纽约时报双语:一场从一开始就充斥着腐败的反恐战争

一场从一开始就充斥着腐败的反恐战争
The War on Terror Was Corrupt From the Start
FARAH STOCKMAN
2021年9月15日
纽约时报双语:一场从一开始就充斥着腐败的反恐战争

The war in Afghanistan wasn’t a failure. It was a massive success — for those who made a fortune off it.

阿富汗战争不是一场失败,而是一场巨大的成功——对那些从中发财的人来说。

Consider the case of Hikmatullah Shadman, who was just a teenager when American Special Forces rolled into Kandahar on the heels of Sept. 11. They hired him as an interpreter, paying him up to $1,500 a month — 20 times the salary of a local police officer, according to a profile of him in The New Yorker. By his late 20s, he owned a trucking company that supplied U.S. military bases, earning him more than $160 million.

以希克马图拉·沙德曼(Hikmatullah Shadman)为例。美国特种部队在9·11事件发生后进入坎大哈时,他还只是一个十几岁的少年。据《纽约客》(The New Yorker)上一篇关于他的人物特写,特种部队雇了他来当翻译,每月付给他最高1500美元,是当地警察工资的20倍。他快30岁时已拥有一家为美国军事基地提供物资的卡车运输公司,这让他赚了逾1.6亿美元。

If a small fry like Shadman could get so rich off the war on terror, imagine how much Gul Agha Sherzai, a big-time warlord-turned-governor, has raked in since he helped the C.I.A. run the Taliban out of town. His large extended family supplied everything from gravel to furniture to the military base in Kandahar. His brother controlled the airport. Nobody knows how much he is worth, but it is clearly hundreds of millions — enough for him to talk about a $40,000 shopping spree in Germany as if he were spending pocket change.

如果像沙德曼这样的小人物都能从反恐战争中赚这么一大笔钱的话,想象一下,军阀出身的省长古尔·阿迦·谢尔扎伊(Gul Agha Sherzai)这样的大人物,自帮助中央情报局把塔利班赶出城以来已经赚了多少钱。他的大家庭为坎大哈的美军基地提供从碎石到家具的所有物资。他弟弟控制着坎大哈机场。没人知道他身价几何,但显然有数亿美元,多到足够让他把一次在德国的4万美元购物狂欢说得像是花口袋里的零钱似的。

Look under the hood of the “good war,” and this is what you see. Afghanistan was supposed to be an honorable war to neutralize terrorists and rescue girls from the Taliban. It was supposed to be a war that we woulda coulda shoulda won, had it not been for the distraction of Iraq, and the hopeless corruption of the Afghan government. But let’s get real. Corruption wasn’t a design flaw in the war. It was a design feature. We didn’t topple the Taliban. We paid warlords bags of cash to do it.

这就是这场“正义战争”外表下的情况。阿富汗战争本应是一场消灭恐怖分子、将女孩从塔利班手下解救出来的光荣战争。这本应是一场我们本会、本可、本该打赢的战争,如果不是因为我们被伊拉克分散了注意力,如果不是因为阿富汗政府腐败得无可救药。但让我们现实一点吧。腐败不是这场战争的一个设计缺陷,而是一个设计特色。我们自己没有推翻塔利班。我们花大价钱雇军阀来推翻塔利班。

As the nation-building project got underway, those same warlords were transformed into governors, generals and members of Parliament, and the cash payments kept flowing.

随着国家建设项目的开始,这些军阀摇身一变成了省长、将军和国会议员,支付的现金源源不断地流向他们。

“Westerners often scratched their heads at the persistent lack of capacity in Afghan governing institutions,” Sarah Chayes, a former special assistant to U.S. military leaders in Kandahar, wrote recently in Foreign Affairs. “But the sophisticated networks controlling those institutions never intended to govern. Their objective was self-enrichment. And at that task, they proved spectacularly successful.”

“西方人经常对阿富汗政府机构的持续无能苦思不得其解,”曾为在坎大哈的美军领导人担任特别助理的萨拉·查耶斯(Sarah Chayes)最近在《外交事务》(Foreign Affairs)杂志上写道。“然而控制这些机构的复杂关系网从来都没打算治理国家。他们的目标是为自己敛财。在这个任务上,他们被证明取得了了不起的成功。”

Instead of a nation, what we really built were more than 500 military bases — and the personal fortunes of the people who supplied them. That had always been the deal. In April 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dictated a top-secret memo ordering aides to come up with “a plan for how we are going to deal with each of these warlords — who is going to get money from whom, on what basis, in exchange for what, what is the quid pro quo, etc.,” according to The Washington Post.

