US Turns Blind Eye to Sex Abuse of Boys in Afghan Military

News: World News
by David Nussman  •  •  January 25, 2018   

US forces notice the behavior, but government funding continues

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DETROIT ( - As U.S. military forces aided the recovery process in Afghanistan, they found many military leaders were active pedophiles.

This is according to a report released earlier this month from government watchdog the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The document features dozens of redactions. It notes that even Afghan units in which pedophilia was practiced were still being funded by the U.S. government.

This watchdog entity interviewed 37 individuals and organizations involved in the Afghan reconstruction programs and found that 24 were aware of child sexual abuse. Four of them according to the report had "personal knowledge" of pedophilic behavior.

A common practice among Afghan warlords is bacha bazi or "boy playing." It is a sexually abusive man-boy relationship called pederasty.

Even though so many people were aware of instances of abuse, few reported it to the U.S. government. Some had the impression it was a cultural norm they had to live with, while others were unsure if and how to report it.

One non-governmental organization representative told SIGAR, "Bacha bazi is very sensitive, and those involved are in high positions within the Afghan military, which makes going after these individuals very difficult."

Bacha bazi is very sensitive and those involved are in high positions within the Afghan military, which makes going after these individuals very difficult.

The SIGAR report notes that from 2010–2016, 75 alleged human rights violations were reported to U.S. officials, and seven were related to child abuse. This suggests there could be very many cases of bacha bazi (and other kinds of child abuse) that go unreported.

The SIGAR's investigation was prompted by a September 2015 report in the New York Times. Their report claimed U.S. military forces were failing to do anything to punish Afghan leaders committing pederasty.

This Tuesday, the New York Times released an article about SIGAR's newly-published memo.

This article related stories of several U.S. servicemen who were punished for getting into fights with Afghan child abusers. For instance, Sgt. First Class Charles Martland of the Green Berets was booted from the military after he punched the face of an Afghan official who kidnaped and raped a young boy. According to the New York Times, "Congressional inquiries apparently led to Sgt. Martland's reinstatement."

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