President Ghani announced the nominations for the new Afghan cabinet on Monday, January 12, 2015. He had promised to form his cabinet 45 days after his taking office but . . . well, it has only been over 100 days. I am sure Ghani and his CEO - Abdullah Abdullah - were conducting a lot of horse trading over the past three months.The nominations go to the Afghan Parliament next for approval. 25 ministers were named. Many of the names are young and relatively unknown to the public; but some have been long-time players in the Afghan political or security sector. Defense Ministry went to Sher Mohammad Karimi - the current Chief of the Afghan National Army (ANA). Ministry of Interior nominee is Nur ul-Haq Ulumi - a close Abdullah associate. Foreign Affairs went to Salahuddin Rabbani. He is the son of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani who was assassinated by a suicide bomber in 2011 while he was serving as the chair of the High Peace Council. National Directorate of Security (NDS) portfolio went to the current NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil. Three of the positions went to women - Women's Affairs, Information and Culture, and Higher Education.
There are several news stories on this event; some are provided below:
- "New Faces vs. Old Structures: Afghanistan's new cabinet", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), January 12, 2015.
- "Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveils unity government", BBC News Asia, January 12, 2015.
- The Resolute Support organization that replaced ISAF welcomes the news of the forming of the new cabinet. See "NATO SCR, RS Commander welcome Afghan cabinet announcement", RS News, January 12, 2015.
- "Afghanistan Announces New Cabinet After Long Delay", Radio Free Europe, January 12, 2015.
- "New Afghan cabinet nominations announced", Stars and Stripes, January 12, 2015.
- "Afghanistan Announces Members of Cabinet", The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2015.