The American government is paying millions of dollars for training and equipment as bribes to buy support for nations for the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan.
The funds, spent without Congressional approval or oversight, comes from a $350 million Pentagon “slush fund” used to “improve the counter terrorism operations of U.S. allies,” the Associated Press reports.
Pentagon official admit privately that the expenditures “sends a message” that countries that support the U.S. effort in Afghanistan will be rewarded for their support.
The AP report says $50 million has gone to Georgia, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — small nations with about 1,300 troops in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon belatedly reported the program to Congress late last week as members packed up to head for their districts for a two-week Easter recess.
The program earmarks another $150 million for Yeman, a nation that often harbors terrorists. Eventually, Pentagon plans to spend the entire $350 million for the program and may ask Congress for more.