"There is no set pay scale, but by our intelligence, they are paying the equivalent of about $300 a month and that is higher than we are paying Afghan army or police," McChrystal told the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he testified on Tuesday.Anyone else find the news that the Taliban pay more than the Afghan Security Forces somewhat encouraging?
"In coordination with the Afghan government, we just almost doubled Afghan army and police training [pay]. It is in parity now. It is less than $300 a month but it's much closer," he told the committee.
"Almost doubling" indicates prior pay was in the neighborhood of $150 a month. It's no surprise then that the Afghan Security Forces have suffered from corruption charges and desertion– especially in the face of higher Taliban pay.
I do. The reason is because it gives us a clue about the direction of the compensating differentials. Like any organization with scarce resources, the Taliban probably only pays the competitive wage it needs to get the people they want. When the people they want are looking for employment, the Taliban finds itself needing to pay double the ASF to retain and attract. In other words, at the margin people would rather work for ASF than the Taliban (admittedly for reasons that are not necessarily ideological).
Again, I consider this good news because it revises my priors. True, the observed pay of the ASF may not match the actual compensation because of corruption and bribery, and so it could be that pay is roughly equivalent. However, corruption and bribery of ASF employees is not new information, as I think we all had a pretty good handle on the fact that this was occurring.