Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: ALP

ALP

A Maelstrom of Militias: Takhar, a case study of strongmen co-opting the ALP

Kate Clark

When the Ministry of Interior officials and human rights activists are asked where the worst Afghan Local Police (ALP) are, Takhar province is usually on the list. The reasons given are the enduring power of local strongmen over the force and the involvement of ALP units in crime, especially drug smuggling, and abuses of the […]

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The Afghan Territorial Force: Learning from the lessons of the past?

Kate Clark

A new local defence force is being mobilised in Afghanistan. The establishment of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force was announced by President Ashraf Ghani in April 2018. Careful consideration has gone into its design, with safeguards built in to try to avoid the pitfalls associated with previous locally-recruited forces, such as the Afghan Local […]

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How to Set up a ‘Good ALP’: The experience of Yahyakhel district, Paktika and how it became more peaceful

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Kate Clark

Yahyakhel district in Paktika province was once as pro-Taleban as it is now pro-government. The turning point came in 2011/2012, with the formation of a tribal militia, which was soon formalised into an Afghan Local Police (ALP) unit. Unlike many other ALP units, it has enjoyed local popular support and control. It has not abused […]

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Enemy Number One: How the Taleban deal with the ALP and uprising groups

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

It is one of the few ‘truths’ of the Afghan insurgency that the Taleban hate arbaki– their term for locally-recruited defence forces, primarily the Afghan Local Police and uprising groups.These forces have always been a mixed bag, with some abusing the local population or captured by ethnic, factional or criminal interests. However, especially where they […]

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Uprising, ALP and Taleban in Andar: The arc of government failure  

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Kate Clark

The Taleban look to be preparing for a new onslaught on Andar district centre. The name ‘Andar’ is still full of political resonance, gained in the summer of 2012 when the Taleban were suddenly and swiftly pushed out of a large part of the district. That counter-insurgency in an insurgent stronghold was styled the ‘Andar […]

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ALP and ANP prepare ammunition for a live fire training exercise in Helmand province, 2013 (US Marine photo Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

More Militias? Part 1: Déjà vu double plus with the proposed ‘Afghan Territorial Army’

Kate Clark

The Afghan government and its United States military backers are considering standing up a new militia force, an army version of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and modelled on the Indian Territorial Army. Officials claim this is their only option if isolated communities are to be protected from insurgents. Human rights groups have reacted with […]

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Update on the Afghan Local Police: Making sure they are armed, trained, paid and exist

Kate Clark

The Afghan Local Police (ALP) emerged out of an American special forces’ project to establish ‘community defence forces’ in 2009 and 2010. Despite being viewed by many as ‘militias in uniform’, the ALP has survived and grown to become a significant part of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), present in all but three of […]

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Backgrounder: Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub- State Forces in Afghanistan

Erica Gaston Kate Clark

Afghanistan’s history has long been dominated and shaped by the interaction of militias with the state. In the post-2001 era, international actors, sometimes with Afghan state cooperation, have tried to use militias to fill perceived gaps in security. Since 2002, a range of foreign-backed local, hybrid or non-state security forces (LHSFs) have emerged. They include […]

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The late Haji Gul Agha, ALP police chief for Shajoy district, Zabul. Photo: Pajhwok.

How to replace a bad ALP commander: in Shajoy, success and now calamity

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander in Shajoy district, Zabul province, Haji Gul Agha, has been killed in a Taleban ambush, along with four of his men. AAN’s Fazal Muzhary had been researching Gul Agha’s record as his was an interesting example of locals managing, with great difficulty, to get rid of an abusive ALP […]

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Surkh Kotal, here seen from afar, came under Taleban control in mid-May 2016 and was only recaptured after ANSF operations a month later. (Photo Source: Heritage Institute)

Taleban in the North: Gaining ground along the Ring Road in Baghlan

Obaid Ali

The Taleban have made significant inroads in a number of strategic areas in the northern province of Baghlan over the past two years. They now pose a greater threat than ever to the Baghlan-Balkh highway, part of the Ring Road which here links Kabul to the north. The Taleban know that by blocking highways, they […]

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Under the Mountain: A pre-emptive Taleban spring offensive in Shindand

Fabrizio Foschini

Throughout March 2016, Shindand district in Herat province witnessed heavy fighting. Clashes between two rival insurgent groups were followed by a string of ANSF military operations. With substantial help from Quetta, the local pro-Mansur Taleban group has swept away a pro-Rasul outfit that had recently proved less aggressive towards the government. This new outbreak of […]

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Soldiers collect the bodies of killed colleagues after the Taleban attack on the Dahan Ab-e Khostak base in Jurm, Badakhshan. The process took up to ten days because of the lack of available helicopters to transport them out of the district. (Photo Credit: Local authorities, April 2015)

Violence in Badakhshan Persists: what last year’s Jurm attack still tells us about insecurity in the north

Bethany Matta

On the one year anniversary of a major attack in Jurm in April 2015, and not long before the Taleban are expected to announce their new spring offensive, Badakhshis are nervously anticipating the year ahead. AAN guest author Bethany Matta revisits the attack, detailing how it happened and showing how the attack and its aftermath […]

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