Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wayne Madsen: Back to the future for Obama - Ratcheting up tension with Indonesia over Beijing - Jakarta ties

Obama, CIA showing true colors with Indonesia; responsible for recent drop in value of Rupiah

By Wayne Madsen

Borrowing a page from the CIA's book in the months before it overthrew President Sukarno, the Obama administration has opted to use growing Chinese-Indonesian ties as a reason to step up internal political pressure on the Indonesian government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The Obama administration is copying the Lyndon Johnson administration by ratcheting up tensions with Beijing in East Asia, using Indonesia as a proxy battleground.

In 1965, the CIA seeded a bogus news story in the Asian press about the secret supply of Chinese weapons to the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party] for a communist revolt. The phony article first appeared in a Malaysian newspaper, citing unnamed sources in Bangkok, who heard the story from Hong Kong sources who, in turn, picked up the information from contacts in mainland China.

In a 2009 replay, Obama's then-ambassador to Beijing, Jon Huntsman, now a GOP presidential candidate, wrote in a cable to the State Department, that "the PRC [People's Republic of China] was increasingly assertive in its interactions with Indonesia." It was such "intelligence" about Chinese influence in Indonesia that was used to justify the 1965 coup against Sukarno, one which Obama's Indonesian step-father participated, and the succeeding genocide waged against Indonesia's ethnic Chinese and PKI members, a bloodbath in which Obama's mother participated as a CIA agent providing ethno-political intelligence under US Agency for International Development (USAID) cover.

The PKI is long since gone but Obama is now using the specter of Indonesian jihadists as a reason to apply pressure on Indonesia. WMR's sources in Indonesia rpeort that a number of Islamic radicals trained by the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan are active with elements of the Indonesian military to stoke up tensions between Muslims and other religions in Indonesia and carry out limited terrorist attacks against Christian churches and Buddhist temples. The CIA operation is intended to destabilize Indonesia and force a pro-U.S. strongman like Suharto, the CIA-funded army chief who took over from Sukarno after the 1965 coup, to come to power in Jakarta. A pro-U.S. dictator in Indonesia would be expected to veer Indonesia away from lucrative oil, natural gas, and mineral deals with China and put the nation's natural resources into the hands of the United States and Australia.

On March 24, 2011, WMR reported: "Fears that a possible coup against Yudhoyono is being planned by right-wing active duty and retired Indonesian army elements are being fueled by an Al Jazeera report that a cabal of Indonesian generals have held secret meetings with leaders of Indonesia's radical Islamist groups to help plan terrorist attacks in the country that would then be used as a pretext for an army coup against Yudhoyono. The generals would claim that the ouster of the president was necessitated by his weak leadership in the face of terrorism. In fact, the renegade generals consider Yudhoyono to be too much of a reformist."

The Obama administration is also upset about Yudhoyono's close ties to Russia and Iran. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation and, as such, is a prime intelligence target of the neocons and Zionists who continue to dominate the U.S. foreign policy apparatus. Israel continues to be upset that Indonesia decided not to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state after the ouster of Suharto in 1998.

Our March 24 report continued: "The rumors of a planned coup against Yudhoyono come amid the publication by WikiLeaks of U.S. embassy Jakarta cables that report alleged widespread corruption, personal enrichment, nepotism, and spying on political opponents by Yudhoyono's administration.

WMR's Jakarta source confirms the Al Jazeera report that the Islamist provocateur groups, led by retired Army chief of staff General Tyasno Sudarto, is involved in planning for a series of 'false flag' terrorist attacks.  The Islamist groups have been recruiting new members since January and are now boldly calling for a revolution in Indonesia, the removal of Yudhoyono, and the formation of an Islamic state. Sudarto has called for Indonesian youth movements to align with the Indonesian armed forces (TNI) and he has accused Yudhoyono of weakening the army."

The Huntsman cable suggested that Indonesia was loathe to interfere with China's "core interests" in Asia, interests that are at loggerheads with U.S. interests in the region, particularly disputed South China Sea islands, Tibet, and Taiwan. It was Sukarno's support for China on the international stage, such as Indonesia's withdrawal from the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund over their anti-China stance, that precipitated the CIA's coup and removal of Sukarno from power. U.S. embassy cables from Jakarta have suggested that Yudhoyono is protecting wealthy Chinese-Indonesia business interests and "criminals." The U.S. embassy has also charged that Yudhoyono is protecting from corruption charges Taufik Kiemas, the husband of former President Megawati Sukarnaputri, the daughter of Sukarno. WMR learned in Jakarta that the CIA arranged for the poisoning death of Sukarno in 1970 while he was under house arrest. In 1970, Obama was attending the Menteng state elementary school in Jakarta while his step-father was working for the CIA under the non-official cover of government relations officer for UNOCAL and while his mother was under non-official CIA cover working for the Institute of Management Education and Development in Jakarta.

The word from Jakarta is that Obama has given a green light for the CIA to do anything necessary to bring Indonesia firmly into the U.S. orbit and, with it, Indonesia's vast energy and mineral resources.

DE RUEHBJ #0393/01 0490708
O 180708Z FEB 10
2010-02-18 00:00:00
Embassy Beijing
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2035

REF: 09 BEIJING 1973

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson for reasons
1.4 (B/D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: PRC State Councilor Dai Bingguo's "warm,
friendly" January 21-26 visit to Indonesia reinforced the
perception that China-Indonesia relations have been
relatively free of tension of late; however, in reality PRC
diplomatic assertiveness with Indonesia has risen steadily in
recent years, according to an Indonesian Embassy official.
The Indonesian official suggested that the strong (per usual)
PRC reaction to the United States announcement of arms sales
to Taiwan and to the President's plan to meet the Dalai Lama
is intended to preserve domestic political legitimacy and to
warn other countries that there are consequences for
violating PRC "core interests." These warnings have
influenced Indonesia's posture on PRC "core interests."
Competition between Indonesia and China for influence in
Southeast Asia, combined with past frictions, creates an
undercurrent of tension in the bilateral relationship,
according to the Indonesian diplomat. END SUMMARY.

