People & Power
Million dollar militia
People & Power examines dangerous conflicts between the US and NATO strategies in the fight against the Taliban.
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2010 14:34 GMT

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.

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.