Posted by: Christian | April 17, 2008

Village Versus Village

I watched a 10 minute mini-documentary by Journeyman Pictures on the efforts of the 503rd in Paktika province. Soldiers from the 503rd, along with Afghan police/army and government representatives, visited some isolated villages in the Nika district to offer humanitarian services and ask for assistance against the Taliban. You can watch the video here.

US Army in Paktika (story here):

What was interesting for me was that when the 503rd and the Afghan government reps asked about their needs, the villagers mentioned a inter-village conflict. The villagers’ grievance was in regards to the killing of three of their men in a conflict over wood/timber harvesting rights in the forest behind the villages. The narrator labels one village as being pro-Taliban and the other village as willing to work against the Taliban, but only in exchange for assistance against the other village in their conflict.

American forces had been attacked 15 times at the outpost near the “pro-Taliban” village and 20 times on the road to the village. And the other village is offering information. But do these villagers want mediation or a forceful intervention? One American officer concedes that the villagers need to play both sides.

Afghanistan: where most politics are local.

Click here for video.


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