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Friday, March 1, 2013

Taliban are infiltrating Afghan Local Police

The Taliban are infiltrating local militias funded and trained by the US to attack the Taliban and control security in local areas.
   A recent attack that killed 17 local police was carried out by Taliban infiltrators. Earlier reports, such as this one in Digital Journal, did not go into details about the attack. The New York TImes now reports that several members of the Afghan Local Police drugged 17 of their fellow police officers and then executed them. They then stole all their weapons and fled after setting a police vehicle afire. Afghan officials subsequently said that the attackers were Taliban infiltrators. The Taliban said that the attack was in revenge for atrocities and crimes carried out by these forces against local people. There have been numerous complaints about such forces from local people. A Taliban spokesperson said: “Locals in the area were tired of the atrocities and crimes of these [irregular militias] and their lives and property were not safe."
   Recently Karzai ordered all US special forces out of Wardak provinces because of actions of the ALP who are trained by US special forces. Charges included, torture, illegal detentions, and even killing as reported earlier in Digital Journal. The Afghan Local Police (ALP) are fundamentally armed militias that are funded by the US and supported and trained by US special forces.
  A New York Times article notes: " “Many residents complain that the groups often operate outside the law, extort unofficial taxes from local residents and are prone to act on the basis of ethnic loyalties.”" A Human Rights Watch report in September of 2012 documented cases of killings, rapes, arbitrary detentions, abductions, and illegal raids perpetrated by the ALP. The ALP program was a favorite initiative of General Petraeus who was commander of the ISAF forces in Afghanistan during the second half of 2010 and first half of 2011, before he became head of the CIA.. Petraeus considered the ALP program a key part of his counterinsurgency strategy. Yet the program in many places has been a shambles.
   The appended video illustrates some of the issues even before Petraeus left office. Yet the program continues, and in Wardak mentioned in one video, US special forces have been ordered out of the province. As well as engaging in abuse of locals, several units of the ALP have simply gone over to the Taliban weapons and all. Another group simply gave their weapons to the Taliban. Now it seems they have infiltrated a unit and killed all their fellow recruits.

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