Showing posts with label reintegration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reintegration. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

High Peace Council Sidelined

Under the Karzai administration the High Peace Council (HPC) was responsible for peace talks with high-level insurgents and the reintegration of mid- and low-level insurgents. The HPC failed miserably on both counts. While ISAF claimed over 6,000 insurgents were reintegrated  - a close examination would show that much of the money provided to Afghanistan for peace and reintegration efforts were wasted on HPC staff at national, provincial and district levels who never showed for work and on development projects tied to reintegration efforts that usually were provided by corrupt officials to their families and friends. Many of the reintegrated insurgents were really farmers or cronies of corrupt officials provided with an old AK-47 who were looking for the three-month stipend and vocational training offered by the HPC for being reintegrated. Read more in "Afghan president pursues peace with Taliban - his way"Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2015.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Prisoner Releases Questioned by Afghan Military

There is tension among the Afghan leadership in government, the ministries, the police, and the army on the issue of prisoners. This tension exists because (either through incompetence, corruption, or political objectives) Taliban prisoners are being released. Many of these released prisoners are resuming the fight on the battlefield against the army and police forces that had already captured them once - sometimes at great cost.

President Karzai has released many of the Taliban prisoners - presumably as an attempt to help the reconciliation process with the Taliban insurgents. There is no indication that these prisoner releases over the past few years have had any effect in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table or in winning any concessions. In fact, members of the High Peace Council - the Afghan organization charged with reconciliation and reintegration - have been targeted repeatedly by the insurgents.

The Afghan judicial system is under-resourced, inadequately staffed, lacking sufficient training, subject to coercion by the insurgents, easily influenced by warlords and power-brokers, and extremely corrupt. The U.S. (and ISAF) efforts to introduce warrant-based targeting and Evidence-Based Operations (EvBO) have had mixed results. Establishing Rule of Law (RoL) within a counterinsurgency environment is essential. The introduction of EvBO is an admirable goal; but it seems that the Afghan police force (lack of training, forensics equipment, and inexperience) is not up to the task and the judicial system is inept and corrupt. Perhaps the introduction of EvBO was a step too far too early in this very corrupt Afghan society.

Read more about this prisoner release issue in "Afghans question prisoner releases amid violent fighting season", Stars and Stripes, September 12, 2014 here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Taliban Fighters Freed by Pakistan Return to Battlefield

In 2012 the High Peace Council of Afghanistan requested that Pakistan free 24 Afghan Taliban prisoners in an attempt to get the Quetta Shura Taliban to engage in peace talks with the government of Afghanistan. Unfortunately it appears that many of these released prisoners have simply returned to the battlefield to continue the fight against the ISAF coalition and the Afghan government. Currently about 100 Afghan Taliban remain in Pakistan custody. Read more in "Freed Afghan Taliban fighters return to insurgency", Google News AP, February 22, 2013.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Afghanistan: Reconciliation and Reintegratioin OR Disorder and Disintegration

To some observers the future of Afghanistan appears dark and ominous. The Afghan government and its coalition allies are pushing for reconciliation with the insurgent leaders and reintegration of the insurgent rank and file as a means to allow the exit of ISAF troops and the consolidation of the authority and power for the Kabul government over the entire country. However, many insurgents and their leaders are not biting the apple of reconciliation and reintegration; which poses problems after 2014 when the bulk of the security forces who are doing the fighting will have gone home. Read more in "Reconciliation and Reintegration", Daily Outlook Afghanistan, April 3, 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reintegration and ALP: A Bad Combination?

Recent reports indicate that a Taliban fighter who recently passed through the Afghan government's reintegration program and subsequently was accepted into Afghan Local Police (ALP) killed nine other ALP members. The Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program or APRP tries to get Taliban fighters to quit fighting and return (or reintegrate) back to Afghan society. The APRP offers pay for the first three months and then subsequent vocational training. There are reports that some Taliban reintegrees have been assimilated into the Afghan Local Police or ALP. The ALP is associated with the Village Stability Operations program - sometimes referred to as VSO. The ALP is a part of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and is heavily supported and trained by the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan or CFSOCC-A. Read more on the reintegrated Taliban fighter and ALP member who killed his fellow policemen in "Rogue Afghan police officer: A Taliban infiltrator's road to fratricide", The Washington Post, April 1, 2012. Unfortunately, the recruiting of former Taliban into the Afghan Local Police is going to result in an increased number of insider threat incidents.

Reintegration in Laghman Province

Laghman Province has reintegrated 223 former fighters, with more than 100 in the first half of March 2012 alone. The success, in part, can be attributed to the efforts of Gov. Mohammad Iqbal Azizi and the Provincial Peace Committee.
Read the rest of the article in "Afghan reintegration program works toward long-term peace and stability",, March 26, 2012. Read more reintegration news here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Insurgents Turn to Peace in Qala-e-Naw, Badghis Province - Reintegration at Work

A British war correspondent, Sean Rayment, visits Qala-e-Naw, Badghis Province, Afghanistan to view the Afghan governments reintegration program at work. The reintegration of insurgents back into society is aided by the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program or APRP.  While in northwestern Afghanistan the correspondent observed the APRP process and met with several Taliban to include a former Taliban commander. Read his in depth article on how the APRP process is working in this northwestern part of Afghanistan in "The drive to turn the Taliban to peace", The Telegraph, March 11, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Reintegration of Afghan Insurgents Working?

