Showing posts with label Baghlan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baghlan. Show all posts

Monday, February 7, 2011

Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Baghlan Province - Special Forces Working with Locals to Establish Security

In Shahbuddin, Afghanistan (Baghlan Province) a U.S. Special Forces team is working with villagers to establish a small local fighting force that will stand up to the Taliban.  This force is called the Afghan Local Police (ALP).  The ALP is a new program approved by Karzai last summer and instituted this past fall by Special Forces as a counter to the shadow Taliban government, the lack of connectivity of rural areas to the district and provincial centers of the central government, and the absence presence and influence of Afghan security forces in these rural areas.  There are about 3,000 Afghans under arms in at least 14 sites across the country.  It is hoped that many more sites are established by spring before the fighting season begins once again. 

There are critics of the ALP program - within the U.S. military, the international community, the Afghan central government and at the provincial and district level.  Some members of the ALP are former Taliban fighters who promised to switch sides.  Some are protrayed by critics as no more than local bandits or the militias of local warlords.  One criticism is that if an ALP element is composed of members of one tribe or community then that tribe or community is strengthened and its influence grows - at the expense of other tribes or communities.

To read more about the ALP in Baghlan Province read "U.S. initiative to arm Afghan villagers carries some risks", The Washington Post, February 6, 2011.  To learn more about the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and village security efforts see Village Security and Stability in Afghanistan.