The U.S. militarized Afghan police, giving thousands and thousands of {dollars} to brutal WARLORDS, watchdog says

In 2004, with the Taliban making positive aspects in opposition to worldwide forces in Afghanistan, Washington’s leaders made a elementary shift in coverage – placing the Pentagon accountable for overseeing the nation’s new police forces.

The consequence was a disastrous ‘militarization’ of the Afghan police, with brutal warlords put accountable for safety and guaranteeing they acquired thousands and thousands of {dollars} in U.S. funding regardless of human rights abuses, in keeping with a damning new report.

Amongst them was Abdul Raziq, celebrated by American commanders for bringing safety to the Taliban-hotbed of Kandahar, at the same time as he and his males had been accused of homicide and torture.

The report describes how the U.S. give attention to counter-terrorism meant that the Afghan police was pressed into service combating the Taliban and al-Qaeda reasonably than tackling crime.

‘The results of this coverage shift was that the Afghan police pressure turned more and more militarized, and its focus turned combating insurgents reasonably than arresting the widespread criminals and gangsters — lots of whom had been members of or carefully affiliated with the Afghan authorities — who threatened the on a regular basis lives of Afghan residents,’ writes John Sopko, the Congress-appointed Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

‘This militarization, together with the U.S. give attention to counterinsurgency operations, ended up empowering and supporting warlords-turned-police chiefs who had been tactically proficient in combating, however who had been additionally recognized to be human rights abusers and criminals.’

Basic Abdul Raziq, police chief of Kandahar, is pictured in 2017. U.S. commanders praised his efficiency in combating the Taliban however a brand new watchdog report particulars how they turned a blind eye to allegations or homicide and torture below his brutal management

In a new report John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, says the U.S. militarization of the Afghan National Police Force empowered warlords and undermined ordinary Afghans' faith in the new institution to tackle crime

In a brand new report John Sopko, Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction, says the U.S. militarization of the Afghan Nationwide Police Pressure empowered warlords and undermined extraordinary Afghans’ religion within the new establishment to sort out crime

The new report is the latest in series of 'lesson learned' investigations into U.S. policy

The brand new report is the newest in sequence of ‘lesson discovered’ investigations into U.S. coverage 

Sopko concludes that extraordinary Afghans shortly misplaced religion that the police pressure would shield them. 

‘For over a decade, that post-2001 Afghan police pressure operated with near-total impunity,’ he writes. 

‘The Afghan authorities and worldwide group didn’t maintain Afghan law enforcement officials, particularly these with political connections, accountable for quite a few acts of corruption and human rights abuses: extortion, arbitrary detention, torture, and even extrajudicial killings. 

‘This quickly diminished the inhabitants’s hope that the brand new Afghan authorities would serve their pursuits. 

Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko

Particular Inspector Basic for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko

‘Over time, the Taliban exploited that lack of belief to reestablish inroads in Afghanistan.’

His findings come within the newest of a sequence of ‘classes discovered’ stories, analyzing how the U.S. spent trillions of {dollars} to rebuild Afghanistan over 20 years.

His conclusions characterize the deepest dive but into how the U.S. finally failed in its goals and needed to race for the exit because the Taliban closed in on the capitol Kabul in August final yr.

In Could, he accused each the Trump and Biden administrations of pulling the rug from below the Afghan authorities and its armed forces, by first doing a take care of the Taliban after which pushing by with the withdrawal. 

Taliban fighters celebrated before storming into the Kabul International Airport after U.S. troops had left, securing their hold on the country last year as Afghan forces melted away

Taliban fighters celebrated earlier than storming into the Kabul Worldwide Airport after U.S. troops had left, securing their maintain on the nation final yr as Afghan forces melted away

Last month Sopko said the collapse of the Afghan armed forces should have been predicted once U.S. support was withdrawn, despite officials saying it was impossible to forecast

Final month Sopko stated the collapse of the Afghan armed forces ought to have been predicted as soon as U.S. help was withdrawn, regardless of officers saying it was inconceivable to forecast

‘Many Afghans thought the U.S.-Taliban settlement was an act of unhealthy religion and a sign that the U.S. was handing over Afghanistan to the enemy because it rushed to exit the nation; its quick impact was a dramatic loss in A.N.D.S.F. morale,’ he wrote, utilizing an acronym for the nation’s protection and safety forces.

His newest report examines worldwide efforts to construct a police pressure and why it failed to guard the nation’s inhabitants regardless of $21 billion in worldwide funding.

It focuses on the way in which the U.S. turned a blind eye to the actions of commanders comparable to Raziq, who had been on the frontline of the struggle in opposition to the Taliban. 

His forces had been even educated by U.S. particular forces, in addition to contractors with Dyncorp and Xe (previously Blackwater.

But considerations had been raised virtually as quickly because the native militia chief had been coopted into the police, with allegations that his troops settled a household rating by attacking 16 touring Pakistanis and claiming they had been Taliban.

‘Following Raziq’s promotion, Kandahar turned a hotbed for systematic torture and enforced disappearances,’ says the report. 

A U.N. survey discovered greater than 90 % of prisoners reported torture together with ‘having water forcibly pumped into the abdomen, having their testicles crushed with clamps, being suffocated to the purpose of shedding consciousness and having electrical present utilized to their genitals.’ 

More than 90 percent of people held in Raziq's prisons reported torture, according to a United Nations survey, including 'having their testicles crushed with clamps'

Greater than 90 % of individuals held in Raziq’s prisons reported torture, in keeping with a United Nations survey, together with ‘having their testicles crushed with clamps’

Raziq's brutal reign time as police chief of Kandahar ended when he was assassinated in 2018

Raziq’s brutal reign time as police chief of Kandahar ended when he was assassinated in 2018

One other account described how one in all his commanders would pressure individuals violating Kandahar’s one-person-to-a-motorcycle rule to kneel on the bottom and kiss the recent exhaust pipe. 

Raziq all the time denied allegations of brutality, insisting that our bodies with accidents in keeping with abstract execution had been truly the results of firefights with the Taliban 

‘For years, the U.S. navy seemed the opposite manner whereas Raziq engaged in corruption, drug trafficking, and gross human rights violations,’ writes Sopko.

The explanation was easy. ‘U.S. officers publicly praised the fight prowess of Raziq’s fighters, and Raziq was reworked right into a people hero,’ for his efforts in opposition to insurgents, though the U.S. stopped transferring prisoners to his jails.

He operated with impunity till his assassination in 2018.

Abuses ought to have meant that U.S. funding was shut off below the Leahy Legal guidelines – a set of Congressional laws.

‘But SIGAR present in June 2017 that [the Department of Defense] was unwilling to cease funding Afghan allies that engaged in torture, extrajudicial killing, and different gross violations of human rights after they had been deemed indispensable to the counterinsurgency,’ the report says.