我们真正建设的不是一个国家,而是500多个军事基地——以及为这些基地提供物资者的个人财富。这是自始至终的交易。据《华盛顿邮报》报道,2002年4月,时任国防部长的唐纳德·拉姆斯菲尔德(Donald Rumsfeld)口授了一份绝密备忘录,要求助手提交“一份我们将如何与这些军阀打交道的计划——谁将从谁那里拿钱,以什么为依据,以什么为交换,回报是什么,等等”。

The war proved enormously lucrative for many Americans and Europeans, too. One 2008 study estimated that some 40 percent of the money allocated to Afghanistan actually went back to donor countries in corporate profits and consultant salaries. Only about 12 percent of U.S. reconstruction assistance given to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2021 actually went to the Afghan government. Much of the rest went to companies like the Louis Berger Group, a New Jersey-based construction firm that got a $1.4 billion contract to build schools, clinics and roads. Even after it got caught bribing officials and systematically overbilling taxpayers, the contracts kept coming.

事实证明,对许多美国人和欧洲人来说,阿富汗战争也是巨大的赚钱机会。据2008年的一项研究估计,拨给阿富汗的资金中大约有40%以企业利润和顾问工资的形式返回了出资国。美国在2002年至2021年期间向阿富汗提供的重建援助中,只有大约12%真正落到阿富汗政府手里。其余大部分资金都流进了路易斯伯杰集团(Louis Berger Group)等公司的腰包。这家总部位于新泽西州的建筑公司拿到了价值14亿美元的合同,让他们修建学校、诊所和道路。即使在公司被抓到贿赂官员、系统性地让纳税人多掏腰包之后,他们的合同仍源源不断。

“It’s a bugbear of mine that Afghan corruption is so frequently cited as an explanation (as well as an excuse) for Western failure in Afghanistan,” Jonathan Goodhand, a professor in Conflict and Development Studies at SOAS University of London, wrote me in an email. Americans “point the finger at Afghans, whilst ignoring their role in both fueling and benefiting from the patronage pump.”

“阿富汗的腐败被如此频繁地引为西方在阿富汗失败的理由(和借口),这是一个让我很头疼的问题,”在伦敦亚非学院研究冲突与发展的教授乔纳森·古德汉德(Jonathan Goodhand)在发给我的电子邮件中写道。美国人“指责阿富汗人,却忽视了他们在这个互惠互利链中既提供资金、又从中受益的角色”。

Who won the war on terror? American defense contractors, many of which were politically connected companies that had donated to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit that has been tracking spending in a series of reports called the Windfalls of War. One firm hired to help advise Iraqi ministries had a single employee — the husband of a deputy assistant secretary of defense.

谁赢得了反恐战争?是美国国防承包商。发表《战争财》(Windfalls of War)系列报告的非营利组织“公共诚信中心”(Center for Public Integrity)一直在跟踪支出情况,根据该报告,美国国防承包商中的许多公司有政治背景,他们曾为乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)的总统竞选活动捐款。一家受雇为伊拉克各部提供咨询服务的公司只有一名雇员——国防部一位副助理秘书的丈夫。

For George W. Bush and his friends, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan achieved a great deal. President Bush got a chance to play a tough guy on TV. He became a wartime president, which helped him win re-election. By the time people figured out that the war in Iraq had been waged on false pretenses and the war in Afghanistan had no honorable exit plan, it was too late.

对于乔治·W·布什和他的朋友们来说,伊拉克和阿富汗战争为他们带来了巨大的成就。布什总统有机会在电视上表现得像个硬汉。他成为了一个战时总统,这帮助他赢得了连任。当人们发现伊拉克战争是基于虚假借口发动的,而阿富汗战争没有体面的退出计划时,一切已经太晚了。

What stands out about the war in Afghanistan is the way that it became the Afghan economy. At least Iraq had oil. In Afghanistan, the war dwarfed every other economic activity, apart from the opium trade.

阿富汗战争的特别之处在于它是如何成为阿富汗经济的。伊拉克至少有石油。在阿富汗,除了鸦片贸易外,战争使所有其他经济活动相形见绌。

Over two decades, the U.S. government spent $145 billion on reconstruction and aid, and an additional $837 billion on war fighting, in a country where the G.D.P. hovered between $4 billion and $20 billion per year.

20多年来,在一个国内生产总值每年徘徊于40亿至200亿美元之间的国家身上,美国政府花费了1450亿美元用于重建和援助,又花费了8370亿美元用于战争。

Economic growth has risen and fallen with the number of foreign troops in the country. It soared during President Barack Obama’s surge in 2009 only to plummet with the drawdown two years later.

经济增长随着外国军队在该国的规模而起落。2009年巴拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)总统增兵期间,它出现了飙升,但两年后随着减员又暴跌了。

Imagine what ordinary Afghans might have done if they had been able to use that money for long-term projects planned and executed at their own pace. But alas, policymakers in Washington rushed to push cash out the door, since money spent was one of the few measurable metrics of success.

想象一下,如果普通阿富汗人能够将这笔钱用于按自己的节奏去计划、执行的长期项目,他们可能会达成什么样的成就。但遗憾的是,华盛顿的政策制定者急于把钱花出去,因为所花的钱是少数几个可衡量成功的指标之一。

The money was meant to buy security, bridges and power plants to win “hearts and minds.” But the surreal amounts of cash poisoned the country instead, embittering those who didn’t have access to it, and setting off rivalries between those who did.

