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Thread: Afghan Amnesty Shows Warlord's Clout

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default Afghan Amnesty Shows Warlord's Clout

    29 April LA Times - Afghan Amnesty Shows Warlord's Clout by Henry Chu.

    If there's one thing Abdul Rasul Sayyaf knows, it's how to guard an exposed flank.

    As one of many warlords battling for control of Kabul in the early 1990s, Sayyaf ordered his fighters to protect their positions and press for advantage which they did by shelling civilian neighborhoods and slaughtering members of Afghanistan's oppressed ethnic Hazara minority, human rights groups say.

    Sayyaf is still watching his back. But now he's doing it as a member of Afghanistan's parliament.

    Last month, he joined other lawmakers in approving a controversial amnesty bill that, in effect, shields him and other warlords-turned-politicians from government prosecution for alleged war crimes and atrocities such as rape and kidnapping.

    Supporters call it a necessary step to unshackle Afghanistan from its violent past. But critics say the measure, signed by President Hamid Karzai, deals a blow to this country's struggling democracy, allowing people accused of brutality to get off scot-free or, worse, remain in positions of power...

  2. #2
    Council Member
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    Jan 2007
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

    Default Winning Over Warlords, One Blue Pill at a Time

    Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan
    Joby Warrick, Washington Post, 26 Dec 08
    Article link - .pdf permalink

    The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

    Four blue pills. Viagra.

    "Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

    The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.

    For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

    In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said....
    ....The usual bribes of choice -- cash and weapons -- aren't always the best options, Afghanistan veterans say. Guns too often fall into the wrong hands, they say, and showy gifts such as money, jewelry and cars tend to draw unwanted attention.

    "If you give an asset $1,000, he'll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find, and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money from someone," said Jamie Smith, a veteran of CIA covert operations in Afghanistan and now chief executive of SCG International, a private security and intelligence company. "Even if he doesn't get killed, he becomes ineffective as an informant because everyone knows where he got it."

    The key, Smith said, is to find a way to meet the informant's personal needs in a way that keeps him firmly on your side but leaves little or no visible trace....
    More on link

  3. #3
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Honolulu, Hawai'i


    So.... We're saying that we are recruiting... um... flacid guys as our allies? This thread should be repeated in the Kitagado section for the jokes it invites.

    OTOH - Does the irony of recruiting sources in a drug producing country with U.S. made drugs as the incentive appeal to anyone else?

  4. #4
    Council Member
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    Aug 2007


    Any ad guy will tell you sex sells. I bet it works better than building a dozen schools. And "satisfied customers" will come back for more.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  5. #5
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default We did in Sub-Sahara with chickens and rice

    A very old and effective approach. Most incentives actually end up costing less and producing more hard intel. In a dump like Zaire where everything was already stolen or pillaged, cash got you nowhere fast. To the starving border guard in the middle of the heart of darkness, even US rations worked...well, we did happen to have some ice-cold brews in the back

    Hey, got to wash those crackers down with something
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  6. #6
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Viagra ploy: a riposte

    Within a longer article a comment on this Viagra ploy:

    Makes it sound like a media invented story or "spin".



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