The U.S. military estimates that $360 million spent on combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of the Taliban, and criminals and local power brokers with ties to both. The losses underscore the challenges the United States and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported August 17. Until the Task Force 2010 began its investigation, there was little visibility into the connections these companies and their network of subcontractors had with insurgents and criminals, what military officials call malign actors. The process is known as reverse money laundering. Payments from the United States pass through companies hired by the military for transportation, construction, power projects, fuel, and other services to businesses and individuals with ties to the insurgency or criminal networks. The conclusions by Task Force 2010 represent the most definitive assessment of how U.S. military spending and aid to Afghanistan has been diverted to the enemy or stolen by criminal elements. Only a small percentage of the $360 million has been garnered by the Taliban and insurgent groups, said a senior U.S. military official in Kabul. The bulk of the money was lost to profiteering, bribery, and extortion by criminals and power brokers.