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Inside the Shadowy Militias Luring Unsuspecting Afghans to Fight, or Die

 

see url: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/04/world/asia/afghanistan-militias-balkh-taliban.html

see full report...

There are elements amongst the various elites in Afghanistan, who would really like the USA troops to stay there.  Because then they get access to US money, keep their cash crop drug industry going, supplying the US and world market, and the terrorist Taliban get to kill more Americans on their home ground. And, last of all, they get access to military materiels, from the worlds military industrial complex...That's the complexity of war and "enduring freedom" in real life...

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MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — A network of shadowy power brokers and warlords, bankrolled by the Afghan government and the national police force, is luring disadvantaged people into joining militias, sometimes under false pretenses, out of a growing desperation to hold territory around highways in the country’s north, according to former militia members and local officials.

These key arteries, which are the few means of road travel between the provinces, have increasingly become the front line for an emboldened Taliban insurgency. To protect them, local officials in Balkh Province are manning highway outposts with often untrained Afghans, who are given little more than a rifle and the promise of a paycheck if they survive. Others have been offered construction jobs, only to arrive and realize there is no repair work to be done.

The militia members are dropped in areas too dangerous to flee and only picked up weeks or months later, dead or alive.

The crooked recruitment practice is the latest indication that Afghanistan’s security forces have been hollowed out by degrading morale and poor recruitment as Taliban attacks continue at an unrelenting pace across the country.

It also signals a resurgence of warlordism, a distinct echo of a past civil war when the country was fractured into territories ruled over by strongmen and a disturbing warning of where the country’s future may lead as peace negotiations in Qatar stall and a possible complete American withdrawal is just months away.

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