Money As A Weapon System-Afghanistan (MAAWS-A) Afghanistan Reintegration Program (ARP) SOP

Money As A Weapon System-Afghanistan (MAAWS-A) Afghanistan Reintegration Program (ARP)

  • 54 pages
  • May 2011



A. Purpose.

The aim of reintegration is to stabilize local areas by convincing insurgents, their leaders and their supporters to cease active and/or passive support for the insurgency and to become peaceful members of Afghan society. Reintegration will supplement the continuing lethal and non-lethal activities that form a part of counterinsurgency operations. Reintegration will complement efforts to support political, governance, social and economic opportunity within communities. U.S. support for the Afghan Reintegration Programs must be attuned to Afghan culture. The guidance shall refer to a former fighter who has been accepted into ARP as a ―reintegree.

B. Definitions.

1. A formal reintegree is defined as an Afghan who has:

a. Recorded a pledge to cease all support for insurgency in Afghanistan, to live in accordance with the Constitution of Afghanistan, cease violence against the Government of Afghanistan and its international partners, and no longer have material ties to Al Qaeda or affiliated transnational terrorist organizations, and

b. Been sponsored by a responsible community member, or a government official in cases where the reintegree cannot return to their community.

2. Reintegration refers to efforts to assimilate fighters and leaders peacefully into Afghan society. Among the individuals to whom this applies are fighters who have been removed from the battlefield as well as those who are detained or incarcerated in U.S. or Afghan facilities, respectively. Although some reintegration programs involve modest stipends for relocation or compensation for services, these stipends will be subject to appropriate safeguards, and in no event will payments be made to reward insurgents for cessation of hostilities.

3. Reconciliation refers to high-level political dialogue with senior leaders of major insurgent groups such as the Quetta Shura Taliban, Haqqani Network, and Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HiG), designed to terminate their armed resistance against the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). Higher-level reconciliation efforts may allow relatively senior leaders to join a peaceful political process under the Afghan Constitution under the auspices of GIRoA, which should continue to manage these efforts. Funding for the ARP will not be used to support reconciliation requirements.

C. Key ARP Concepts.

1. Reintegration programs are Afghan led programs that have the outward appearance of an Afghan driven program consistent with the Afghan constitution and the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP).

2. Many Afghan fighters are not ideologically committed to the insurgency; rather they are motivated by grievances, issues of security and/or financial incentives. It is believed that many of these Afghans, along with their communities, will cut their ties to the insurgency, abandon violence, and accept the Afghan Constitution, including respect for human rights once being offered the opportunity to participate in a reintegration program. In addition, Afghan fighters who have been placed in detention or correction facilities may take part in reintegration programs. Motives for reintegration may include initiation of effective grievance resolution processes with the community and individual, the belief in a better life, incentives to pursue that better-life, and disincentives to participate in insurgent or terrorist acts.

3. The community is viewed as the center-of-gravity for successful and lasting reintegration. As such, the community will be responsible for accepting back reintegrees who wish to reintegrate, and will take responsibility for their progress.

a. Reintegration efforts should benefit and be provided to peaceful members of a community as well, not just reintegrees, in order to avoid perverse incentives. For example, measures should be taken to ensure peaceful members of a community are able to partake in the dividends of the peace process in order to avoid resentment of reintegree’s who are also benefiting from the reintegration program.

b. Reintegrees receiving support under the ARP are sponsored by a responsible community member or government official in cases where the reintegree cannot return to their community. In addition, pledges made by reintegrees must be recorded, and the community must accept that the consequence for acts of recidivism will be discontinuation of ARP support in that community.

4. Effective support for the GIRoA reintegration program will require coordination between Afghanistan’s national and sub-national levels and will require proper oversight. U.S. support must be flexible enough to allow the U.S. Government to respond quickly with resources and policy decisions to field personnel and enable the GIRoA’s reintegration program to capitalize on emerging opportunities. It is imperative that both district and village leadership, as well as the local population, support the proposed project in order to increase the likelihood for success, and that GIRoA is kept informed of all such programs.

5. Material incentives in the form of transition assistance, job training, and support for grievance resolution are likely to be part of a final GIRoA led reintegration program, and will require international community support for implementation. Both International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and USFOR-A play important roles in GIRoA’s reintegration program. A robust civilian contribution from the international community of both material and political support will also be important for the overall success of the program.

6. Vetting is the process by which potential reintegrees are assessed as to whether they will be accepted back into the community. Vetting will be conducted at the community level by local elders and/or village leaders, in coordination with Ministry of Interior (MOI) and National Directorate of Security (NDS). All reintegrees seeking reintegration will have their biometric and identifying data collected by MOI and submitted to the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF), ISAF and UN databases to run background checks and create a record in order to prevent more than one attempt at reintegration. In cases where the reintegree will not be accepted into a specific community, the MOI will process and coordinate moving the reintegree, along with their family if applicable, to a different community within Afghanistan that will support reintegration. The MOI will be the lead agency for collecting biometric and other identifying data with the support of NDS, MOD, ISAF and UN as deemed necessary.

7. GIRoA is developing an approach to provide amnesty for reintegration candidates. GIRoA is responsible for ensuring it does so in full conformity with local law, international law, treaties and established agreements. This amnesty may be retroactive and probationary in nature. If the participant deviates from the program, the amnesty will be void. If it is determined that a reintegree has committed severe criminal acts, MOI, supported by the NDS, Ministry of Defense (MOD), and ISAF, will deal with the criminal in accordance with Afghan law. A criminal is defined as a person charged with and convicted of a crime, under Afghan law.

8. In order to support national unity, reintegration efforts should not favor a particular ethnicity. There will be no power-sharing or other arrangements that would offer extra-constitutional governmental authority as a reward for reintegration (effectively rewarding insurgent violence and undermining constitutional processes), and there will be no arrangements that would undermine the authority of GIRoA.

a. Critical to attracting insurgents to participate in reintegration is a more capable and credible GIRoA, seen as effective by its people, and capable of providing effective security and justice.

b. The Afghan Reintegration Program, and our support to the APRP using ARP funds, must be transparent and the administrators of the program must be accountable to the Afghan people and GIRoA, and international community.

9. Although NDAA funds in support of reintegration utilize many of the same delivery mechanisms as the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP), they differ in that the ARP’s primary objective is to support the reintegration of reintegrees. Activities such as vocational training, works projects, education or other projects should only be funded by ARP if they are in support of the peaceful assimilation of reintegrees, leaders, their supporters and their communities who have officially renounced support for the insurgency.

10. Reintegration does not support any deal that violates the Afghan Constitution, nor does it involve paying potential reintegrees to stop fighting.

11. Reintegration may involve low-level political and dispute negotiations, but it should not undermine constitutional processes by establishing power-sharing or other arrangements that would offer extra-constitutional government authority as a reward for reintegration, effectively rewarding insurgent violence. Additionally, there should be no arrangements that would undermine the authority of the GIRoA.

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