AAN in Media

Afghan Gov’t Hastily Moves to Arm Shiite Civilians, Prompting Concerns


The Globe Post, 30 September 2017

The website compiled quotes from experts and politicians about the recent anti-Shia sectarian terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, among them from Thomas Ruttig’s recent AAN dispatch:

Thomas Ruttig, co-director and co-founder of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, said that by approving the Shia community’s demand for arms, the government is simply reassuring people that it is “doing something,” and not achieving a real improvement in security.

Crowds of civilians are among the most vulnerable targets and the most difficult to protect, so the implemented measure may be the best that could be done. However, the warning signs are also there, derived from previous experiences of arming civilians and giving them little training and providing mediocre oversight.

The longer groups of armed civilians exist, the more opportunities for weapons’ misuse will arise, as different stages of militia programs have already shown, Mr. Ruttig noted in his analysis of the plan.

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