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Nick Schwellenbach and Carol Leonnig at The Washington Post write:

An eight-year-old policy that forbids government contractors and employees to engage in sex trafficking in war zones has proved almost impossible to enforce amid indications that such activities are occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The policy, instituted eight years ago by President George W. Bush and still in effect today, calls for the prosecution of government employees and contractors who engage in trafficking and the suspension or disqualification of companies whose workers do. Bush's get-tough language also threatened criminal prosecutions for solicitation of prostitutes because many of the women are forced into the work.

Agencies say the cases are difficult to pursue because of limited investigative resources and jurisdictional questions. But some experts and lawmakers believe that authorities are turning a blind eye to evidence of such crimes.

"Zero prosecutions," said Martina Vandenberg, a lawyer and former Human Rights Watch investigator, "suggests zero effort to enforce the law." ...

In Afghanistan, evidence of trafficking came to light when 90 Chinese women were freed after brothel raids in 2006 and 2007. The women told the International Organization on Migration that they had been taken to Afghanistan for sexual exploitation, according to a 2008 report.

Nigina Mamadjonova, head of IOM's counter-human trafficking unit in Afghanistan, said the women alleged in interviews that their clients were mostly Western men.

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In case you missed it earlier, here's a diary worth reading: Congressional Budget Office Says Corn-Based Ethanol a Waste of Taxpayer Subsidy.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 09:11 PM PDT.

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