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Insurgent Taliban Fighters Get Government Jobs in Afghanistan
The US reintegration program. God, this is an idiot policy. I would like to see the stats of how well this program has worked in the past, or is Afghanistan the test tube baby for it? Whatever.
The program provides former enemy soldiers, Taliban and non-Taliban, lucrative jobs in some very key positions within the Afghanistan government. Yeah, this makes sense. Take the case of Commander Abdulla, who was a local insurgent pro-Taliban leader of fighters. He was THE enemy to NATO forces only three months ago. Then, he was known as Charsi (Hashish smoker) and his forces in western Afghanistan caused mayhem around Herat. It was only in January, before Abdulla "saw the light" and switched sides, kidnapped a man, severely beat him and forced relatives of the man to pay $20,000 ransom. To do this, they had to sell most of their land.
Now, the 45 yr old man, has dyed his beard black, works for the Afghan government. He has renounced his wayward days as a Taliban fighter\leader and was awarded a new job-the commander of a border police battalion containing 470 men! The locals of the area where Abdulla commanded Taliban forces are quite irate and very distrustful of the Afghan government. In other areas, Afghan elders are angry because it sends the wrong message to young men because it rewards crime and injustice. Abdulla now drives around his kingdom in a Ford Ranger, many quietly despise him. He stated that the reason why he switched is because his area changed from NATO to Afghan control (translation: much easier to have corruption continue).
A total of 3900 former Taliban fighters have turned over their weapons. Each will receive $120 for three months to help pay for their "allegiance". Wow, US dollars paying for this. I am sure in most cases, these guys are doing for money only but their true beliefs are not changed. So, once can see, once the money stops-crime, corruption and Taliban return. The warlords in north Afghanistan are already preparing for power struggles after 2014. This is when foreign forces are gone and so is the pro-democracy Karzai president.
Abdullah is typical of these former Taliban fighters. He has no regrets even when others accuse him of corruption and how he tortured them before his "conversion". One elder indicated that he often trained insurgents to create IEDs and other roadside bombs and would even lie to his Taliban superiors about results of combat operations using a satellite phone. This elder was then beaten and tossed into an icy river for being a "spy for foreigners". Abdulla regrets that he did not kill him then. But, that was then. It is funny, though. Abdulla thinks the Afghan army is pathetic and its men only fight for the money, they destroy houses and kill.
Abdulla's brother, Abdulrazzak, remains a Taliban leader with a large group of men well armed from the weapons and motorcycles Abdulla and his men left behind when "converting" in late January 20012. Abdulla claims his brother had left the country, yet, locals claim the brother is doing want Abdulla had done-create terror in villages.
And what does the commander of the Herat province police forces think of Abdulla, "He is a terrorist and head of a terrorist organization", that came from Gen.Saqeb. He went on to say that he lost many men fighting him a few months ago and just because the Afghan government forgives Abdulla, most of the locals do not.
Obviously, the US program will is a disaster waiting to happen. The Taliban must be laughing.