Indonesian Views on PRC Diplomatic Assertiveness
--------------------------------------------- ---
2. (C) The PRC was increasingly assertive in its interactions
with Indonesia, but there had not been any recent spike in
diplomatic pressure, Indonesian Embassy PolCouns Gudadi
Bambang Sasongko told PolOffs February 8. As evidence of
growing PRC assertiveness, Sasongko noted past PRC objections
to proposed visits of the Dalai Lama and the May 2006 transit
of Taiwan then-President Chen Shui-bian as well as the PRC's
strong reaction to June 2009 arrest of Chinese fisherman in
Indonesia's EEZ. During the July 2009 visit of Indonesian
then-Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, PRC officials had
insisted that the sailors had been fishing in "historical
fishing grounds" and had reiterated extensive PRC claims in
the South China Sea by flatly declaring to the Indonesians:
"We have a border." Most recently, however, Sasongko said,
relations had been relatively tension-free as evidenced by
State Councilor Dai Bingguo's late-January visit to Indonesia.

3. (C) Sasongko suggested that Indonesia's growing caution on
PRC "core interests," (i.e., not hosting the Dalai Lama and
maintaining non-official, commercially-driven ties with
Taiwan) had spared Indonesia from the type of diplomatic
protests that the PRC had recently directed at the United
States. While the PRC had never threatened Indonesia with
specific measures for violations of its "core interests,"
Indonesia was not ready to risk PRC retaliation that might
undermine Indonesia's economic development. Negative PRC
reactions to Dalai Lama meetings with French President
Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel had also influenced
Indonesia's posture on these issues. Despite PRC
sensitivities on Taiwan, Indonesia continued to welcome
discreet Taiwan investments because they created local
employment. In contrast, he said, PRC investment projects
consisted mainly of "building a bridge" but resulted in few
jobs for Indonesians.

4. (C) Sasongko stated that Indonesia paid close attention to
PRC reactions to U.S. actions and argued that the PRC
reaction to the U.S. announcement of arms sales to Taiwan and
President Obama's plan to meet with the Dalai Lama was not
only a sign of displeasure with the United States but also
reflected PRC leadership desire to preserve its domestic
legitimacy as well as the PRC's international image as a
rising power that must be respected.

State Councilor Dai Visit to Indonesia
5. (C) State Councilor Dai Bingguo had enjoyed a "warm,
friendly" visit to Indonesia January 21-26 at the invitation
of Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and
Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Sasongko said. Dai had met
with President YUDHOYONO and Vice President Boediono, and
signed a plan of action for the implementation of the
PRC-Indonesia strategic partnership. Neither side had raised
contentious issues, and there was no discussion of
differences over implementation of the China-ASEAN FTA, which
took effect January 1. The two sides had discussed plans for
President YUDHOYONO to attend the Shanghai World Expo, but
specific dates had not been set, according to Sasongko.

Competing Vision for Region
BEIJING 00000393 002 OF 002

6. (C) Sasongko asserted that Indonesia was the only country
in Southeast Asia that consistently and unequivocally upheld
democracy and human rights as key principles and took action
through the Bali Democracy Forum to push for political
progress throughout the region. The PRC preferred to focus
regional attention on economic integration and sought to put
off political differences until economic interdependence had
taken further root. This divergence between Indonesia's
focus on regional political development and China's emphasis
on regional economic integration, as well as past historical
tensions with the PRC, contributed to friction in the
bilateral relationship. Still, according to Sasongko, both
sides sought to keep relations in a positive direction
through the PRC-Indonesia strategic partnership.



Wayne Madsen (USA)

Wayne Madsen
Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. 

Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club, Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C. 

Eurozone Death Watch

Following in America's footsteps:  The big fire sale

By Mike Whitney

There’s no way to overstate the calamity that’s unfolding across the Atlantic. The eurozone is imploding. The smart money has already fled EU banks for safe quarters in the US while political leaders frantically look for a way to prevent a seemingly-unavoidable meltdown. Here’s an excerpt from a post at The Streetlight blog that explains what’s going on:

    “…ECB data seems to indicate that monetary financial institutions (MFIs) in Europe have been moving their deposits out of European banks. Where is that money going?….

    European banks are shifting their cash assets out of European banks and putting much of them into US banks…. This has happened at a significant rate, with a net transatlantic flow from European to US banks that probably totals close to half a trillion dollars in just six months.”

For all the trouble they cause, who needs banks?
The eurozone is experiencing a slow-motion run on its banking system. And–while the ECB’s emergency loans and other commitments have kept the panic from spreading to households and other retail customers–the big money continues to flee as leaders of large financial institutions realize that a political solution to the monetary union’s troubles is still out-of-reach.

      The spreads on Spanish and Italian sovereign bonds have risen to nosebleed levels while the interest rate on the Greek 1-year bond has topped 70 percent, a tacit admission that Greece has lost access to the capital markets and will default despite the persistent efforts of the IMF and ECB.

    At the same time, overnight deposits at the European Central Bank (ECB) continue to rise as jittery bankers stash billions at the “risk free” facility. According to the Wall Street Journal: “Banks deposited €166.85 billion ($235.23 billion) at the ECB, the central bank said Tuesday, up from the previous 2011 peak of €151.1 billion recorded Friday, and the highest since €172.09 billion recorded Aug. 9 2010.” This is yet another sign that nerves are on-edge and that banks are preparing for the worst.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been stalled in her attempt to push through changes to the European Financial Security Facility (EFSF) that would allow it’s governors to use billions in emergency funds to bail out underwater EU banks that made bad bets on sovereign bonds. The German parliament (Bundestag) will vote on the issue on September 23 with the future of the 17-member monetary union hanging in the balance. If the EFSF is not given the “expanded powers” it seeks, then investors will ditch their bank shares and the markets will plunge. Political developments in Germany will determine whether the eurozone has a future or not.

It appears Angela Merkel doesn't like banks now either
 This is from Reuters:

“Funding market tensions have triggered emergency measures at European banks, with some firms now dumping assets at the fastest rate since the collapse of Lehman Brothers as they seek to build up stockpiles of cash and reduce their reliance on short-term borrowings.