这笔钱本来是用于安全、桥梁和发电厂,以赢得“民心”。但超现实的现金数额反而毒害了这个国家,让那些无法拿到这些钱的人感到愤怒,并在拿到这些钱的人之间引发了竞争。

“The money spent was far more than Afghanistan could absorb,” concluded the special inspector general of Afghanistan’s final report. “The basic assumption was that corruption was created by individual Afghans and that donor interventions were the solution. It would take years for the United States to realize that it was fueling corruption with its excessive spending and lack of oversight.”

“花在阿富汗的钱远远超出了它的承受能力,”美国阿富汗重建特别督察长在最终报告中总结道。“基本的假设是,腐败是由个别阿富汗人造成的,捐助者需要干预来解决问题。美国需要数年时间才能意识到,其过度支出和缺乏监督正在助长腐败。”

The result was a fantasy economy that operated more like a casino or a Ponzi scheme than a country. Why build a factory or plant crops when you can get fabulously wealthy selling whatever the Americans want to buy? Why fight the Taliban when you could just pay them not to attack?

结果是产生了一个幻想中的经济体,其运作更像是一个赌场或庞氏骗局,而不是一个国家。如果出售美国人想要的东西就可以变得超级富有,为什么还要建造工厂或种植农作物?如果你可以付钱给塔利班让他们不要攻击,为什么还要与他们作战?

The money fueled the revolving door of war, enriching the very militants that it was meant to fight, whose attacks then justified a new round of spending.

这笔钱推动了战争的旋转门,使得原本要打击的武装分子变得富有,然后他们的袭击又为新一轮的支出提供了理由。

A forensic accountant who served on a military task force that analyzed $106 billion worth of Pentagon contracts estimated that 40 percent of the money ended up in the pockets of “insurgents, criminal syndicates or corrupt Afghan officials,” according to The Washington Post.

据《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)报道,一名曾在军事特遣部队服役的法务会计师在分析了价值1060亿美元的五角大楼合同后估计,其中40%的钱最终落入了“叛乱分子、犯罪集团或腐败的阿富汗官员”的口袋里。

Social scientists have a name for countries that are so reliant on unearned income from outsiders: “rentier states.” It is usually used for oil-producing countries, but Afghanistan now stands out as an extreme example.

社会科学家对如此依赖外来者非劳动收入的国家起了一个名字:食租者国家(rentier states)。这个名字通常用于产油国家,但阿富汗现在是一个极端的例子。

A report by Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network outlined how Afghanistan’s rentier economy undermined efforts to build a democracy. Since money flowed from foreigners instead of taxes, leaders were responsive to donors rather than their own citizens.

阿富汗分析师网络(Afghanistan Analysts Network)的凯特·克拉克(Kate Clark)的一份报告概述了阿富汗的食租者经济如何破坏建设民主的努力。由于资金来自外国人而不是税收,因此领导人只对捐助者而非本国公民做出回应。

I knew the war in Afghanistan had gone off the rails the day I had lunch in Kabul with a European consultant who got paid a lot of money to write reports about Afghan corruption. He’d just arrived, but he already had a lot of ideas about what needed to be done — including ridding the Afghan Civil Service of pay scales based on seniority. I suspect that he could have never gotten an idea like that passed in his own country. But in Kabul, he had a shot at getting his ideas adopted. To him, Afghanistan wasn’t a failure, but a place to shine.

在喀布尔与一位欧洲顾问共进午餐的那天,我就知道阿富汗战争已经脱离正轨,这位顾问获得了很多报酬,用于撰写有关阿富汗腐败的报道。他刚到那里,但他已经对需要做的事情有了很多想法——包括让阿富汗公务员摆脱基于资历的薪酬等级。我怀疑这样的想法在他自己的国家可能永远不会被通过。但在喀布尔,他有机会让自己的想法被采纳。对他来说,阿富汗不是败局,而是一个发光的地方。

None of this is to say that the Afghan people don’t deserve support, even now. They do. But far more can be achieved by spending far less in a more thoughtful way.

这并不是说阿富汗人民不值得支持,即使是现在。他们确实值得。但是,通过更为深思熟虑的方式,花费更少的钱可以实现更多的目标。

What does the Taliban takeover say about the war? It proves that you cannot buy an army. You can only rent one for awhile. Once the money spigot turned off, how many stuck around to fight for our vision of Afghanistan? Not Gul Agha Sherzai, the warlord-turned-governor. He has reportedly pledged allegiance to the Taliban.

塔利班的接管对战争来说意味着什么?它证明了你无法购买一支军队。你只能租用一段时间。一旦资金龙头关掉,有多少人坚持为我们的阿富汗愿景而战?军阀出身的省长古尔·阿迦·谢尔扎伊可不会。据报道,他已宣誓效忠塔利班。

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