The US government, as of 28/09/10, has waived a requirement that prohibited the government of Afghanistan from aiding or cooperating with America’s #1 enemies of the moment, the terrorist organisations known as the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Also under the requirement was the condition that Afghanistan cooperated with US efforts to reduce poppy cultivation and illicit drug trafficking. This requirement, too, has been waived.
The requirement was part of the “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010″, and concerned funding for the Afghan government – a sum of money “Not to exceed $2,761,500,000″. In this Act, under the heading of “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement”, there is [sorry, was] a pre-requisite that $55,000,000 of that figure MAY NOT be obligated for their assistance UNLESS the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) certifies that the Government of Afghanistan is “cooperating fully with the United States efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda and to reduce poppy cultivation and illicit drug trafficking”, now this is the important part, “Provided, That the Secretary of State may waive the previous proviso IF the Secretary reports to the Committees on Appropriations that to do so is vital to the national security interests of the United States”. (Bold and emphasis on “IF” added by me). So the Afghanistan government may cooperate with the two terrorist organisations, and not bother with reducing poppy cultivation/illicit drug trafficking, only if doing so is vital to the national security interests of the United States. Which apparently it is.
So Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton has waived the previous proviso, effectively allowing the government of Afghanistan to cooperate with terrorist organisations and to continue to grow opium poppies and engage in illicit narcotics trafficking. But only because it is vital to the United States’ national security interests, apparently. One wonders if this will receive much media attention in the US, and the cynic in me has a feeling that they will continue to demonise the War on Drugs and the influence of terrorist organisations in Afghanistan, even as they are allowing the Afghan government to “fraternise with the enemy”, so to speak.
The Waiver is detailed below. The information was taken from the Federal Register. A link to the pdf can be found here. The original “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010″ containing the original proviso quoted above can be found here – the Afghanistan funding section is Section 7076, to save you trawling through the whole Act.
Waiver Pursuant to Section 7076(d)(2)of the Department of State, ForeignOperations, and Related ProgramsAppropriations Act, 2010 (Div. F, P.L.111–117) Relating to Assistance for theGovernment of Afghanistan
Pursuant to the authority vested in meas Secretary of State, including undersection 7076(d)(2) of the Department ofState, Foreign Operations, and RelatedPrograms Appropriations Act, 2010(Div. F, P.L. 111–117) (‘‘the Act’’), Ihereby waive the requirement in section7076(d)(2) of the Act to certify that theGovernment of Afghanistan iscooperating fully with United Statesefforts against the Taliban and Al Qaedaand to reduce poppy cultivation andillicit drug trafficking and report that itis vital to the national security interestsof the United States to do so.This waiver shall be reported to theCongress promptly and published in theFederal Register.
Dated: September 28, 2010.Hillary Rodham Clinton,Secretary of State.[FR Doc. 2010–25609 Filed 10–8–10; 8:45 am]