Nervy lenders have sold off billions of euros of “good assets” since the start of August, according to treasurers and business heads overseeing such sales, with some firms also halting new loans to large corporate clients in an effort to preserve cash.

    Such a defensive response to the enfolding funding crisis in Europe is the clearest sign yet that credit market tensions – whether rooted in truth or unwarranted investor panic – pose an increasing threat to the global economic recovery, potentially choking off credit to critical engines of growth.” (“Banks dump assets as funding worries intensify," Reuters)

    It’s a firesale, and it’s getting worse. The banks have already jettisoned their good assets and are now left with the toxic dreck that will fetch only a fraction of their original cost. As the bank run accelerates, the need for cash will increase forcing the ECB to either dig deeper or let the financial system crash.

Where is the money going?
EU leaders have frittered away an entire year while sparks on the periphery turned into full-blown firestorm. Now the inferno has spread to the core and policymakers still can’t settle on a course of action. This is policy paralysis at its worst.

    The problem is political not economic. Eurozone leaders are being asked to create a fiscal union with powers that surpass those of the individual states, a United States of Europe. But the groundwork has not been done to engage the public or build consensus, which is why the ECB continues to rely on half-measures and band-aid solutions like emergency loans and bond purchasing programs. Now investors have seen through the ruse and are demanding swift action or they’ll send the markets into freefall. So, time is of the essence, which is why the eurozone’s chances for survival are so slim.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.net.

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Tea party Fruitcake Rep. John Fleming: Only $400,000 left after "I feed my family"

Deluded, multimillionaire Tea party Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) resides in another world - the world of the wealthy

By David Edwards

Tea party Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) used himself as an example Monday while arguing against President Barack Obama’s plan to make sure millionaires pay about the same tax rate as the people that work for them.

    “In my own case, I own LLCs,” Fleming told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “The income flows to my personal tax return and whatever is left over after taxes are paid, I feed my family on the one hand and on the other hand, I reinvest in my business.”

 “With all due respect, The Wall Street Journal estimated that your businesses, which I believe are Subway sandwich shops and UPS stores — very successful — brought you last year, over $6 million,” Jansing noted.

“Yeah, that’s before you pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment and food,” Fleming agreed. 

    “Since my net income — and again, that’s the individual rate that I told you about — the amount that I have to reinvest in my business and feed my family is more like $600,000 of that $6.3 million. And so by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment.”

    “You do understand, Congressman, the average person out there making 40, 50, $60,000 a year, when they hear that you have $400,000 left over, it’s not exactly a sympathetic position?” Jansing asked.

    “Again, class warfare never created a job,” Fleming replied. “That’s people that will not get jobs. This is all about creating jobs. It’s not about attacking people who make certain incomes. You know, in this country, most people feel that being successful in their businesses is a virtue, not a vice. And once we begin to identify it as a vice, this country is going down.”

    It wasn’t clear if the numbers cited by Fleming included his $174,000 congressional salary.*

* Fleming is a multimillionaire business owner who is now basically saying he can't make it on his approximately $400,000 a year paycheck (not including perks like health and life insurance for him and his entire family, among other benefits we pay for).  The average household income in 2010 was under $50,000 which is down 2.3 percent from 2009.  Fleming doesn’t work very hard for his money like the rest of us peasants do.  In other words, Fleming is lazy and sits on his ass while his employees do all the work to make him rich, like most of the parasites in Congress, the Senate and Obama administration.   He recently told the Wall Street Journal that “he spends very little time on day-to-day management, though he weighs in on broad strategy decisions.  I monitor the reports.  I’m certainly in communication with the managers.”   In the interim, he’s in Congress fighting to decimate the average household income for the middle class and fighting to kill Social Security and Medicare.  In these catastrophic times for the economy, Americans are struggling to stay off the streets, eating dog food twice a week and go without health or dental care of any kind.  And now Fleming has the temerity to complain about having only $400,000 in his loose change drawer after feeding his own.  This wealthy, middle-class taxpayer killer needs to have the can tied around him - permanently. - Ed.

 This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

“Just Don’t Call It a Militia” : Part 2

Background: The Ghosts of Militias Past

Human Rights Watch

Our tolerance of or support for un-regulated forces would encourage some of the worst Afghan traditional tendencies and undermine popular and international support for further ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] development. It would also raise suspicions of our intentions among Afghans who perceived themselves as victims of various militias.
US embassy cable from Kabul to Washington, D.C., November 2009[6]
The history of tribal militias and community defense forces in Afghanistan involves a bewildering array of acronyms, conflicting definitions, and mutating policy. Despite multiple policy failures, the enthusiasm of the Afghan government and the US military for local defense forces appears undiminished. Since it came to power in 2001 the Afghan government has been using and paying militias, with an increase in their deployment for elections in both 2004 and 2005. The active involvement of the international military—ISAF and US forces, particularly US special operations forces—in using militias also dates back to 2001.[7]

While new programs are often defined by their differences with past programs, there are usually striking similarities. Looking at past efforts is vital to adequately assess the prospects of and pitfalls facing the latest variant, the Afghan Local Police. This section provides a brief overview of some recent initiatives by the government and international forces to create and support irregular Afghan forces, often of a tribal or ethnic nature.

A Maze of Militias


Over the past decade, militia forces in Afghanistan have ebbed and flowed in size, number, and degree of government support and resistance. There have been some efforts to disarm some militias and former warlords, though these have been half-hearted and undermined by allowing or supporting other militia and warlords to continue to operate. Meanwhile recurring local defense initiatives have re-empowered the same “commander networks.”

Following the collapse of the Taliban government in late 2001, many anti-Taliban militias were integrated into the Afghan Military Force (AMF) under the new Karzai government’s Ministry of Defense. It was these forces that were later the target of the first wave of demobilization under the internationally organized Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program.

From 2001 onwards, US-led coalition forces hired primarily Pashtun militias known variously as Afghan Guard Forces (AGF), Afghan Security Guards (ASG), or Afghan Security Forces (ASF).[8] In 2004, the declared policy was that the US would recruit a total of up to 2,000 men as a temporary measure to deal with the Taliban insurgency in the south and east. These militias would be used until the Afghan National Army was ready to take over.[9] That number was greatly exceeded, with some phased out in 2004-2005. Others became private security contractors (PSCs) or convoy security providers, who were paid by various foreign governments, most commonly the US.

