Friday, March 26, 2010

America’s shiny new Palestinian militia

clipped from
The stupidest program the US government has ever undertaken”; that’s how I last year called American efforts to improve the Palestinian Authority military force. Slightly hyperbolic, yes, but the description fits because those efforts enhance the fighting power of enemies of the US and its Israeli ally.
Shortly after Yasser Arafat died in late 2004, the US government established the Office of the US Security Coordinator to reform, recruit, train
and equip the PA militia (called the National Security Forces or Quwwat al-Amn al-Watani) and make them politically accountable.
The PA militia has in total about 30,000 troops, of which four battalions comprising 2,100 troops have passed scrutiny for lack of criminal or terrorist ties and undergone 1,400 hours of training at an American facility in Jordan. There they study subjects ranging from small-unit tactics and crime-scene investigations to first aid and human rights law.
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