for the lives of U.S. military personnel fighting in foreign shit-holes stands in stark contrast to their silence about the mass slaughter of young black men in the major U.S. cities that have been ruled by Democrat politicians for more than a generation. Compare the murder body count in these cities (comprised largely of young, black males) with the U.S. soldiers allegedly killed in Afghanistan because of a Russian bounty–2124 U.S. citizens murdered in the United States in 2019 vice 20 U.S. soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan:
New York City 2019–318
Philadelphia 2019–356, Blacks made up 85 percent of those killed, even though they make up about 41.5 percent of the city’s population.
Baltimore 2019–348, Blacks made up 93% of those killed.
Washington, DC 2019–166, More than 80% of those killed were black.
Chicago 2019–490, More than 80% of those killed were black.
Detroit 2019–273. More than 80% were black.
St. Louis 2019–194, 90% of homicide victims were African American.
Oakland 2019–74, Majority were black.
Los Angeles 2019–253.
You are a 19 year old black man and want to see your 20th birthday? Join the military and ask to be deployed to Afghanistan. You will be safer.
The movement of money through Russian banks to Afghan accounts tied to the Taliban should not shock anyone. It is called proceeds from heroin. After more than 20 years of spilling the blood of U.S. warriors in Afghanistan, we have made no dent in the production, distribution and sale of heroin, which is funding warlords and corrupt politicians alike in Afghanistan. This is not Russian bounty money. This is U.S. funded mayhem. Every America who buys heroin or some version of the drug on the streets is helping put money in the pockets of fanatics like the Taliban.
Fortunately, the money is so good that the Taliban are pulling their punches in going after U.S. troops. The Taliban make more from selling dope to the world than the Russian could ever offer. As long as the U.S. leaves the poppy fields alone, there is little incentive to attack us.
The behavior of the Democrats and some Republicans in accepting the damnable lie that the U.S. has solid, reliable intelligence about a Russian scheme to fund the Taliban to kill Americans is dangerous. The incessant cry about the non-existent Russian wolf is fraught with peril. At a minimum, it puts the Russians in the position of believing that these so-called political leaders are serious about picking a fight with Moscow and killing Russians. Russia is not going to sit back and be a punching bag for fools obsessed with ridding Washington, DC of Donald Trump.
The so-called intelligence officers, the faux journalists and the craven politicians are putting our nation at risk by spreading a lie and smearing Donald Trump. This cannot stand.
Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Sic Semper Tyrannis, “A Committee of Correspondence.”