Im in agreement with the Afghan officials who oppose this scheme. There seems to be something very suspicious about US intentions here. I am surprised at how desperate the situation has apparently become for the US to consider arming ordinary Afghan villagers. Looking at Afghanistan's society and history this scheme is going to serve no other purpose than to prolong the conflict. But perhaps that is the real perverse and sick intention of some American policy-makers.

I think it is more than likely that these weapons and milita-men will either end up with the Taliban, be used to settle personal disputes and used against the non-Pashtun communities. Does anyone really believe that they are going to be used against well-motivated and armed hardened fanatics like the Taliban?

I remember reading several months back about how the (now disarmed) Hazara people in central Afghanistan have to suffer raids and incursions from nomadic Pashtun tribes, who of course are still armed and happily use their weapons to rob, harass and sometimes murder the Hazaras when they bring their flocks to graze on Hazara land. Makes you wonder why the Americans disarmed the Tajiks, Hazaras and others but did not disarm the Pashtuns, and now want to re-arm more of them!

What a stupid and reckless 'plan'. Another disaster waiting to happen.

Afghan and U.S. Officials Plan to Recruit Local Militias
By DEXTER FILKINS
Published: December 23, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taking a page from the successful experiment in Iraq, American commanders and Afghan leaders are preparing to arm local militias to help in the fight against a resurgent Taliban. But along with hope, the move is raising fears here that the new armed groups could push the country into a deeper bloodletting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/wo...pagewanted=all