The first militias will be established in Wardak Province, in eastern Afghanistan, in coming weeks,
“This will be a grass-roots, community-defense layer against the Taliban,” Wardak Gov. Mohammed Halim Fidai said in an interview. “We believe that the more people you involve in security, the greater the impact.”
In the first phase of the pilot program, villages throughout Wardak will convene “shura” meetings of local tribal, religious and political figures. The community elders will then be responsible for recruiting the local militias and overseeing their conduct.
As in Iraq, the new Afghan militias will be paid by the U.S.
The Canadians don’t like it. But is somebody forcing them to do this in RC South? The Canadians may be right that tribal forces aren’t such a great idea in RC South. Tribal structures have been undermined and deteriorating since the Soviets invaded, and I know around Kandahar members of different tribes live in mixed neighborhoods and villages. There is no Alokazai Reservation in Arghandab District of Kandahar Province where Alokazai tribal police enforce the laws made by the elders.
But there are districts in the provinces of RC East where one tribe dominates, and some of these tribes have retained the old ways.
We need Afghan feet in boots or sandals or tennis shoes on the ground. Not just Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara feet, but Pashtun feet. The various Armed Opposition Groups American and Canadian forces face are almost entirely ethnic Pashtun. We need our own Pashtun Scouts to help us fight Pashtun hostiles. The British had them on the east side of the Durand Line, and there are Chitral, South Waziristan, Tochi, Mahsud, Swat, Orakzai, Khushal Khan, Dir, Bajaur, Thal, Sibi, Kalat, Pishin, Ghazaband, Loralai, and Bolan Scouts in the Frontier Corps to this day. We need Ruff Puffs, Kit Carson Scouts and chieu hoi‘s. We need Pashtun Regulars in the ANA, Pashtun cops in the ANP, and Pashtun Irregulars in local, district, and provincial forces. The professional, trained, competent Army and Police capable of independent operations we want has taken too long to create. We don’t have time for Focused District Development.
UPDATE 200812230910: Command Changes Hands for Afghan Security Forces Training
UPDATE 200812240830: Afghan and U.S. Officials Plan to Recruit Local Militias
“We don’t have enough police,” said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, the deputy commander of American forces in the country. “We don’t have time to get the police ready.”
UPDATE 200812281020: Everyone Plays The Taliban
The anti-militia crowd will lose this argument, but you’ll see a lot about it in the media. Allies squabbling, whether real or imagined, makes for exciting news.