The Foreign Service Journal, September 2010

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 9 Kabul-ki Theater A late-June furor over highly per- sonal attacks on Obama administration officials by General Stanley A. Mc- Chrystal and his staff, as reported in Rolling Stone magazine ( www.rolling ) , forced McChrystal to step down virtually overnight as the U.S. and NATO commander in Af- ghanistan. He was quickly replaced by Gen. David Petraeus, who promised to improve coordination with U.S. Am- bassador to Afghanistan Karl Eiken- berry and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Hol- brooke. No sooner had the dust settled from that imbroglio than a new one began. On July 25, the Wikileaks organization posted more than 75,000 classified documents on its Web site ( ) . Most of them were low- level field reports detailing the set- backs U.S. troops and officials have faced in battling an increasingly potent Taliban force. But allegations that our Pakistani allies are helping the Afghan insurgency proved explosive. Com- pounding the damage, Wikileaks gave the materials to the New York Times , The Guardian and Der Spiegel several weeks before their public release, en- abling them to delve into the files. Although most of the documents pillory the Bush administration’s con- duct of the war, the Obama adminis- tration has denounced the leaks for en- dangering our soldiers and local allies. At the same time, it contends that the disclosures back its new strategy for the region. Whether that claim will pass muster with an increasingly restive Congress remains to be seen, however. Challenging as those two episodes were, they did contain at least one ray of sunshine for the administration: They overshadowed the issuance of a truly alarming 79-page congressional report: “Warlord, Inc. —Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan“ ( http://over ). Issued by the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Af- fairs following a six-month investiga- tion, the study alleges that the U.S. military is funding a massive protection racket in Afghanistan by indirectly pay- ing tens of millions of dollars to war- lords and corrupt local officials — and even Taliban members — to ensure safe passage of its supply convoys throughout the country. As the subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., told CBS News: “The business is war and the war is business, and you’ve got ‘Warlord, Inc.’ going on over there.” — Steven Alan Honley, Editor Money Talks — But Will UNESCO Listen? In September 2008 the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, set up a $3 million fund to bankroll the UNESCO- Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Interna- tional Prize for Research in the Life Sciences. Each year, according to Obiang’s plan, the fund would award $300,000 to be shared by up to three laureates, with the goal of recognizing individuals or institutions conducting “scientific research in the life sciences leading to improving the quality of human life.” The prize was scheduled to be awarded for the first time this year. However, at a mid-June meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s executive board, Director General Irina Bokova C YBERNOTES I n the Bush administration, we saw them seek military allies regardless of human rights abuses in pursuit of the war on terror. This administration will seek military alliances regardless of human rights abuses — in response to China. — Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch ( ) , reacting to the Pentagon’s decision to resume relations with Indonesia’s special forces after a 12-year hiatus; July 23,