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CIA trains covert units of Afghans to continue the fight against Taliban
Posted by The Agonist on July 19th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Julius Cavendish | Kabul | July 20

The IndependentShadowy, unaccountable forces accused of human rights abuses

Covert forces of CIA-trained Afghan paramilitaries are being built up to continue the US-led war on the Taliban as thousands of US troops prepare to leave the country.

Members of one shadowy group of some 400 men in southern Kandahar province have given The Independent a unique insight into their training and secret operations against militants as foreign troops prepare to quit Afghanistan by 2014.

Senior figures within one of the forces revealed that they were taught hand-to-hand combat by foreign military advisers, were delivered to targets by US Black Hawk helicopters and have received a letter of thanks from President Hamid Karzai for their work.

Despite their apparent military successes, one of the groups, the Kandahar Strike Force, has been dogged by rights abuse allegations that have raised questions about their role when their foreign handlers leave the country.

[...]

Under a revamped counterterror strategy released on 28 June, the US said it intended to “ensure the rapid degradation of al-Qa’ida’s leadership structure” – and those of its adherents – using covert tactics going “beyond traditional intelligence, military, and law-enforcement functions”.

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