U.S. Plan for New Afghan Force Revives Fears of Militia Abuses

U.S. Plan for New Afghan Force Revives Fears of Militia Abuses by Mujib Mashal - New York Times

Around the time President Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan, a delegation of American and Afghan military officials arrived in New Delhi.

They wanted to learn more about the Indian Territorial Army, which has been deployed in contentious areas to ease the burden on India’s regular army.

The American military has turned to that force as a potential model for how to maintain the Afghan government’s waning control — without too high a cost — in difficult parts of Afghanistan at a time when the Taliban are resurgent.

But diplomats and human rights groups worry that the proposal looks much like an older model — the Afghan Local Police, local militias who were trained and paid by the Americans but were accused of a long series of human violations, including abuse of civilians and sexual abuse of boys.

The size of the new force is yet to be finalized, but it could number more than 20,000, according to a senior Afghan official who was granted anonymity because the concept is still being discussed…

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So the US has the money to increase US forces in country by 6,000 at a cost of about $ 6 billion annually but can't afford the difference in cost between 20,000 more ANA and 20,000 of these guys.

What could go wrong with creating yet another armed group in rural Afghanistan? I mean it's not like a battalion commander might rent out his unit as muscle for local pols, set up check points to shake down locals or start a heroin lab. We can count on this bunch not to be stoned, have live and let live agreements with the Taliban (or be the Taliban) or sell ammo to whoever needs some.