As America appears to be on its way out of Afghanistan, the fight for land, power, and dominance hangs in the balance. The Afghan Security Forces have been fighting the Taliban for years. Yet, in the shadows, another group has also been fighting the Taliban. That group is the public uprising forces.

The public uprising forces are a group of volunteers organized into militias throughout Afghanistan. According to an article written by TOLOnews, the group dates back to 2013, when people in the Andar district of the Ghazni Province began fighting back against the Taliban. Since then, 17 provinces have had uprising forces organize and fight. The last few years have seen a major uptick in the strength of the public uprising forces.

These fighters have the support of Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the Vice President of Afghanistan, according to TOLOnews.

In 2017, Danish said, “The Afghan government welcomes and supports the public uprising forces. We urge our people, especially the youth of every region not to just be witnesses but to cooperate with the national army and police forces and to stand with the public uprising forces.”