Afghans Create United Front
By Dialogo June 10, 2011 The Afghans are increasingly taking their future into their own hands by thwarting and warding off the Taliban and other insurgents – unilaterally, as well as partnered. In the Kajran district of Uruzgan province, June 2, nearly 40 local villagers took up arms and gathered near two checkpoints to form a protective screen around their villages and aid the Afghan Local Police in protecting their villages following threats from local Taliban fighters. “An elder from the area said Taliban fighters have routinely threatened the villages and are trying to intimidate local citizens, but the local population has been fiercely resistant to Taliban activity,” said German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, International Security Assistance Force spokesperson. On May 30, the 9th Commando Kandak responded to a suicide bombing conducted by insurgents against the Ministry of Transportation and the Italian Provincial Reconstruction Team’s Headquarters in Herat City. Immediately following the suicide bomber’s detonation of his personal-borne improvised explosive device vest at the gate of the PRT, Blotz said “The Commandos initiated a quick reaction force, moved into the city and secured the Italian PRT building, the Governor of Herat’s office, and the Bagh-e-Azadi, killing the remaining insurgents who had entered the compound.” And last but not least, in the Sarobi district of Paktika provice along the Pakistan border where the Haqqani network is very active, an Afghan local policeman single-handedly held off 15 insurgents long enough to give coalition and Afghan forces time to defeat them. Blotz said, “This is an example of how Afghan police are increasingly being seen by local residents as a viable security force.” These Afghan-only, as well as the ANSF and ISAF partnered operations, are key elements of the Afghan and coalition effort to stop the enemies of Afghanistan from attacking the people and the government of this country. “We agree with President Karzai that operations must become more and more Afghan-led over time, with coalition forces increasingly in a support role as Afghan security forces take the lead and the responsibility for operations across the country,” sais Blotz. “And we are working to make that a reality – as we also, of course, work ever harder with our Afghan Security Force partners to ensure that we protect and safeguard the people and their property.” In the past 30 days, Afghan and coalition special forces have conducted hundreds of joint operations to secure the Afghan people, disrupt insurgent infiltration from sanctuaries outside the country, and solidify and expand security gains of the past year. Many of the operations, including all in the greater Kabul area, home to one-fifth the Afghan population, are Afghan-led. Across the country of Afghanistan, people are not only working in conjunction with coalition forces to fight the enemy and safeguard Afghan citizens, but are standing up unilaterally—as Afghan National Security Forces, as Afghan Local Police, as villagers and as individuals.
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