America’s Monster – The New York Times

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Missing since 2016

Missing since 2016

When the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan, it left secrets in the desert.

Her son vanished eight years ago.

His son disappeared then, too.

The New York Times identified hundreds of civilians abducted in the largest campaign of forced disappearances of the war.

It all led back to one man.

It all led back to one man.

America’s Monster

How the U.S. Backed Kidnapping, Torture and Murder in Afghanistan

The New York Times documented the disappearances of more than 300 Afghans during the reign of an American-backed general in the war. The actual toll is likely far higher.

America’s Monster

The convoy rumbled into the Taliban heartland, a white desert littered with stones. Over the loudspeakers at the local mosque, the Afghan police officers ordered everyone to gather: The commander was here.

Dozens assembled in the mud square to listen as Abdul Raziq, one of America’s most important partners in the war against the Taliban, stood before the crowd, gesturing at two prisoners he had brought along to make his point.

The prisoners knelt with their hands bound as Raziq spoke to his men. A pair of his officers raised their rifles and opened fire, sending the prisoners into spasms on the reddening earth. In the silence that followed, Raziq addressed the crowd, three witnesses said.

“You will learn to respect me and reject the Taliban,” Raziq said after the killings, which took place in the winter of 2010, according to the witnesses and relatives of both men. “Because I will come back and do this again and again, and no one is going to stop me.”

For years, American military leaders lionized Raziq as a model partner in Afghanistan, their “if only” ally in the battle against the Taliban: If only everyone fought like Raziq, we might actually win this war, American commanders often said.

A man in traditional Afghan attire with his hands clasped at his waist
Abdul Raziq at his home in Kandahar City in 2015, shadowed by one of his many bodyguards.

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