Afghan strongmen have already begun vying for influence over militia program that diplomats fear will undermine Afghan government and lead to abuse

As the Afghan government struggles to stem the Taliban insurgency and shore up its dwindling security forces, the US military is turning to a controversial solution long known to stoke unrest and exploitation: local militias.

International donors, including the UN, have warned against such plans and lobbied the Afghan president to reject the US proposal. They say the new militias resemble the Afghan Local Police, a force notorious for grave human rights abuses and destabilising villages by undermining the central government.

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