6 January 2014
On a visit to Helmand in mid-December, UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that when British troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year, they will have accomplished their main aim – leaving behind a basic level of security. But a new report by the Pentagon (1) tells a different story. On its list of the most violent districts in the country, the top four are in Helmand, the province where most British as well as thousands of US troops have been based. The deadliest of these districts is Nahr-e Seraj where a multitude of power brokers within and outside the official security forces violently struggle for influence. Deedee Derksen with an overview of disarmament and rearmament trends over the past 12 years and the resulting security challenges for this and the next Afghan government (with input by Obaid Ali).