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Thread: As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

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    As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

    ACHIN, Afghanistan — American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan, prompting hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban.

    The emergence of the militias, which took some leaders in Kabul by surprise, has so encouraged the American and Afghan officials that they are planning to spur the growth of similar armed groups across the Taliban heartland in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

    The American and Afghan officials say they are hoping the plan, called the Community Defense Initiative, will bring together thousands of gunmen to protect their neighborhoods from Taliban insurgents. Already there are hundreds of Afghans who are acting on their own against the Taliban, officials say.

    The endeavor represents one of the most ambitious — and one of the riskiest — plans for regaining the initiative against the Taliban, who are fighting more vigorously than at any time since 2001.

    By harnessing the militias, American and Afghan officials hope to rapidly increase the number of Afghans fighting the Taliban. That could supplement the American and Afghan forces already here, and whatever number of American troops President Obama might decide to send. The militias could also help fill the gap while the Afghan Army and police forces train and grow — a project that could take years to bear fruit.

    The Americans hope the militias will encourage an increasingly demoralized Afghan population to take a stake in the war against the Taliban.

    “The idea is to get people to take responsibility for their own security,” said a senior American military official in Kabul, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “In many places they are already doing that.”

    [...]

    The hope, of course, is that the revolt led by the Shinwari elders spreads. Each of the elders interviewed leads a branch of the 12 Shinwari tribes. If they survive, both elders said, they believe that others will join them.

    “The Taliban are not popular here, not educated,” another Shinwari elder said. “They are stray dogs.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/wo...nted=2&_r=1&hp
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    (Mods: I cut out a paragraph toward the end and replaced it with [...] I hope that's sufficient. )
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 11-22-09 at 04:06 PM. Reason: fair use

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    Re: As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

    I enjoyed this article when I read it last night. I found the following a bit unsettling though

    “In Kunduz, after they defeated the Taliban in their villages, they became the power and they took money and taxes from the people,” Mr. Atmar, the interior minister, said. “This is not legal, and this is warlordism.”
    To me, this says that the Tribal villages prefer autonomy. If we secure Afghanistan from Taliban fighters, then it would only make sense that the Kabul government would tax the same people who refused Taliban tax.

    From a tribesmen perspective, because the Kabul government has been legitimized by the state, does not mean it has such powers over the tribesmen.

    After the war with the Taliban (this is if the Kabul/US forces win) the Kabul government is still going to be fighting for legitimacy and authority.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    I enjoyed this article when I read it last night. I found the following a bit unsettling though



    To me, this says that the Tribal villages prefer autonomy. If we secure Afghanistan from Taliban fighters, then it would only make sense that the Kabul government would tax the same people who refused Taliban tax.

    From a tribesmen perspective, because the Kabul government has been legitimized by the state, does not mean it has such powers over the tribesmen.

    After the war with the Taliban (this is if the Kabul/US forces win) the Kabul government is still going to be fighting for legitimacy and authority.
    Yeah, I noticed that comment too. It's like they need a strong federalism with a weak central government, yet a strong central military.

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    Re: As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Yeah, I noticed that comment too. It's like they need a strong federalism with a weak central government, yet a strong central military.
    Their chance for a strong military and a strong central government died this decade in September 9th, 2001 when [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Shah_Massoud"]Ahmad Shah Massoud[/ame]'s warning fell on deaf ears, and he was assassinated by A.Q.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

    A leader in such a Nation could take steps to farther help local Tribal villages maintain their autonomy and fight the Taliban by promising not to tax them and using the significant unexploited oil reserves in the north the United States Geological Survey said are there to support the government.
    They could go so far as to give back to the citizens a small percentage of the revenues generated as is done in Alaska.

    This will ever happen because corruption is sucking up all the National resources.

    The U.S. could help and help us with a contract to buy all of there oil at a set price and guarantee the safety of production etc. But that would require a commitment Obama would never make. But if you look at all the possible positive aspects it doesn't really sound that bad.
    Once the Tribes are firmly entrenched against the Taliban it's a win win situation.

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    Re: As Afghans Resist Taliban, U.S. Spurs Rise of Militias

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    A leader in such a Nation could take steps to farther help local Tribal villages maintain their autonomy and fight the Taliban by promising not to tax them and using the significant unexploited oil reserves in the north the United States Geological Survey said are there to support the government.
    They could go so far as to give back to the citizens a small percentage of the revenues generated as is done in Alaska.

    This will ever happen because corruption is sucking up all the National resources.

    The U.S. could help and help us with a contract to buy all of there oil at a set price and guarantee the safety of production etc. But that would require a commitment Obama would never make. But if you look at all the possible positive aspects it doesn't really sound that bad.
    Once the Tribes are firmly entrenched against the Taliban it's a win win situation.

    Except for the tribes because as soon as they decide on one pogramme (between the West's and the Taliban's) they have, quite frankly, given up their autonomy. Warlordism will still reign, but it will the Kabul Gov't backed by NATO.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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