The CIA’s “Army”: A Threat to Human Rights and an Obstacle to Peace in Afghanistan

  • Citation: Suhrke, Astri, and Antonio De Lauri. The CIA’s “Army”: A Threat to Human Rights and an Obstacle to Peace in Afghanistan. Watson Institute, 2019.
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • Middle East and North Africa
    • Afghanistan
    • militias
    • peace agreement
    • human rights violations

Afghan paramilitary forces working with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have long been a staple in the US war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the border region with Pakistan. The problems associated with these militias take on new significance given the recent momentum in talks between the US government and the Taliban about the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Whose interests do the militias represent? How can they be integrated into a peace agreement – if at all? Will their use value for the US in future counterterrorist operations outweigh the case for closing them down in the service of human rights and a sustainable peace? The militias are at least nominally controlled by their CIA paymaster, but to what extent will the operations of the CIA be monitored and streamlined with overall US policy towards Afghanistan?

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