Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Enquirer, Bypassing the Karzai Problem
5. Local security helps keep the peace. At intervals along the newly paved “Chinese road” stand armed local home guards. They are the controversial Afghan Public Protection force, known as the AP3, who are recruited by local elders, paid by the Afghan Interior Ministry, and trained (briefly) by U.S. forces. They are a transitional force meant to watch for outsiders. I was skeptical about their usefulness when I visited Wardak in May. But Fidai, who promoted the AP3, says that “where there are AP3 there are no IEDs,” because locals are more willing to give intelligence tips to homeboys. So the AP3 should be retained until the Afghan national police can be expanded sufficiently to staff remote areas of Wardak.
Message: Local forms of security emerge once an area is cleared and villagers have something to protect.
An AP3 skeptic sees the light.
Been scanning for positive news of the AP3. Not much out there. The Quiet Professionals are too quiet. Who is supposed to be strategically communicating to the American target audience about the successes ( there are some, aren’t there?) of what may be one of the most successful programs for using civilian forces since the Civilian Irregular Defense Group in Vietnam?