From our partners at The Agonist
Chora tribal elder Nik Mohammed, who is the district’s former public works director, said the shooting happened in daytime, very soon after the Australian arrived by helicopter into the remote district. He said it was suspected the local Afghan army unit responsible for providing security in the district had been in contact with the Taliban and had previously negotiated some form of truce.
Mr Mohammed said in the past three months, there had been no attacks on the local Afghan soldiers and their vehicles had not been targeted by roadside bombs, while those of the police and foreign forces were still being targeted.
The Taliban had ”great power in the district”. ”There is some sort of connection between the Taliban and the soldiers,” he said.
”Not a single vehicle of the ANA [Afghan National Army] has been blown up and there are some people in the army that may have some sympathy for the Taliban. They tip off the Taliban before operations,” he said.
It’s not as if this is the first time such local truces have been reported and these kinds of deals will proliferate as ISAF pulls out. Whether the final withdrawal is in 2014 or 2024 makes no difference (indeed, a withdrawal in 2003 or 2007 would have met the same results). The Afghan army and police are going to fracture and Kabul will return to being an island where the government’s fragile remit only mostly holds, surrounded by a sea of chaos – just as it was in the years between the Russian withdrawal and the Taliban’s final victory. Over a decade of blood and treasure just to hit “replay”.