Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

America’s Warlords in Afghanistan

< 1 min

The American Conservative, 20 March 2015

“To fight the Taliban, the United States created a new generation of abusive strongmen that are now running rampant”, the article says and refers to the latest under-covered HRW watch report.

“What has been put into this (HRW) report, everyone knew for years,” said Thomas Ruttig, a co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, in a Skype interview with TAC from Kabul. Not only the ALP, he said, but private militias, security companies, strong men and their minions, have flourished because of their usefulness in the war against the Taliban.

Despite the numerous allegations of criminal activity and brutality committed against the population, he said, “leading U.S. military commanders continue to present themselves with these people in a very friendly manner.” For him, “this is really shocking. War is violent, but there are real excesses here that go far beyond any red line that is acceptable.”


Ruttig says that while U.S. forces are withdrawing now, Petraeus’s legacy police are “shooting up like mushrooms.” They’ve taken to illegal tax collection to subsidize their ranks.

“There were a lot of formal precautions to take them under control,” Ruttig noted,  “but it was clear to everyone who set up these precautions they were not going be as strong as they were on paper.”