Afghanistan Warns NATO to Disband Local Militias

NATO Says Militias Will Continue to Operate During 'Review'

The Afghan government has ordered NATO to disband its local militias and end the “Critical Infrastructure Protection” CIP program, with the Interior Ministry saying it was creating parallel structures that undermine the central government’s authority.

The CIP scheme was seen as the Afghan analogue to the “Concerned Local Citizens” effort in Iraq, which created armed factions of US-funded militias aimed at “improving security.” The Concerned Local Citizens scheme was initially praised as a success in Sunni regions of Iraq but eventually saw the Shi’ite-dominated Maliki government reneging on promising to integrate them into the national security forces and accusing them of disloyalty.

NATO has confirmed the Afghan request, saying that they will “review” allegations from locals that the groups have been involved in human rights abuses, but will not disband them in the meantime.

NATO also went on to claim that the CIP was responsible for “a reduction in insurgent significant actions” including IEDs, which is surprising since a recent UN report showed insurgent violence is actually rising significantly this year.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.