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Pentagon defends Afghan Police programme

US: The Pentagon defended a program Monday that recruits local police forces in Afghan villages despite a US-funded report that raises questions about the militia's performance and alleged abuses.

Top officers, including the former commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, have portrayed the Afghan Local Police initiative as a crucial tool in rolling back the Taliban in rural areas.

But the unpublished study commissioned by the Defense Department and prepared by the RAND Corporation think tank offers a less optimistic analysis, according to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained a copy of the report.

The study found that one in five US special operations teams advising the local police units said the Afghan militia had committed violence or abused civilians, and there were recent allegations of bribe taking, rape and drug trafficking, the newspaper said.

The RAND Corporation, which prepared the study, acknowledged quoted details from its report as accurate, but took issue with how the newspaper interpreted its assessment of security in villages where the local police operated. AFP

 

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