This is from a New York Times analysis of the Hold phase in Marja:
The Afghans in the meeting with the colonels were blunt. “They said: ‘We’re with you. We want to help you build. We will support you. But if you bring in the cops, we will fight you till death,’ ” Colonel Newman said.
The plan is to bring in the cops; already they are arriving at American-built outposts.
C. J. Chivers goes on to explain that Newman and the other Marine officers intend to demonstrate that the new ANP sent to Marja are “not like the past officers, whose arrogance and corruption left behind a reservoir of animosity and disgust.” Man, I believe that. I don’t know if there’s a way around bringing new cops into a place where the presence of any cops yields a we-will-fight-you-till-death warning, but it’s either keep the Marines for longer than expected to hold Marja and buy some time for trust to develop between the police and the community — and a visible zero-tolerance policy for police corruption; I don’t believe that will ever be in place even as I type these words — in order to ultimately get the Marines out. Tempting as it is to say the Afghan National Army can bridge the trust gap, according to Chivers, the soldiers in the area looted the local bazaar. “Then the Afghan soldiers refused to stand post in defensive bunkers, or to fill sandbags as the Americans, sometimes under fire, hardened their joint outpost. Instead, they spent much of their time walking in the bazaar, smoking hashish.”