Report: Kandahar drive to backfire

NGO says planned campaign in Afghanistan's south could increase support for Taliban.

    Violence has increased this year in Afghanistan, with civilian casualties up 23 per cent [AFP]

    "The delayed operation in Kandahar promises dire consequences for the civilian population."

    Violence in southern Afghanistan has increased in recent weeks, with 12 Nato troops killed in the south last week, and four Afghan police officers killed in a bombing on Monday.

    'Undermining government'

    The report also criticised Nato's growing use of local defence forces.

    "The use of local defence initiatives and arbakai [tribal militias]... continues to undermine the government's claim to a 'monopoly on violence' and fracture the security landscape," the report said.

    General David Petraeus, the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, plans to create 10,000 "community police" officers in villages across the country.

    Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has long been critical of the local defence programmes, for fear they would operate outside the government's control. He reluctantly agreed to Petraeus' plan last week.

    Previous experiments with local militias have not ended well. Earlier this year, Nato encouraged members of the Shinwari tribe to take up arms against the Taliban, a scheme which eventually led to tribal infighting that killed more than a dozen people.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.