The international community is sinking a lot of money into the reintegration of insurgents. The program offers the insurgent a way out of the fighting with a monthly stipend for three months, vocational training, and work opportunities - plus a way to walk away from the fight. Thus far, over 3,100 former insurgents have officially entered the program. This number is still significantly lower than what is needed for the reintegration process to have a real impact on the conflict - ISAF and Afghan officials were hoping to attract over 12,000 Taliban to the Afghan reintegration process.  Many observes have criticized the program citing statistics that most reintegrees come from the north where the fighting is less intense (vice the south and southeast) and that many of these 3,000 reintegrees are not Pastun fighters; instead they are cronies of local politicians looking for a handout.

See the "official" version of how reintegration is working in "Afghan insurgent Reintegration Effort Works, Official Says", American Forces Press Service, February 22, 2012.

A questioning voice can be heard here in "Military: Who Cares How Many Taliban Stop Fighting", Danger Room, February 23, 2012.

Read more in "NATO: 99 percent of reformed insurgents staying out of the fight", Stars and Stripes, February 22, 2012 and "ISAF official: Reintegrating Afghan insurgents working", The Washington Times, February 22, 2012.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reintegration of Taliban in Zabul Province

Zabul Province has taken a small step forward in the reintegration of insurgents back into Afghan society. The leader of a small band of Taliban has crossed over to the Afghan government and is now helping the government to reintegrate other insurgents. The reintegration program, although well-funded with $140 million, has had dismal success in Zabul province.  Most reintegrees have come from northern Afghanistan - with Badghis province having the most insurgents join the program.  Read more here - "In the battle for Taliban minds, a new spokesman steps forward in Zabul province", Stars and Stripes, February 19, 2012.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reintegration of Taliban Fighters in Paktika Province Not Working

Reintegration is an attempt by the Afghan government to reach out to low- and mid-level Taliban fighters to get them to stop fighting and become part of Afghan society once again.  There have been various iterations of reintegration programs - none of them very successful.  Paktika Province is one of those areas where reintegration is not going well.  Read "Afghan Reintegration Drama", The Diplomat, February 7, 2012.  Learn more about reintegration in Afghanistan and read the latest Afghan reintegration news.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Will Afghan Peace Talks Divide the Taliban?

It appears that not all Taliban are happy with the prospects of peace talks with either the Americans or the Karzai regime. Some of the mid-level and lower-level fighters are trying to figure out the high-level Taliban leaders game-plan.  Read more in "How Afghan Peace Talks Are Splintering the Taliban", The Daily Beast, February 13, 2012.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reintegration of Taliban Fighters in Afghanistan - Is it Really Working?

While the Karzai regime and the United States pursue high-level peace talks with the Taliban leadership the Afghan government is also continuing efforts on reintegrating lower-level members of the insurgency.  However, the reintegration program is being questioned by some observers who point out some problem areas. In the province of Helmand where much of the fighting has been over the past three years there have been very few reintegrees.  Many reintegrees have come from the north but critics say many of these supposed returned fighters are merely looking for a monthly paycheck and vocational training provided by the program.  Some of these "returnees" are cronies of corrupt district and provincial Afghan officials who pass out old AKs to local men (who are not insurgents) and tell them to turn themselves in to the government. Read more in "The truth about Taliban reintegration", The Telegraph, February 11, 2012.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taliban Reintegration Program Faces Difficulties

"Despite Taliban threats against their lives, nearly 900 militants have quit the fight and enrolled in an Afghan government program luring insurgents off the battlefield, a NATO official said Monday.  The months-old reintegration program, which attracts fighters with promises of jobs, literacy and vocational training plus development aid for their villages, is slowly gaining acceptance but faces serious challenges, said Maj. Gen. Phil Jones, who tracks the reintegration effort at NATO headquarters in Kabul.  The Taliban has retaliated against some insurgents trying to switch sides in northern Afghanistan, Jones said. Some local Afghan leaders also remain unclear about the details of the program and many question whether those who align themselves with the government can be protected." 
Read the rest of the news article at "900 Afghan militants switch sides and join government, but reintegration program faces hurdles", Google Hosted News, February 8, 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Afghan Reintegration Program - Not Quite Up and Running

The Afghan reintegration program, where Taliban are persuaded to rejoin their community and stop fighting against coalition and Afghan security forces, is having a slow start.  The program started some months ago and has been heavily publicized but the crossovers have not occurred at the desired rate.  The "reintegrated" Taliban will be provided jobs and monitored by their community leaders to ensure they do not resume fighting.  The reintegration program was announced by Karzai and is supported by ISAF (see backgrounder notes entitled "ISAF Support to Reintegration and Reconciliation" - Adobe Acrobat PDF file).  However, success has been limited.  Read more in "U.S. military, Afghan officials put faith in underused reintegration program", Stars and Stripes, January 10, 2011.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Will the Taliban Reintegrate?

Will the Taliban reintegrate into Afghan society?  A British general seems to think that the surgical strikes against high- and mid-level Taliban leadership is having an effect and that they will seek to reintegrate.  Read more in "Taliban being driven to negotiating table by precision strikes", The Telegraph, November 25, 2010.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reintegration of Taliban Happening in Small Doses

One key tenet of counterinsurgency is the "reintegration" of insurgent forces into society.  This is happening on a small scale in Afghanistan. The pressure from Special Operations Forces targeting Taliban leadership night after night is supposedly having an effect - causing some to decide to give up the insurgent life in exchange for being taken off a targeting list, provided protection from the Taliban, and an economic incentive.  Hopefully the trend continues. Read more about the reintegration effort in "In Afghanistan, the first hints of success", The Washington Post, October 12, 2010.