June 29, 2009

COIN 101

Last night a group of armed men stormed the offices of the Kandahar attorney general in Afghanistan. Kandahar's police chief, Matiullah Qatay, and the head of the criminal investigation department, Abdul Khaliq Hamdam, were killed in the ensuing gunfight. 8 other policemen were killed and 5 wounded.

Today 41 US-trained private Afghan security guards were reportedly arrested at Kandahar military base, only hours after President Karzai's office released a series of statements. Zemari Bashary, the interior ministry spokesman, confirmed the guards worked for America.

"Armed men from one of the private security firms based in Kandahar tried to free two criminals - they attacked the local prosecutor's office," said one statement. "The police chief of Kandahar and the head of the criminal resisted them - these guards opened fire and killed them."

Toryali Weesa, the province's governor, said the group threatened the prosecutor and demanded the release of a fellow guard named Assadullah, who'd been detained for producing counterfeit vehicle documents and plates.

"President Karzai said that such incidents negatively impact the state-building process in Afghanistan and called upon coalition forces to avoid actions that weaken the government," said a statement, which called for the, "immediate handover by the coalition forces to the Afghan government of the private security guards involved in the killing of Kandahar province security officials."

American denial was automatic. "These men acted on their own," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo, a US military spokesman.

"I have nothing to add to the other statements made on this incident," said CIA spokesman George Little.

Smooth. No one is suggesting that America ordered a group of its private guards to kill the police chief of Kandahar, but other errors are just as foreboding and none more than Taliban infiltration. Whether giving false reports of air-strike casualties, stealing American weapons from the police, or playing double agents in private security firms, the Taliban appears in every direction.

The Afghan government has been dealt another blow indirectly caused by America. The two governments already disagree on America's use of private security guards, which Afghanistan recognizes but have no control over. The situation naturally produces infiltration and corruption. American officials are scrambling to develop new air-strike and opium policies, but Taliban infiltration is even harder stop.

First law of counterinsurgency: don't fight an insurgency.

No comments:

Post a Comment