Other ad hoc forces were the small private militias of the provincial governors, who sometimes received government support for up to 500 security or bodyguards.[10] In the southeast, village militias have been both tolerated and actively supported since 2002. Policymakers have tried to replicate this in other parts of the country.[11]

The UK government has for many years advocated the use arbaki in Afghanistan. British army and special operations forces supported initiatives in Helmand province, where the UK was in command of international forces from 2006.[12] In late 2007, Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for “community defense initiatives, where local volunteers are recruited to defend homes and families modeled on traditional Afghan ‘arbakai.’”[13] The British proposal to extend these local militias was rejected by the American commander of ISAF, Gen. Dan McNeil, who argued that the arbaki model was appropriate in the southeast, but that in the south the tribes had disintegrated too much for it to work.[14]

Token Disarmament


The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program and the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) program have been widely recognized as weak and ineffective. Authorities have lacked the political will to overcome the vested interests of many influential Afghan actors in the continued existence of irregular armed groups.[15] The disarmament process that did take place was often tokenistic, with major arms kept in reserve.

The Karzai government may have started with earnest ambitions, but soon slid into compromising with numerous power factions in order to maintain its grip on power. Key international donors and organizations, particularly the US, either actively undermined efforts at disarmament and demobilization by providing support to particular groups and individuals, or by choosing not to expend political capital to press for a genuine challenge to the armed groups.[16] Instead, they supported programs that created the impression of serious commitment. On all sides short-term thinking and deal-making has prevailed, despite the clear risks for long-term security.

 DDR, which ran from 2002-2005, focused exclusively on the Afghan Military Force. According to the Ministry of Interior, approximately 62,000 former combatants were demobilized by 2005.[17] This number is assumed to be inflated, because monetary incentives for demobilization created “ghost fighters.”[18] In any case, DDR excluded the large numbers of other irregular forces or private militias.[19]

DIAG, the successor to DDR, was introduced in 2005. In its first phase, from 2005–2007, DIAG identified 1,800 irregular armed groups. The compilation of the list of “illegal armed groups” was a highly political one, drawing heavily on the involvement of provincial and district governors, who were themselves often linked to these forces.[20] The list was used to disqualify candidates for elections who failed to voluntarily disband their militias.[21] Militias that were employed as private security companies by the coalition, ISAF, and others were largely excluded from the DIAG process.[22] Many of the most powerful candidates known to have private militias were not touched.[23] In the 2005 parliamentary election, only 11 out of approximately 6000 candidates were disqualified for having links to illegal armed groups.[24] The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), a governmental human rights body, estimated that more than 80 percent of winning candidates in the 2005 parliamentary election and more than 60 percent in the capital, Kabul, were linked to armed groups.[25]

Afghan National Auxiliary Police (ANAP)


The Afghan National Auxiliary Police (ANAP) is a case study in what can go wrong with community defense schemes.[26] It was created primarily in response to security demands in conflict areas, which increased significantly in late 2005.[27]

The Afghan government and the US military launched the program in 2006, despite considerable skepticism from international advisors providing police training. A report from the Second International Police Conference on Afghanistan in October 2006 noted that:
After much debate and comment, the overwhelming majority of the international police representatives present stated that they did not agree with the establishment of the Auxiliary Police within ANP. However, the Afghan Government ordered its establishment. It was agreed that the international community would have to agree with this decision and make the best out of it.[28]
In theory, ANAP was meant to carry out community policing functions. In reality, ANAP was an ill-equipped and poorly trained paramilitary force. The program was devised in haste, with poorly defined rules of engagement, minimal vetting and training, and high levels of insurgent infiltration, defection, and corruption.[29] While these defects have been detailed in several authoritative assessments,[30] the key flaws can be briefly outlined. New recruits were deployed into six southern provinces after just 10 days of training.[31] They were given an AK-47 assault rifle, uniforms distinguishable from those of regular police only by a “distinctive patch,” and approximately the same rate of pay as an Afghan National Police patrol officer.[32] One former deputy minister told Human Rights Watch that they were ill-prepared for the duties they were expected to carry out: “Most disappeared, many were killed because they were not protected. If they don’t have skills or equipment or support, they are just like shields of meat.”[33]

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Ministry of Interior were responsible for vetting the recruits, though little vetting took place in practice.[34] Analysts concluded that there were high levels of insurgent infiltration of the force.[35] ANAP was used to absorb pre-existing jihadi militias or armed groups, without excluding abusive commanders or individuals whose loyalties, unlike their uniforms, had not changed.[36] It also undermined the DIAG process as commanders and groups disarmed by DIAG were effectively reactivated under ANAP.[37]

As one senior official in the Ministry of Interior, Maj. Gen. Esmatullah Dawlatzai, told Human Rights Watch: 

“It was made for the warlords. They were given uniforms and salaries, but they were the same people, committing the same crimes, with more power.”[38]

In some areas the force had a destabilizing tribal or ethnic dimension. In Badghis, ANAP has been blamed for having fueled the insurgency after a largely Tajik force harassed Pashtun communities, which ultimately sought defense from the Taliban.[39]

By April 2008, ANAP was discontinued. US Army Brig. Gen. Robert Cone, who was then in charge of the US-led Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan (CSTC-A), told reporters that the program had been abandoned: “What we saw was that the effect of paying people to support us when we needed them, despite the positive impact over time, also had the effect of arming people who were not necessarily in line with the government.”[40]

One former official concluded that the ANAP was “outside any control mechanism and functioned basically on personal loyalty. When they were disbanded only (a roughly estimated) forty percent of them were included into the ANP…. Where the rest (and their weapons) went is still unclear.”[41]

Community Defense Forces (CDF)


The Community Defense Forces, also sometimes known as “election militia,” were created to improve security at polling stations two months before the presidential election in August 2009. CDF aimed to recruit 10,000 men to allow voting to take place in insecure areas where Afghan security forces had little presence.[42]

