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People's Uprising Program (PUP)

The People's Uprising Program (PUP) is an attempt by the Afghan government to capitalize on popular discontent and local resistance to the Taliban. It is currently (as of mid-2016) led by Abdul Qayum Rahimi - the director. Initial reports say that the PUP is part of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG).

This program is newly established (mid-2015?) and is designed to utlize the local population to defend rural villages as part of the the governments much larger counterinsurgency strategy. It is somewhat similar to the U.S. SOF led Village Stability Operations (VSO) program which included the Afghan Local Police (ALP) as an important component.

Funding. The members of PUP are reportedly on the payroll of the National Directorate of Security or NDS. The NDS receives funding assistance from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

PIlot Program. A early use of the PUP was in Nangarhar province where local militias were established to oppose the emerging Islamic State movement in eastern Afghanistan. These "test pilot" groups were established in the villages of Kot, Achin, and Nazian districts of the province of Nangarhar.

News Stories about People's Uprising Program

December 31, 2020. "Afghan's Militias Are Growing. Is That a Good Thing?", SOFREP.

June 9, 2016. "Do You Trust Afghanistan's Anti-ISIS Fighters?", by Franz Marty, The National Interest. The author examines a popular uprising against ISIS in Nangarhar province.

April 14, 2016. "Military Denies Arming anti-ISIL Militias in Afghanistan; CIA Wouldn't Comment", by Sam Knight, The District Sentinel.

April 6, 2016. "Afghan Spy Agency Enlists Villagers to Hold Off Islamic State", by Jessica Donati and Habib Khan Totakhil, The Wall Street Journal.




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