Rural Afghanistan force with shady reputation may grow
By DAVID S. CLOUD AND SHASHANK BENGALI | Tribune Washington Bureau
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013
WASHINGTON — In an effort to fight the insurgency after U.S. troops leave Afghanistan by the end of next year, officials in Washington and Kabul are planning to dramatically expand a 3-year-old rural police force that has been implicated in human rights abuses and criminal activity.
The plan by the U.S. Special Operations Command would extend a financial lifeline from the Pentagon to the Afghan Local Police for at least five more years, providing $1.2 billion to train, arm and pay 45,000 fighters, up from a current force of 19,600, according to senior U.S. officials and planning documents.
Despite heavy casualties so far, and a worrisome reputation for corruption and brutality, the paramilitary force would serve as the first line of defense against the Taliban in rural areas beyond the reach of regular Afghan army and police units.
White House officials are still debating the long-term military aid package for Afghanistan and how many U.S. troops will stay behind after 2014. President Barack Obama is expected to outline the drawdown in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
unhappycamper comment: We are well down our way on the slippery slope of lies.