In charge of the force was Mohammad Arif Noorzai, who was previously head of the newly created Independent Directorate for the Protection of Public Properties and Highways by Tribal Support.[43] He was seen as a Karzai ally and a member of a powerful family that is notorious for its involvement in the narcotics trade.[44]

The CDF plan was hastily thrown together and appeared to many to be aimed at securing polling stations where Karzai could expect support or providing additional salaries and other resources to those in the president’s network of supporters who were recruited.[45]

Many Afghan and international officials interviewed by Human Rights Watch were dismayed by the idea.[46] One Afghan electoral official said the plan was “Disastrous. It gives legitimacy to warlords.”[47] The Electoral Commission objected to the new force, stating that only official Afghan security forces and police were legally empowered to provide security at polling stations.[48] But others were supportive or silent. At a meeting to discuss election security, one senior UN official reportedly said: “As long as they’re not called militias then we’re ok with it.”[49]

One Karzai ally who was asked to create a community defense force in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province told Human Rights Watch:
We made an arbaki  for the presidential election.... The US and the government said it is not possible to open polling stations in Shah Wali Kot, but I guaranteed that I could open them, and I secured with my militia 32,000 votes for President Karzai.[50]
Implementation of CDF was last minute and haphazard. It is not clear how many “Community Defense Forces” were formed in time for the election, though some were reported in a few provinces.[51] Amid conflicting promises from various officials about the longevity of these forces, some lingered after the election, eventually fading away or being absorbed into subsequent community defense initiatives. There was almost no assessment of the success of the CDF in terms of electoral security, and no transparency about the large sums of money issued to finance the scheme.[52]

Community Defense Initiative (CDI)/Local Defense Initiative (LDI)


By 2009, community defense forces had become a growth industry, spawning a bewildering array of acronyms to describe them. AP3, CDF, CDI, LDI, and LDF were all loosely applied to different groups, even by government and military officials.[53] Names changed rapidly, with one official admitting that there had been eight name-changes for one force under discussion within the space of one week.[54]

The Community Defense Initiative (CDI) was launched in July 2009 by the US Combined Forces Special Operations Command Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A) around the same time as the CDF, but was soon renamed the Local Defense Initiative (LDI).[55] CDI/LDI were described by a US official as a way “to assist the local population to provide their own security with defensive ‘neighborhood watch’ type programs.”[56] CFSOCC-A described the Community Defense Initiative as a program to “assist Afghan civilians in stabilizing their own villages against malign influences.”[57] By 2010, CDI/LDI came under the umbrella of Village Stability Operations (VSOs), which is described by the US Department of Defense as “a bottom-up strategy to provide local security, enable development, and foster governance at the village level.”[58]

According to US military documents, CDI and LDI sites were initiated by CFSOCC-A in areas that were militarily strategic, where there were little or no formal Afghan security or conventional ISAF forces, and where the local community had asked for help or resisted the insurgents.[59] Special operations forces were embedded in these communities to train the “local guardians of VSOs”—as CFSOCC-A refers to them—and help provide security. The CDI/LDI model “in most cases” comprised approximately 30 men per village, vouched for by village elders, biometrically registered, and trained in defensive tactics such as checkpoint manning, marksmanship, and Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) detection.[60]

The Afghan government was initially resistant to LDI as it appeared to be a unilateral initiative by US special operations forces.[61] But by late 2009, the Ministry of Interior, with assistance from the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, was working with the US on LDI.[62] In August 2010, the LDI units were subsumed into the Afghan Local Police. 

Interim Security for Critical Infrastructure


In addition to Local Defense Initiative units, which are trained and mentored by special operations forces, the US military in 2010 set up another local defense force known as Interim Security for Critical Infrastructure (ISCI), in Marjah, Helmand province. ISCI members are trained by US marines—conventional forces not special operations forces— for 18 days in basic policing and ethics, paid US$150 a month, report to the district chief of police, and wear a brown uniform with a yellow star patch.[63] According to the US military, some ISCI members will eventually be absorbed into the Afghan Local Police or the national police.[64] According to one media report, local residents in Marjah have complained that ISCI forces are using their official status to resolve petty disputes, have engaged in illegal taxation, have confiscated mobile phones, and demanded money.[65]

A Magnet for Insurgent Attacks


For insurgent forces, the police and militias are relatively soft targets, as they are less well armed and are often in more exposed locations like checkpoints or local stations. Under international humanitarian law (the laws of war), police have the protected status of civilians in a conflict unless they have been subsumed into the armed forces or are taking a direct part in hostilities.[66] However, this distinction has become increasingly blurred in Afghanistan, particularly as the US has taken a greater role in police training, which has led to a heavy emphasis on paramilitary rather than law enforcement functions. Greater distinction between the form and function of civilian police units, paramilitary units, and the army would help to ensure that civilian police forces are less of a target of attack

The police are already paying a heavy toll for this blurring of lines and Taliban failure to respect the laws of war. The Ministry of Interior estimates that 1292 policemen were killed and 2447 other police forces wounded between March 2010 and March 2011.[67] The ALP will be even more at risk than the national police, since they are based in the most insecure areas, have limited training, and already appear to be singled out by some insurgent forces.

Fearing targeting by the Taliban, some communities are reluctant to support the ALP. By mid-2011, according to the UN Assistance Mission of Afghanistan, insurgents were responsible for 80 percent of civilian deaths from the conflict, up 28 percent from the same period in 2010.[68] The targeting of civilians is a war crime under international humanitarian law, but Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, has sought to describe the assassination campaign as legitimate:
Assassinations of government officials is part of the military strategy of the Taliban…. Our fight was with the foreigners, but unfortunately there are lots of government officials who are willing to be used by the foreigners so we have increased our assassinations of them.[69]
The assassination campaign has included the targeting of police personnel, with the ALP appearing to be a prime target. A statement said to be from the Taliban was published in July 2010, condemning “local militias” and effectively declaring them legitimate targets:
General David Petraeus, the chief of invading forces in Afghanistan, has taken on a task, by the order of White House and Pentagon rulers, to increase notorious militia under the name “Local Force” against Mujahideen … every individual Afghan, by fulfilling their nation-state’s duty, is bound to preserve their Islamic and national solidarity so as to foil this conspiracy…. Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate … have to use every asset in their power to foil this plot and punish and keep a close eye on those [who] support this program and join it.[70]
Army Gen. David Betrayus
 The Taliban have already launched attacks against the ALP, including a major suicide attack on a government building in Kunduz province in February 2011 that killed approximately 30 civilians.[71] Local officials told reporters that many of the dead were present for a gathering of arbaki at the time.[72] It is not known whether these were “official” ALP, but few local residents distinguish between ALP and other government-backed militias. Some of the victims were parents and children registering for school.[73]

