Afghanistan

Police Militarisation is Global

Tara Tabassi (War Resisters League) and Andrew Dey (War Resisters’ International)

Members of Indonesia's "Combat 88" militarised police unitMembers of Indonesia's "Combat 88" militarised police unit

As antimilitarist activists, we are well positioned to see the power of police within wider weapons industries and militarist agendas. Understanding this police power as it plays out in different contexts around the world is critical in enabling activists against militarisation to keep the power of police in check within our communities. Police forces often act to maintain unjust 'status-quo' distributions of power in society, and tend towards hegemonic, 'power-over' approaches, and especially when the perception of threat is elevated - the police are a form of social control, and militarisation increases their power. Militarism is guns, armored tanks and drones, but it’s also a state of mind. Militarised mentalities have permeated many police forces and amplified dramatically the force of police violence against our communities.

Desertion, retention plague Afghan army

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Recruiting and retention problems within the Afghan military are endangering the timetable for withdrawal of U.S. and Western troops, military authorities say.

About a third of the Afghan army is lost each year to desertion and low re-enlistment rates, The New York Times reported Monday.

Recruitment is actually ahead of schedule; the army reached its full authorized strength of 195,000 soldiers in June, three months ahead of schedule. However, there are no units American forces believe are able to operate without NATO assistance.

Afghanistan: conscription on the agenda?

It seems almost an annual news item. In October 2009 (see CO-Update No 51) and in February 2010 (see CO-Update No 54) we reported about discussions in the Afghan and US administrations about the introduction of conscription in Afghanistan. Now the Washington Post reported on 28 April that "Karzai considers military draft in Afghanistan instead of all-volunteer army" - so the headline of the article. According to the Washington Post:

Afghanistan: the crucial question for NATO

Without any doubt, geo-strategical and economic interests played and play an important role in the military intervention of NATO in Afghanistan. But there is much more at play in the Hindu Kush. From the point of view of the West, nothing less than the future of NATO will be decided there.

U.S. Congressional Wartime Commission Targets Armed Contractors

Pratap Chatterjee

On June 21 Jerry Torres, whose company provides translators and armed security guards in Iraq, was invited to testify before the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC). The bi-partisan body was created by the U.S. Congress in early 2008 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in military contracting services in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Afghanistan: Move towards conscription?

There have been several reports in recent months that Afghanistan might move to introduce conscription in the near future, to increase the strength of its Armed Forces. According to BBC News, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a conference of the world's top defence officials in Germany that he is considering introducing conscription. The Afghan president said at the summit in Munich he wants to build an army and police force of 300,000 by 2012.

Karzai considers introducing Afghan conscription

BBC News, Sunday, 7 February 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a conference of the world's top defence officials in Germany that he is considering introducing conscription.

The Afghan president said at the summit in Munich he wants to build an army and police force of 300,000 by 2012.

His comments come as US-led forces are poised to launch a major offensive in Helmand province against the Taliban.

The Nato commander, General Stanley McChrystal, said the operation would "send a strong signal".

Afghanistan may introduce conscription

The Telegraph reported on 25 September 2009 that Afghanistan may introduce conscription in order to recruit sufficient troops for the troop levels demanded by the USA and its NATO allies. General Stanley McChrystal, commander of Nato-forces in Afghanistan, demanded in his recent strategic assessment of the situation in the country that the army should grow from 92,000 to 134,000 in the next year. It should then reach 240,000 as soon as possible, which commanders admit would need the recruitment and training of 5,000 men each month.

Afghanistan may introduce compulsory military service

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/6231328/Afgha...

the telegraph
25 September 2009

Afghans may be pressed into compulsory military service against the Taliban in order to meet United States commanders' targets to nearly treble the size of their army.

By Ben Farmer in Kabul
Published: 3:10PM BST 25 Sep 2009

60 years of NATO are enough!

Confronting the war alliance with mass protests

In spite of all predictions of its imminent dissolution, in recent years NATO has developed a frightening war dynamic. On all levels, the alliance is preparing itself for future wars.

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