Civil Defense Forces

NOT tribal militias.  NOT warlord armies.  NOT shady indig PMC’s.

Mobilizing Afghan Militias: Civil Defense Forces Vs. ‘Tribal Militias’

The disintegration of security at the district and village level has eroded public support for the central government and has left many Afghans feeling disillusioned and fearful of the future.

The dismal effort to reform Afghanistan’s National Police force has already bypassed its critical window of opportunity for desirable short-term outcomes. Immediate “shock therapy” measures are now needed to resuscitate Afghanistan’s deteriorating security situation. Part of the shock therapy, according to U.S. military strategists, includes creating and mobilizing civil defense forces (CDF), referred to inanely by the media as “tribal militias,” to fill the void where the central government is no longer a legitimate source of power. Although various forms of militias have existed or have been implemented since 2002, an instrumental criterion for CDF should be the heavy emphasis on static security goals directed at protecting their host community, a key element missing from nearly every other militia program attempted.


The program should be locally developed, ideally incorporate a mostly volunteer force, and be administered and focused on static security concerns on a grassroots-community level.


The implementation of community shuras alongside CDF volunteers will provide the militiamen with focused areas of responsibility that will facilitate smaller, more efficient, and cohesive units that can achieve practical and recognizable results. They will base their decisions on what affects them directly, not objectives derived from the far and often unseen reach of Kabul. Any long-term security objectives will have to be achieved through a collective grass roots effort that will eventually integrate with the ANSF.

Federalism, baby!

CDF puts the responsibility back into the hands of local Afghans and allows them to hold a stake in the future of their village and their nation.

It’s their country.  Surge them.

METT-TC,  and time has run out on the ANP.  They and the ANA aren’t the only eggs in the FID basket anymore.

Lt. Col. Patrick Daniel Jr., commander of the U.S. battalion based in Nangahar province, said many American officers in the field support the idea of allowing responsible Afghan tribal elders to arm themselves. But such an approach carries risks and might not work in every province, Daniel said.

“For a lot of us out here, we recognize that it’s much like how we feel about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms in the States,” Daniel said. “But we already have tribal disputes that are resolved by violence, and when you give them more weapons, that could mean those disputes could get resolved with those weapons. So it’s a roll of the dice. Still, you can’t rule it out . . . because people here need to protect themselves.”

UPDATE: Afghan militia gears up to fight the Taliban

“This is NOT ‘tribal’ or ‘militia’ – it is community-based security,” the document says, adding: “This is NOT the Afghan National Auxiliary Police.”

UPDATE:   Arming the People Against the Taliban

Would you like to know more?

CLC’s Good, Arbakai Bad from 2008/02/05

No Sons of Afghanistan Need Apply from 2008/03/25

Constructive Criticism from a Counter-Insurgent Supporter from 2008/05/10

What Happened to the Afghan Security Forces? from 2008/05/11

Pashtun Irregulars Disbanded from 2008/05/19

Afghan tribes will not fit into a modern framework from 2008/08/02

We will also work to increase the involvement of Afghan tribes. from 2008/09/09

Tribal Ruff Puffs from 2008/10/16

Good Guy Militias — ‘community based local defence forces’ from 2008/12/15

Wardak Awakening from 2008/12/23

Mangal Tribal Police from 2009/01/14

Afghan Public Protection Force from 2009/02/02

Did ANSO Strategically Leak a Classified Email to HuffPo? from 2009/02/11


Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

7 responses to “Civil Defense Forces

  1. hoosierarmymom

    It is my understanding that President Karzai screws the populous financially because he is so corrupt and is know to be a Taliban sympathizer. I have gotten this from more than one person who has been over there. As long as you have this kind of leader, it is going to be mission impossible to build a strong anything form the citizens there. They don’t trust their own government.

    I think we should have not worried about upsetting Pakistan and just took out Bin Laden and Al Qaeida long ago.

  2. We selected him to be our front man back in 2001 because we thought we needed to put a Pashtun face on the Taliban’s successor regime. He was acceptable to the Tajiks and Uzbeks in the Northern Alliance, and he cleaned up well and spoke good English.

    I think if we could have taken bin Laden, we would have. Upsetting Pakistan causes our Main supply Route to be cut.

  3. I like this turn of phrase: “It’s their country – surge them”

  4. Pingback: “It’s their country - surge them” « PurpleSlog

  5. cmblake6

    I tend to look at that theory as what the 2A was all about. Right here at home. And exactly WHY the left wants to void said 2A. *AHEM*

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