Villagers from Shindand told Human Rights Watch of reports that men described as ALP were targeted in Zerkow valley in February 2011.[74] This attack followed a raid by ALP forces (as described in section V below). The Afghan National Security Office (ANSO) reported the attack, noting that three ALP men were shot and wounded by suspected insurgents riding on motorcycles.[75]

The threat is well understood by communities. Several villagers told us that fear of being targeted is a reason for their reluctance to join the ALP or see their relatives join. One elder in Khas Uruzgan in Uruzgan province told Human Rights Watch that, “Last year one boy was beheaded who joined ALP. Another boy from my village was also executed.”[76]

* * *


[6]US Embassy Cable (09KABUL3661 “Irregular Forces – What’s out there”), November 2009, Cable Released, January 24, 2011, http://wikileaks.enet.gr/cable/2009/11/09KABUL3661.html

[7] See generally, Thomas Ruttig, “How tribal are the Taleban - Afghanistan’s largest insurgent movement between its tribal roots and Islamist ideology,”Afghanistan Analysts Network, April 2010, p. 10, http://aan-afghanistan.com/uploads/20100624-TR-ExecSumHowTribalAretheTaleban.pdf;Ron Holt, “Afghan Village Militia: A People-Centric Strategy to Win,” September 2, 2009, Small Wars Journal, p. 9, http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/289-holt.pdf (accessed February 8, 2011); Mattieu Lefevre, “Local Defence in Afghanistan – A Review of Government Backed Initiatives,” Afghan Analysts Network, May 2010, http://aan-afghanistan.com/index.asp?id=763.

[8] Michael Bhatia, Kevin Lanigan& Philip Wilkinson, “Minimal Investments, Minimal Results:The Failure of Security Policy in Afghanistan,” June 2004, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, p. 16, http://www.cmi.no/afghanistan/themes/docs/AREU-Brief-2004-June-security.pdf (accessed March 27, 2011). Antonio Guistozzi, “Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan” (London: Hurst, 2007), p. 166. 

[9] “Afghan, U.S. Officials Agree on New Force,The Associated Press, March 5, 2004, http://www.e-ariana.com/ariana/eariana.nsf/allDocs/F5938F6D524312F987256E8900536A97?OpenDocument (accessed December 27, 2010).

[10] “Afghan Militia Force Launched To Guard Border,” RFERL, January 15 2006, http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1064717.html (accessed March 10, 2011). Ron Synovitz, “Afghanistan: Kabul Raises Concerns With Plan To Use Militia Fighters As Police,” RFERL, June 15, 2006, http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1069190.html (accessed March 10, 2011).

[11] Antonio Guistozzi, Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan (London: Hurst, 2007), pp. 171-2.

[12]Ann Scott Tyson “Military Weighs Recruiting Afghan Tribes to Fight Taliban,” Washington Post, December 4, 2007,http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/03/AR2007120301406.html (accessed March 10, 2011).

[13] Statement by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the House of Commons: “Statement on Afghanistan,” December 12, 2007. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page14050 (accessed March 10, 2011).

[14] Jon Boone, “US General warns on Afghan Defence Plan,” The Financial Times, January 2, 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f31af380-b95e-11dc-bb66-0000779fd2ac.html#axzz1G88voviX (accessed March 10, 2011).

[15]Numerous Human Rights Watch interviews with Afghan and international officials, Kabul, 2008-2011.

[16]Human Rights Watch interview with Antonio Giustozzi, analyst, London February 2, 2011; Barbara Stapleton, Disarming the Militias—DDR and DIAG and the Implications for Peace Building, 2010 (paper on file with Human Rights Watch).

[17] Caroline A. Hartzell, Missed Opportunities: The Impact of DDR on SSR in Afghanistan, US Institute of Peace, April 2011, p. 5, http://www.usip.org/files/resources/SR270-Missed_Opportunities.pdf (accessed April 10, 2011).

[18]International Crisis Group, A Force in Fragments – Reconstituting the Afghan National Army, May 12, 2010, p. 6, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/afghanistan/190-a-force-in-fragments-reconstituting-the-afghan-national-army.aspx.

[19]Stapleton, Disarming the Militias—DDR and DIAG and the Implications for Peace Building, 2010.

[20]Human Rights Watch interview with Antonio Giustozzi, analyst, London February 2, 2011.

[21] Barnett Rubin and Humayun Hamidzada, “From Bonn to London: Governance Challenge and the Future of State Building in Afghanistan,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 14, No. 1 (January 2007), pp. 9-25; International Crisis Group, Getting Disarmament Back on Track, February 2005.

[22] Michael Bhatia, “The Future of Mujahideen: Legitimacy, Legacy and Demobilization in Post-Bonn Agreement,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 14, No. 1 (January 2007), pp. 102-03.

[23] Stapleton, Disarming the Militias—DDR and DIAG and the Implications for Peace Building, 2010 (paper on file with Human Rights Watch); Michael Bhatta, The Future of Mujahideen: Legitimacy, Legacy and Demobilization in Post-Bonn Agreement, pp. 90-107. See generally also, Antonio Giustozzi, Shadow Ownership and SSR in Afghanistan, in Donais, Timothy, (ed.) Local ownership and security sector reform. Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 215-232 (2008).

[24] Bhatia, The Future of Mujahideen: Legitimacy, Legacy and Demobilization in Post-Bonn Agreement, pp. 102-03.National Democratic Institute (NDI): The September Parliamentary and Provincial Elections in 2005 in Afghanistan, April 10, 2006, p. 6,http://www.ndi.org/files/2004_af_report_041006.pdf.

