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Task Force Spartan hosts first reintegration shura at FOB Pasab

July 9, 2011

By Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan -- Combined Task Force Spartan held Maiwand and Zhari district’s first reintegration shura June 30 at Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan, to discuss the peaceful transition of enemy insurgents back into the community.

The shura focused on the benefits the two communities would receive for facilitating the process of reintegration, and the benefits for former insurgents who willingly came forward.

The steps for reintegration are that the Taliban fighter’s name will be given to the governor and police chief, and the fighter will make a formal pledge to the village not to commit further acts of violence, said Col. Patrick Frank, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

“We know the plan is working because it has already worked in Kandahar City,” said Frank. “Senior members of the Taliban have already reintegrated in Kandahar City, and if reintegration is capable in Kandahar City, we are capable of doing the same in Zharay and Maiwand.”

The districts’ ability to start the reintegration process is due to the cooperation between Spartan Soldiers and Maiwand and Zharay leadership.

“We have lived in two of the most dangerous districts in Afghanistan; however based on the leadership of (key individuals in both districts) this is changing dramatically every day,” said Frank. “Because of your leadership we have new opportunities for reintegration of the sons of Zharay and the sons of Maiwand.”

CTF Spartan coordinated with the districts to create job opportunities for former Taliban members.

“Each of the fighters that reintegrate will be paid a stipend for the first three months,” said Frank. “We will take the sons of Zharay and the sons of Maiwand, those Taliban fighters, and place them within the Civil Service Department, formerly called ‘Cash for Work.’ We will pay them a stipend for [up to] one year and provide them with a skill that they can be trained on for that 12-month period.”

The district governors for Zharay and Maiwand look forward to the progress that reintegration may bring.

Governor Niaz Sarhadi, the Zharay district governor, said if the leaders in Zharay and Maiwand cooperate with the U.S. Army, their districts will prosper. There will be more reconstruction projects and better job opportunities.

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