Home / Be The Change / Antiwar / United States Exposed for Being Complicit in Arming and Training Child Soldiers in Afghanistan

United States Exposed for Being Complicit in Arming and Training Child Soldiers in Afghanistan


Washington, D.C. — The killing of a 10-year-old Afghan boy, Wasil Ahmad by Taliban forces has raised serious questions about the United State’s creation and backing of a militia group using of child soldiers.

Ahmad has been lionized as a national hero in Afghanistan after his death on Monday in the Uruzgan province at the hands of Taliban militants. The boy had previously gained national prominence for helping militia forces break an insurgent siege after his uncle had been wounded.

Ahmad’s death, while fighting alongside his uncle, with a U.S. supported government militia called the Afghan Local Police (ALP) has thrust the grim practice of child soldiers in combat into the international spotlight once again.

“There’s nothing heroic about putting a child in danger by arming him and having him fight in a war. The Taliban killed 10-year-old Wasil Ahmad, but those who encouraged him to fight bear responsibility as well,” Patricia Gossman, the senior Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, told The Guardian.

Afghan government officials said Ahmad was not formally part of the Afghan Local Police, but his uncle, with whom he fought alongside, was an official member of the group, according to The Guardian

According to a report by The Guardian:

Created in 2010, the Afghan Local Police, known as ALP, is largely an invention of the US military, and was initially overseen by elite US special operations forces. Critics have long pointed to persistent human-rights abuse allegations within an entity they fear provides cover for the empowerment of militias.

According to a US government audit in October, the US Defense Department has provided $469.7m to the ALP from inception through April 2015, and estimates that the force will cost approximately $121m annually to sustain.

The same audit chided the Pentagon for lacking plans to disband the ALP or transition its 30,000 fighters to the official security services after US sponsorship ends, a switch currently slated for September.

When asked by The Guardian for comment about the U.S. funding militia groups that field child soldiers, the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command both refused to comment, with the Pentagon directing attention to a State Department policy on aid to foreign militaries.

“Consistent with US law and policy, the Department of State vets its assistance to foreign security forces, as well as certain Department of Defense training programs, to ensure that recipients have not committed gross human rights abuses. When the vetting process uncovers credible information that an individual or unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, US assistance is withheld.”

Afghan interior minister Sediq Sediqqi said that recruitment of children is against official policy and that it’s a crime to use child soldiers. The spokesman for the Uruzgan provincial governor noted that while Ahmad was not an official member of the ALP, he took up arms to avenge the deaths of 16 family members that had all been members of the ALP and had been killed by the Taliban.

“Recruiting child soldiers violates international law and Afghan law, but tragically it’s been a longstanding practice by some Afghan militias and ALP. Even though some of these forces get US support, there has been little effort to hold abusive commanders accountable for such crimes. It’s high time the Afghan government matched its words with action to end the practice of recruiting child soldiers,” said Human Rights Watch’s Gossman.

The idea of U.S. funding going to directly to groups that employ children soldiers is repugnant and shocking to the conscience. When policy becomes more important than morality, people suffer.

Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.

  • We’re winning the war of information, but we need more minds on our side. Please (Y) + Comment + Share this story. Thank you.

  • But we’re “the good guys”.

  • But then turn around, come back to the US become Cops and shoot kids the same age for holding toy guns.

  • Hypocrisy.

  • Fuck what johnny law says, if I want a 30 round mag in a full auto ak47, I’m gonna have one or two or three.

  • Sure. They do practically the same thing with children HERE.

  • child soldiers shouldn’t exist… Children are supposed to be protected not exploited!

  • Latin
    The word infantry was borrowed into other Romance languages from the Latin infantem, originally “a youth” who as an infante, a “foot soldier” who served in groups composed of those soldiers who were too-inexperienced or too low in rank for membership to the cavalry.

  • Now that you’re done singling out the US, check the other countries… I’ll wait…

  • BARACK is gonna piss his pants over THIS ONE!

  • Like it or not, as long as there are children and war there will be child soldiers. Laws of Nature > Laws of Men. You mind as well command the tide not to come in.

  • If the many lazy minded Americas ever knew what our government does outside our borders they would be alarmed. Especially at times when the GOP is in charge.

    • it doesnt matter who is in charge. Dnt be fooled.

    • Agree. The GOP is worse then the Dems. Dems are no good either. Lesser of two evils. Both parties are owned by Big Money. Each of them ignore the average citizen.

    • No they wouldn’t be alarmed. They probably wouldn’t give a shit until it starts happening within the borders. Until then it seems most Americans dont care about anything that happens around the world as long as they are the ones producing the highest body count. Even if the problems are created directly from the US they will still state that it isnt their problem because it isnt happening in america. Refugees caused by destabilizing an area through war, “ahh whatever not our problem.”

    • Most don’t care what’s happening here. Keeping the masses entertained and buying more shit on credit.

    • You’re delusional to think there’s a difference in parties

  • They have absolutely no value for human… any kind of life, so while I am disgusted by this I am not surprised.

  • Says a lot of their foreign policy…., What they say and do are two different things! Double standard policies!

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  • For a free-thinking project these articles are terribly one-sided.

  • I’m more concerned by military personnel being told to look the other way when children are raped in Afghanistan. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/world/asia/us-soldiers-told-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html

  • The US has been training children for combat in Central and South America long before the Iraq war.

  • This government is out of hand…

  • israeli child terrorists have been training for years. Israel is a War Criminal has shown video of this numerous times.

  • This is sad so sad

  • and isis and, and..
    Say no moore

  • #NoWeaponsAcrossBorders.

  • Can I just say that America is not the only one arming children if they really are. Hitler did it. The North Vietnamese did it. The Japaneses did it. And what do you want to bet ISIS is doing it. It certainly does not make it right by any stretch of the imagination. It just means that you who are ready to blame the USA really need to wake up and smell the real world. And US foreign policy is a joke right now.Lets go back in American history to the American Revolution, and the Civil War people. Or do they not teach that to you in school anymore. Young people fought and died in those wars. Because they believed what they were fighting for.Could tgis be true here also??

  • This is sickening….

  • and this is new to WHO?

  • the moral fabric of society is coming unraveled… to quote frank zappa – “all of your children are poor unfortunate victims of systems beyond their control”. he wrote that in the 60’s, he saw it all coming, he predicted so many things through his lyrics…. another one from that same era – there will come a time when you won’t even be ashamed if you are fat. if you don’t listen to his music, you might want to check him out. he’s the most socially relevant artist of our time.

  • **Headdesk****

  • disgusting

  • Why should this surprise anybody? In the U.S., we indoctrinate children from babyhood that membership in the military is a worthwhile, even noble vendor. Soldiers are heroes, aren’t they and if there isn’t enough (barely) adult cannon fodder, we’ll go after the younger ones.

  • Somebodys got to guard are pain pill flower patches

  • Gotta love a good old fashioned proxy war… on second thought, maybe it’s a good thing America is exposed!

  • I do not believe that US has anything to do with child soldiers, but in my observation all countries are recruiting less educated, gulible, religious people and children fit this cathegory.

  • They are happy for kids to be shot in school in america
    so can imagine training kids to kill overseas would be easy for them

  • And they talk about human right everyday and all those eaten shit still eat their shit till now. Congratulation, u win the world most outstanding nation. Bravo

  • loonies

  • Where the fuck is the dislike button…? The only way we will ever stop these fucks from creating negative energy is by blocking the propaganda from existence

  • yep it show for 60 years

  • infant-ry

  • ugh!