[25]“Rights body warns of warlords’ success in elections,” IRIN News, October 18, 2005. http://www.eariana.com/ariana/eariana.nsf/allDocs/AFD2F0A9B9CD34138725709E0071173D?OpenDocument (accessed April 25, 2011).

[26] Human Rights Watch interviews with a wide range of policy analysts, advisors, and government officials, Kabul, 2007-2011.

[27] There are no reliable records of civilian casualties between 2001 and 2005. In 2006, Human Rights Watch estimated that a minimum of 929 civilians had been killed in the armed conflict that year. Human Rights Watch, Troops in Contact: Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan, September 8, 2008, p. 13, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/75157/section/3.

[28] Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) and the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPI), Reforming the Afghan National Police, November 2009, p. 93, http://www.fpri.org/research/nationalsecurity/afghanpolice/ReformingAfghanNationalPolice.pdf.

[29] See Wilder, Cops or Robbers – The Struggle to Reform the Afghan National Police, pp. 13-17; International Crisis Group, Reforming Afghanistan’s Police, pp. 13-14; Mathieu Lefevre, Local Defense in Afghanistan: A Review of Government Backed Initiatives,” pp. 5-8; Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, Reforming the Afghan National Police, pp. 14, 102.

[30]Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) and the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPI), Reforming the Afghan National Police, November 2009,http://www.fpri.org/research/nationalsecurity/afghanpolice/ReformingAfghanNationalPolice.pdf; Andrew Wilder, “Cops or Robbers: The Struggle to Reform the Afghan National Police,” Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, 2007, pp. 13-17; International Crisis Group, Reforming Afghanistan’s Police, August 30, 2007,http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-asia/afghanistan/138_reforming_afghanistan_s_police.ashx.

[31] Andrew Wilder, Cops or Robbers: The Struggle to Reform the Afghan National Police, p. 14. The ANAP was deployed in Helmand, Kandahar, Farah, Uruzghan, Ghazni, and Zabul.

[32] Ibid., and Human Rights Watch interview with Tonita Murray, Kabul, October 29, 2010.

[33]Human Rights Watch interview with Abdul Hadi Khalid, former Deputy Minister of Interior, Kabul, October 26, 2010.

[34]Human Rights Watch interview with security sector advisor, Kabul, September 14, 2009. See also Mathieu Lefevre, Local Defense in Afghanistan: A Review of Government Backed Initiatives, p. 6.

[35]A Voice of America reporter quotes “American trainers” estimating that as many as one in ten ANAP could be “Taliban agents.” Benjamin Sand, “Afghan Government Recruiting Thousands of Auxiliary Police to Battle Insurgents,”Voice of America, January 10, 2007, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2007/01/mil-070110-voa03.htm (accessed February 9, 2011).

[36]Human Rights Watch interview with Abdul Hadi Khalid, Kabul, October 26, 2010. Graeme Smith, “Can new Afghan police resist temptation?,” The Globe and Mail, November 8, 2006, http://web.e-ariana.com/ariana/eariana.nsf/allDocs/74AC3637EFB93B508725722000414AF6?OpenDocument (accessed February 9, 2011).

[37] Wilder, Cop and Robbers, p. 15.

[38]Human Rights Watch interview with Maj. Gen. Esmatullah Dawlatzai, Kabul, October 26, 2010.

[39]Human Rights Watch interview with Antonio Giustozzi, analyst, London, February 2, 2011.

[40] David Axe, “NATO Cancels Afghan Cop Program,” Wired, April 10, 2008. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/04/nato-cancels-af/ (accessed February 9, 2010).

[41]Barbara Stapleton, The role of DDR and DIAG and its impact on peace building, 2010 (paper on file with Human Rights Watch).

[42] Human Rights Watch interviews with UN, EU, and Afghan election officials, Kabul, June, July, and August 2009. Human Rights Watch, “Human Rights Concerns in Run-Up to Elections,” News Release, August 17, 2009,http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/08/17/afghanistan-human-rights-concerns-run-elections.

[43] The directorate was created by Presidential decree in April 2009. Thomas Ruttig, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies – (2) – A Look Forward,” Afghanistan Analysts Network, November 20, 2009, http://aan-afghanistan.com/index.asp?id=467 (accessed February 8, 2011).

[44] Human Rights Watch interviews with analysts, Kabul, August 15 and 16, 2009. Arif Noorzai’s relatives include his cousin Haji Bashir Noorzai, who was found guilty of taking part in international narcotics smuggling at a trial in New York in September 2008. Benjamin Weiser, “Manhattan Jury Convicts Man Linked to Taliban Leader in Drug Smuggling Case,” New York Times, September 23, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/24/nyregion/24noorzai.html?ref=hajibashirnoorzai, (accessed February 8, 2011). Arif Noorzai’s father, Haji Musa Jan Noorzai, was allegedly a key narcotics smuggler in the 1960s. Human Rights Watch interview with analyst, August 16, 2009; see also Jonathan Goodhand and David Mansfield, “Drugs and (Dis)order, A Study of the Opium Trade, Political Settlements and State-making in Afghanistan,” Crisis States Research Paper, p. 22, http://www.dfid.gov.uk/R4D/PDF/Outputs/CrisisStates/WP83.2.pdf.

[45] Human Rights Watch interviews and email exchanges with senior UN and EU officials, Afghan and international analysts, Kabul, June-August 2009. For instance, militias were deployed in the northern province of Balkh, which had security challenges, but more importantly is the heartland of Mohammad Atta, one of the most powerful backers of the president’s rival in the election, Abdullah Abdullah. Human Rights Watch interview with analyst, London, April 22, 2011.

[46]Human Rights Watch interview officials involved in election management and monitoring, Kabul, August 2009.

[47]Human Rights Watch interview with electoral official, Kabul, August 13, 2009.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Human Rights Watch interview with senior international official (who had been present at the meeting), Kabul, August 16, 2009.

[50]Human Rights Watch interview with elder, Kabul, October 6, 2010.

