I have talked about corruption and the ANP many times on this blog. You can click HERE and see some of those postings where I talked about corruption and the ANP. The story below really addresses how corruption turns neutral locals against and and motivates them to help our enemies.
Corruption and the abuse of power among Afghan police have alienated local people and driven some to join the Taliban, British commanders returning from Helmand have warned.
Senior officers stressed that the police force was being urgently reformed and that new members were winning the trust of residents in areas recently recaptured from the insurgents. But Brigadier James Cowan, the last head of UK troops in Helmand, said some police had caused severe damage in the past.
He added: “The police in many ways were the cause of the problem as well as the solution… We have had cases so often when captured Taliban mention the police for them joining the insurgency in the first place.”
Five British soldiers were murdered by an Afghan policeman they were training at Nad-e-Ali, in Helmand, last November. Lieutenant Colonel Roley Walker, commander in the area, said people had “become disaffected” by the way the police had treated them.
Lt Col Walker, of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, added that the insurgents had exploited the antipathy and fear felt by many local people towards the police. “We have had reports of the Taliban putting on police uniforms, setting up checkpoints, and then stealing money, phones, watches. Obviously they would have no way of knowing whether these people were genuine police or the Taliban.
“But we have also seen that when properly trained police are introduced the people welcome them. The Afghans are rather embarrassed about having outside forces defending them against the Taliban; they would rather have their own people do it.”
General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, recently warned that a lack of fully trained police in the retaken Taliban stronghold of Marjah was creating a “bleeding ulcer”.
The International Security Assistance Force is running a programme which aims to create 600 new police officers every eight weeks.
Greater screening of recruits and ensuring that the police are properly trained and paid have raised the level of the force, said Brigadier Cowan. The force was prepared to act as a “gendarmerie”, able to take on militants, he added. “Those who are coming through are as good if not better than the [Afghan] Army.”
Brigadier Cowan led 11 Light Brigade during Operation Moshtarak, the biggest Nato military offensive since the fall of the Taliban nine years ago. The forces were involved in heavy fighting, with 700 Taliban estimated to be have been killed in Nad-e-Ali and Sangin. About 30 senior insurgent commanders were killed, captured or forced to flee.
Improvised explosive devices have taken numerous British lives in Sangin. The 3 Rifles Battlegroup lost 30 members during the tour. Their commander, Lt Col Nick Kitson, said his troops had carried out a thousand patrols a month to meet and reassure local people and civilian casualties had fallen by more than 40 per cent in a year.