Sunday, November 2, 2014

Afghan Warlords and Democracy

A recent article provides us with an alternative and "kinder" view of warlords in Afghanistan. The author refers to the interaction of warlords within Afghanistan's political environment as "Warlord-Democracy Nexus" - a transition of warlords from fighters to politicians. The author shows us that the warlords provided a useful function in the early formation of the Afghan state post-2001. These warlords, typically based on regional and ethnic lines, provided support to the early Karzai regime. Afghanistan is a country used to de-centralized power and regional power brokers; early support from these regional power brokers ensured the weak central government could survive. One example provided is the warlord Rashid Dostum, who was chosen by President Ghani to be one of his vice-presidents. Dostum is an Uzbek warlord from northern Afghanistan who has wielded power of great importance over the past twenty years. Read more in "Afghanistan: Warlords and Democracy", The Diplomat, October 26, 2014.

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