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Early this year, a rare bright spot emerged in the US's longest war. The Shinwari tribe of eastern Afghanistan signed a treaty pledging to expel the Taliban from their territory and to end poppy cultivation and heroin production.

In return the US military pledged $1mn in aid to be paid directly to the Shinwari, bypassing the Afghan government in the process.
 
Comparisons were immediately drawn to the "Awakening Movement" in Iraq, where Sunni tribal militias were hired to fight the insurgency - with a measure of success.

Others warned that the policy was fraught with problems and could undermine an already fragile state.
 
But as the war grinds on despite Obama's recent upbeat statements about US troop withdrawals next July, could more deals help secure Afghanistan's future stability?
 
Earlier this year, filmmakers Rick Rowley and Jason Motlagh went to find out how the agreement was working on the ground.

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, December 22, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0630, 1230; Thursday: 0300; Friday: 0830, 1630; Saturday: 2030; Sunday: 0730; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 0030.

Source: Al Jazeera