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article imageCIA financed and trained paramilitaries disbanded in Afghanistan

By Ken Hanly     May 5, 2014 in World
Kabul - The CIA is reportedly cutting back on the irregular forces it has long been training and financing in Afghanistan in the south and east of the country.
Aimal Faizi, spokesperson for the outgoing president Hamid Karzai, claimed: “The CIA has started to end the contracts of some of those militias who were working for them. Some of them were in very important locations, so we deployed our troops there.”
The Daily Beast claims that Afghan military commanders are complaining that their forces are too sparse to replace the CIA paramilitaries. Apparently, thousands more of these CIA-trained operatives will be dismissed before the summer fighting season. This could mean an increase in Taliban attacks. Apparently, US lawmakers have also been alarmed by this development.
The forces had been building up for several years as reported back in July of 2011. The groups have often been accused of human rights violations and back then details of their operations were given by members imprisoned for the murder of a police chief who had arrested some of them: Details of the group's operation were given in interviews by three former members in a prison outside Kabul where they are serving sentences, along with 38 comrades, for the killing of a police chief in 2009. The shoot-out was sparked by the detention of a member of the Kandahar Strike Force. They are appealing against their convictions. A senior policy adviser to the Open Society Foundation, Rachel Reid, said at the time: "These forces are the most shadowy and the most unaccountable in the country and it's a serious problem [that] nobody's taking responsibility for". Reports of a draw-down of the paramilitaries surfaced as early as last July: The CIA has begun closing clandestine bases in Afghanistan, marking the start of a drawdown from a region that transformed the agency from an intelligence service struggling to emerge from the Cold War to a counter­terrorism force with its own prisons, paramilitary teams and armed Predator drones.
Details of the groups to be disbanded can be found in this article. The US forces are preparing to withdraw to six main bases that will be kept when the new Afghan president signs a security deal which is expected to happen before this fall. The CIA paramilitaries began training and operations in 2001 even before the US-led occupation. Karzai's spokesperson Faizi said that the Afghan government was given no advance notice of the disbanding of the groups but later tried to recruit some of those who lost their jobs for the same pay as with the CIA but only a little over a hundred accepted the offer.
A runoff election for the presidency will be held on June 7 according to the Afghan Independent Elections Commission. The choice is now down to two Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadazi. Both men have pledged to sign the security agreement with the US that will ensure a long term presence of US troops in Afghanistan. The US and other donors will give millions to pay for the elections. As the appended video shows military contractors may do some of the work done by US forces as troops are withdrawn.
More about CIA in Afghanistan, Afghan US relations, Afghan paramilitaries
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