PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces detained a suspected insurgent during a clearing operation Jan. 5 and then held a security shura with village elders in Sar Houzah district’s Oazai village.
After the operation, a village response unit and Afghan Local Police met with the elders to propose a new police checkpoint.
“The main reason for today’s operation was to search the village for insurgents, build relationships with the village elders, and [to] convince them [of establishing] an ALP checkpoint in their village; so they will have protection against insurgents,” said the VRU commander.
During the shura an elder said, “We need a doctor, better roads and a school so our children can get an education.”
“[The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan] can give you these things,” replied the commander. “But unless your village gains security by establishing an ALP checkpoint, any progress you make in education and healthcare will be destroyed by the insurgents the next time they pass through.”
Oazai leaders were hesitant, but said they would decide in a couple weeks whether to accept the offer saying that they will only have a checkpoint if it is able to withstand large insurgent attacks.
“There are two ways to combat the enemy,” said the commander. “One way is through physical force, the second, and better way, is through words and ideas.”
Overall, the commander said the mission was a success because ANSF were able to build relationships with the villagers.
The suspected insurgent is in custody of National Directorate of Security officials.