[51] There were reports of what may have been community defense forces in Faryab, Uruzgan, and several other provinces, though the presence of armed groups at polling stations was a common feature in many parts of the country during elections in 2004, 2005, 2009, and 2010. Human Rights Watch telephone interviews with regional election monitors and political officials, in Faryab, Khost, Ghazni, Uruzgan, August 2009. Thomas Ruttig, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies – (2) – A Look Forward,” Afghanistan Analysts Network, November 20, 2009, http://aan-afghanistan.com/index.asp?id=467 (accessed February 8, 2011).

[52] One international official present in security meetings discussing the force said that the Ministry of Interior had provided US$1.5 million for the force. Human Rights Watch interview with senior international official present at the meeting, Kabul, August 16, 2009.

[53] Human Rights Watch interviews in Kabul, 2009-2010.

[54]Human Rights Watch interview with international official, Kabul, July 14, 2010.

[55] US Department of Defense Progress reports to Congress separately cite CDI and LDI as beginning in July 2009. Department of Defense, “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan - Report to Congress In accordance with section 1230 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181), as amended,” p. 68, November 2010, http://www.defense.gov/pubs/November_1230_Report_FINAL.pdf (accessed February 9, 2011) (“DoD Afghanistan Progress Report 2010”); CFSOCC-A, “If You’ve Seen One VSP, You’ve Seen One VSP”: Understanding Best Practices in Village Stability Operations, September 2010 (on file with Human Rights Watch) (“Understanding Best Practices in VSOs”). 

[56] Jim Michaels, “Security plan looks to Afghan villages in fight against Taliban,” USA Today, December 12, 2009. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-11-afghan-tribes_N.htm (accessed February 8, 2011).

[57] CFSOCC-A, Understanding Best Practices in VSOs, p. 6.

[58] DoD 1230 Afghanistan Progress Report November 2010, p. 68. According to the Department of Defense, the VSO initiative follows four phases: shape, hold, build, and transition. The shape phase begins with an assessment of the village and establishment of SOF VSO site in the village where SOF build relationships with elders in the village. During the hold phase, VSO personnel focus on protecting the population and lay foundation for governance and development efforts. The build phase links villages to district and provincial governments through shuras and development project using Commander Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds. Department of Defense, Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan and United States Plan for Sustaining the Afghanistan National Security Forces, April 2011, p. 63 (“DoD 1230 Afghanistan Progress Report April 2011”), http://www.defense.gov/news/1230_1231Report.pdf  (accessed May 2, 2011).

[59] CFSOCC-A, Understanding Best Practices in VSOs, p. 8.

[60] DoD 1230 Afghanistan Progress Report November 2010, p. 68; CFSOCC-A, Understanding Best Practices in VSOs, p. 8.

[61] Human Rights Watch interview with Ministry of Interior official, Kabul, May 12, 2010. Extract from US Embassy Cable 09KABUL3661, released by  by Wikileaks, “Irregular Forces – What’s out there,” Cable date, November 12, 2009, Cable Released, January 24, 2011, http://wikileaks.enet.gr/cable/2009/11/09KABUL3661.html; Alissa Rubin and Richard A. Oppel, “U.S. and Afghanistan Debate More Village Forces,” New York Times, July 12, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/world/asia/13afghan.html?_r=2&ref=world (accessed May 17, 2011).

[62] Human Rights Watch interview with US military official, Kabul, February 12, 2010. US officials at one time considered working with Arif Noorzai’s directorate (see CDF, above).

[63] Claire Truscott, “Fears Surface Over US-Trained Local Afghan Forces,”Agence France Press, June 19, 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jXFWpO8H460cjiUBzVrFSjWUniGg?docId=CNG.69ead26989f7f2ebf65544104f3b136c.201 (accessed June 19, 2011).

[64]Jon Boone, “Afghans Fear Return of the Warlords as Anti-Taliban Militias Clash,”The Guardian, February 16, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/16/afghans-fear-return-of-warlords,(accessed June 22, 2011).

[65] Claire Truscott, “Fears Surface Over US-Trained Local Afghan Forces,”Agence France Press, June 19, 2011.

[66] Under international humanitarian law, police normally have the status of civilians. However, police units that take part in military operations or otherwise engage in military functions may be targeted as combatants. Individual police may only be targeted during such time that they take a direct part in the hostilities. While Human Rights Watch recognizes that there has been some blurring of the boundaries of police and military functions during counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, there remains a duty on combatants to distinguish civilians from military targets. For a comprehensive legal analysis see Human Rights Watch, The Human Cost: The Consequences of Insurgent Attacks in Afghanistan,” Section VI, p. 84 (April 2007).

[67]“2010 Claims Lives of 1292 Afghan Police,” Tolo News, January 2, 2011, http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/1489-2010-claims-lives-of-1292-afghan-police (accessed March 22, 2011).

[68] UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, MidYear Report 2011 Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, July 2011, p. 2, http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/Documents/2011%20Midyear%20POC.pdf (accessed July 25, 2011).

[69] Solomon Moore, “Taliban Assassination Campaign Impedes Governance,” Associated Press, March 22, 2011,http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110322/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan_assassinations (accessed March 22, 2011).

[70] “Statement of the Islamic Emirate regarding the US setup of new "Local Militia," published on Al Qimmah Media, described as an “Islamic network,” http://www.alqimmah.net/archive/index.php/t-19026.html (accessed March 22, 2011).

[71]Mohammad Hamed, “Suicide bomber kills 30 as Afghan violence spreads,” Reuters, February 21, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/21/us-afghanistan-bomb-idUSTRE71K19220110221 (accessed April 6, 2011).
[72] Jonathan Boone, “Taliban bomber kills 30 civilians at Afghan militia meeting - Suicide attack thought to be aimed at US-backed informal police force kills locals queuing outside,” The Guardian, February 19, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/21/taliban-bomber-kills-30-civilians (accessed March 22, 2011).

[73] Human Rights Watch interview with government official, Kabul, February 28, 2011.

[74]Human Rights Watch group interview with villagers from Masiyan village, Herat, February 23, 2011.

[75] ANSO Bi-Weekly Report, Issue No. 28, February 16-28, 2011, http://www.afgnso.org/2011/The%20ANSO%20Report%20(16-28%20February%202011)%20(Read-Only).pdf (accessed March 10, 2011).

[76] Human Rights Watch interview with village elder, Kabul, February 18, 2011.



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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

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