News Release

U.S.-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan


This morning, President Donald Trump gave a speech at the United Nations proclaiming his commitment to peace and sovereignty.

MAY JEONG, may.s.jeong at, @mayjeong

Jeong wrote the piece “The U.S.-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan” — just published today by In These Times magazine.

She is a magazine writer based in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is also a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good and a visiting scholar at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.

The magazine reports: “Drawing on two years of on-the-ground investigation in Afghanistan, Jeong reports on an Afghan village that alleges dozens of civilian murders at the order of a single U.S.-trained strongman — Abdul Hakim-Shujayi.”

Key findings include:

“Eyewitness accounts describe the American military protecting Shujayi from arrest by Afghan officials.

“Seven of the murders allegedly occurred within earshot of U.S. advisors.

“The U.S. military admits Shujayi was on its payroll, but says it has no records beyond that to confirm or deny these charges.

“Reports from human rights groups and witness testimony collected by Jeong show that these atrocities are not a one-off occurrence; rather, they are typical of the results of the U.S. approach in Afghanistan — training local militias to execute the war with impunity.

“This hands-off approach to warmaking in Afghanistan was started under the presidency of George W. Bush and continued under Obama. Now, President Trump is using the same buzzwords of ‘an Afghan-led’ conflict, and recently called for funds to escalate the war.

“As Afghan civilians face the deadly consequences of this U.S. military tactic, the American public has remained largely in the dark. This new investigation by Jeong finally shines light on the decade-old scandal.”

Jeong writes: “In 2010, at the behest of the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai forced the militias to reorganize themselves under a more respectable-sounding name: the Afghan Local Police (ALP).

“The name is misleading. The ALP, or arbeki as it is called in Afghanistan, is neither a local nor a traditional police force. … Trained and supervised by U.S. Special Operations Forces in conjunction with the Afghan government, and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Afghan interior ministry, the ALP operates independently of the national, more structured, police force and army.”