Though Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent visit to the US was by all indications a success for both sides, ending with broad agreement, the devil is in the details, and the details this time point to a major difference in interpretation of “all US troops out of Afghan villages.”
US officials say they “assumed” this only applied to traditional troops and not special forces or the “trainers” they deploy for the assorted militias and warlords known collectively as the Afghan Local Police (ALP). Karzai’s spokesmen say “all” troops means all troops.
This would effectively end the ALP program outright, as the groups are armed and funded directly by the US and, modeled after the Awakening forces in Iraq, operate independently of the national government.
This would likely suit the Karzai government perfectly fine, as the ALP have a long, ugly history of abuse of civilians, and much as the Iraqi government quickly did away with the Awakening movement, seeing it as a threat to central government rule, there is no guarantee the ragtag bands of warlords would continue to “play nice” without US troops running the show.
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