Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Prt Farah: A New Sheriff in Town

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 004976

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SA/FO, SA/A, S/CT, EUR/RPM
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN, KAMEND
CENTCOM FOR POLAD, CG CFA-A, CG CJTF-76
REL NATO/AUST/NZ/ISAF

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER AF
SUBJECT: PRT FARAH: A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN

1. (SBU) Begin Summary. MOI replaced Farah Provinces
Chief of Police Colonel Allah Wadin Noorzai on November 14
with Brigadier General Said Agha. First indications are
favorable although he must deal with issues of ingrained
corruption, bribery and a poorly-functioning judicial
system. On November 16, PRT officials and Poloff met with
the incoming commander. End Summary.


------------------
General Background
------------------

2. (SBU) Agha, who appears to be in his mid-50s,
graduated in 1998 from the military academy and has been on
the Police force for the past two years. He served for
several years in Jalalabad under Haji Qader during the
Taliban regime and under Ismael Khan in Herat. More
recently he worked assisting new governors with security
concerns as they transitioned into their new positions. He
spent the last two years in the MOI commanding a QRF (Quick
Reaction Force) element. He has served in 20 provinces and
brings with him 30 selected men from his previous command.
His first intention is to create an elite first response
team to combat the most dangerous crimes in the province.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

-----------------
First Impressions
-----------------

3. (SBU) PRT Commander and his staff, accompanied by
Poloff, met with Agha November 16. He provided a favorable
first impression as a man dedicated to the law and
possessing a true desire to protect and serve his province.
He claimed to eschew bribery and corruption and espoused a
desire to partner with the PRT to bring security and order
to the province. He stated that he would increase the size
of the police force (by an unspecified number) with
qualified individuals. He made the point that he did not
want to be confused with outgoing commander Col. Noorzai,
who was largely ineffectual in controlling crime and
corruption. He opined that his greatest challenges were
the curbing of governmental bribery and the reduction of
drug and contraband smuggling.

4. (SBU) Addressing the PRT Commander, Agha requested
unspecified help from the international community. The
Commander advised him two police mentors would be arriving
imminently and Agha appeared genuinely pleased. Strategies
for identification cards and centralizing equipment
accountability were also outlined. Agha plans to inventory
all equipment immediately, as past commanders have left
with personnel and as much equipment as could be removed.

-----------
Inheritance
-----------

5. (SBU) Agha inherits a province rife with lawlessness
and corruption. According to the Security Director of
Farah, General Nashbaum, and retired police chief Aktar
Mohammad of Lash Juwein, the ten ANP district commanders
paid a percentage of their monthly income to the previous
Chief of Police to maintain their positions. This
percentage included both base government pay and funds from
illegal checkpoints and smuggling. In a clumsy move to
disguise the true nature of the replacement of the honest
police chief in Ana Dara last October, the PRT was told he
was removed because the district lacked vehicles and
equipment. However, the outgoing police chief, the
training officer and several police officers in Ana Dara
all confirmed that his lack of susceptibility to corruption
was the real reason.

6. (SBU) Government funding is not reaching its intended
recipients. Every three months 6,735,000 Afghanis(approx.
USD 157,000) is released to the province for uniforms,
vehicles, weapons and ammunition. Six officials - those in
charge of finance, security, logistics, and the crime
branch, the assistant police chief, and the former police
chief - disseminated only enough for basic pay and food,
according to the training officer and the officers in the
field who were not receiving the funds. According to the
Agha, he presently has no access to funds as the police
bank account was emptied the same day as Noorzai left
office.

7. (SBU) Comment: Security is the cornerstone for
provincial success, so the change of ANP leadership is a
welcome one. Our first impressions of Agha are favorable
and he seems to have a game plan and skills to handle the
task at hand. However, Farah has heard from well
intentioned professionals in the past who have ultimately
yielded to temptation and the influence of an allegedly
corrupt governor. An inadequate judicial process
undermines any positive changes, however, as bribes are the
common method to release the incarcerated. End Comment.


NEUMANN

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.