U.S. Continues to Back Afghan Warlord Linked to 2006 Massacre and Torture of Prisoners.
New revelations about a U.S.-backed warlord in Afghanistan are raising questions about whether the United States has violated its own laws in its aim to defeat the Taliban.
The Atlantic magazine reports the United States, under both former President George W. Bush and President Obama, has actively supported the police commander in Kandahar, General Abdul Raziq, despite knowing of his involvement not just in corruption and drug smuggling, but also in major human rights abuses including killings and torture. Raziq has been a key figure in the U.S. strategy of supporting Afghan warlords in order to weaken the Taliban, working closely with U.S. special forces.
He was promoted to head the police in Kandahar earlier this year after playing a key role in the U.S.-backed assault on the Taliban one year ago. The allegations against Raziq include responsibility for the torture of two teenage boys and the killing of 15 people in 2006. According to an investigation by our guest, Matthieu Aikins, for The Atlantic, the United States has continued supporting Raziq despite having been aware "of credible allegations that Raziq and his men participated in a cold-blooded massacre of civilians."