Security and aid work in militia-controlled Afghanistan | IRIN
After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, international troops began hiring some of the militias - which had helped drive out the Taliban - as temporary security forces.
The government initiated a disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR) programme in early 2003, to disband militia groups and help members reintegrate into society, but progress was slow, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).
As the security situation deteriorated, the international forces began to sponsor many of these militias to extend their reach. Such semi-unofficial forces played an important role in providing security for the 2009 elections.
Things took a more formal turn in 2010 when the ALP was officially recognized as the primary local defence force to help keep remote communities free from Taliban insurgents.