"The Afghan government has organized more than 2,000 villagers into armed local defense forces so they can keep out insurgents and support coalition and Afghan forces. The self-defense groups are part of an expanding U.S.-backed program that bears a resemblance to a similar tactic in Iraq, the program has helped protect villages from insurgent attacks and the plan could expand to up to 10,000 people, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said. If the plan proves successful it could grow even larger, he said."Read the rest of the story in "Afghanistan turns to local defense groups", USA Today, January 19, 2011.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Segments of the media continue to post stories of abuse by militia groups operating in the north of Afghanistan. The target of their criticism are the militias or "arbakai" that are abusing the population and running amok with no accountability to government authorities. Some critics state that the new Afghan Local Police (ALP) initiative is nothing more than a government-funded militia program. While the coalition forces see the ALP as a method of gaining security in rural areas there is great concern that private militia armies will grow out of the program instead. Read more in "How to Gauge Victory (in the North)", Registan.net, January 12, 2011.