SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 10, Issue 1 - Page 20

2+ years into the stability operation (March 2004), USIP gave this account of the warlords: They have refused to disband their private armies, and routinely engage in armed clashes over control of territory, border crossings, and transportation routes. [… but seriously, why would they disband their private armies? In doing so, they would lose power.] They (warlords) also use intimidation and violence to control the local popula- tion, and rely upon criminal activities including narcotics trafficking and extortion to finance their activities. In many cases, the most senior warlords serve as provincial governors or hold other official positions, but refuse to accept direction from or provide revenue to the central government. [… again, though, why would they accept direction from a central government that they traditionally have not trusted or respected?] The problem of regional warlords is particularly serious in the north, where ethnic divisions and personal rivalries among commanders persist. (Miller and Perito, p. 15.) Again, there were no cooperative agreements gained from / inclusive of the many warlords (no arrangements for de-centralization of power), nor any terms with (or “nominal” inclusion granted to) the ousted Taliban through any peace agreement. So … Nearly two years after their defeat by U.S. and allied Northern Alliance forces (2004), the Taliban has re-emerged as a growing security threat along Afghanistan’s southeastern border with Pakistan. Taliban forces have staged attacks and have tried to regain political influence in Pashtun areas. … al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan have been destroyed and a substantial proportion of its cadre eliminated, but it retains the capacity to conduct military operations. From sanctuaries in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, bands of al Qaeda extremists have staged cross-border raids on U.S. bases. At the same time, forces loyal to renegade militia commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar operate in the northern border provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, where they have declared their own jihad against the United States and Coalition forces. Taliban insurgents have also attacked and killed foreign aid workers, Afghan police, and road crews. These events have caused a dramatic scaling back by international agencies, and a consequent lack of capacity to provide assistance to a significant portion of the country. (Miller and Perito, pp. 14-15.) Public order was dependent on the local power-holders/warlords. The Coalition should have worked by, with, and through them … because: In most of the country, regional power holders – whether they hold official positions or not – exercise political, police, and judicial authority through their control of militia forces. (Miller and Perito, p. 3.) During the past decades of conflict there has been no national civilian police force in Afghanistan. Though figures are uncertain, there are estimated to be about 50,000 men working as police, but they are generally untrained, ill-equipped, illiterate (70-90%), and owe their allegiance to local warlords and militia commanders and not to the central government. (Miller and Perito, p. 10.) Likewise, law and justice were dependent on the local, traditional system of justice. The Coalition should have worked by, with, and through it. Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 19 of 36