Small Wars Journal

Bad Guys vs. Worse Guys in Afghanistan

Bad Guys vs. Worse Guys in Afghanistan by Luke Mogelson, New York Times Magazine.

… Haq’s unit is one of 51 local police forces that have been established across rural Afghanistan over the last year, employing more than 8,000 villagers. Eventually, the force is expected to reach 30,000 in more than 100 sites. The rapid rollout reflects a spirited commitment to the program by the U.S. military, which claims that local police throughout the country have subdued insurgents and helped tip formerly ambivalent communities toward the government. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called the Afghan Local Police “potentially a game-changer,” and Gen. David Petraeus described it as “almost the personification of counterinsurgency.” Every U.S. officer I spoke with considers it essential to achieving a measure of stability in Afghanistan that will be sustainable in our absence. “This is our last shot,” one major told me. “If this doesn’t work, we got nothing.” …