The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Afghan Defense Minister Explains Auxiliary Security Force

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 02/26/2009 08:34
news
Thomas Dixon

We still seem to be a ways off from the Sons of Afghanistan. At a forum sponsored by the Center for a New American Security, I asked Abdul Rahim Wardak, the Afghan defense minister, to give some detail about how a controversial new auxiliary security force is different from a government (or U.S.-) supported tribal milita.

The new entity, known as the Afghan Public Protection Force, is going to begin as a pilot program in Wardak Province, a central province that hosts part of the vital Highway 1 route to Kabul. Defense Minister Wardak said that the APPF was a response to the “pressing need for more troops on the ground” to protect the civilian population from Taliban attacks. Run through the Ministry of the Interior, representatives of the Afghan government will ask “30 to 40 influential people” in the province to nominate between 200 and 300 people to provide “public protection” but not “law enforcement.” The force will be under the normal chain of command established by the ministry in the province. Pressed by Politico’s David Cloud, Wardak said that the program could be expanded to “high threat areas.”

But Wardak didn’t appear entirely comfortable with the idea. He said that the Interior Ministry would need to “exercise maximum caution” to ensure that the program does not “create a new warlord or reinforce the old ones.” He explained the program was an emergency response to shortfalls in U.S., NATO and Afghan troops, and indicated that he thought the APPF program needed to be temporary. Recruits who prove “trustworthy [and] capable” will have opportunities to join the Afghan national army and police. But the program would ultimately be “disintegrated.”

This is worth watching. Much of the international effort in Afghanistan after the Taliban fled Kabul centered on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of militias, and “militia” remains a dirty word in Afghanistan. Experimenting with auxiliary security forces, even under ministerial control, is a gamble. Wardak said in his opening remarks that abandoning “a strong central government” would mean “falling into the trap the enemy has laid.” He emphasized the risks of the approach as much as he did the opportunities it provides.

Thomas Dixon | He creates the ideal marketing experience by connecting online brands with their target audiences. He recently completed a research paper on consumer conversion and took part in a community project on SEO optimization. Thomas is working on his Bachelor of Arts in Communications and plans to intern in an online marketing department soon.

Related

$1.3 Million for Brown

The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul

$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.

$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds

Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal

1. Brian Schweitzer

As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this

1 Brigade and 1 Battalion

ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the

$1 Million for Toomey

Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the

1. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry

#1 in Conspiracy Theories

Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy

Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)

Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban

Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on

Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry

China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com