Government on the path to repeat yet another failed experience

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 03:22 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 109 times

The National Unity Government’s resort to failed experience to tackle problems creates doubts about the intentions of government leaders. Instead of learning from the failed experience of the previous government and turning to new options, government leaders mostly adopt approaches that are clearly doomed to fail. One of such failed experiences is the arming of people or creation of a militia force outside the national Afghan force. The government may call this a public anti-terrorism force or local police force, but its activities are totally those of the militias.

 

 

Following the capture of many areas by the Taliban, the National Unity Government (NUG) has decided to form the local force of former army officers in a bid to hold areas taken by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The decision has been made because Afghan forces mostly fail to protect the regions retaken from militants, which makes the sweeping operations of Afghan Special Forces useless. 

 

The move has begotten concerns among some human rights organizations in addition to ordinary people because they believe the supervision of the activities of such a force was beyond government’s control. While the government has failed to properly control and oversee the activities of ANDSF, how it is possible to expect the government to regulate a militia force, and make it a force to respect people’s rights. 

 

Given the current situation, the formation of such a military force can do more harm than good to the government. In the light of the past, even if militia forces were created and funded by the government, they mostly remained loyal to local and regional warlords than the government. If the militiamen even support government forces at the beginning, but they will definitely prefer regional warlords to the government when they are forced to choose between the two sides. 

 

In lieu of building a localized force, the government should rather strengthen Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, purge their leadership of corrupt individuals, and address all their shortcomings. This option may prove costly and time-consuming, but it will yield positive, lasting results. On the contrary, the local force may secure the areas seized by government forces in the short run, but it can become a big headache for the government in the long run. The warlords and powerful individuals are its textbook example.