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Afghanistan: The Problems of Creating a New Afghan Army

  • ID: 5029
  • Region: Afghanistan
  • New Nations
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The essential companion to follow the complex events in Afghanistan as they unfold - includes reports on the main warlords and a map of the territory held by them, as well as other key descriptive material. There is much complacency in many quarters about the prospects of pacifying Afghanistan through the creation of a new, non-partisan army. There is a widening gap between rhetoric and reality. This special report looks at the problem of creating and maintaining an effective regular army in Afghanistan to prevent a recurrence of a situation whereby the Taliban originally came to power.

There is little sense of an Afghan unity among the majority of the population. The loyalty of the troops rested with their village, if not with their ethnic group or tribe. The interim government appeared to have accepted the 60,000 figure for the size of the army, if for no other reason that international donors were not willing to make funding available for a larger army. In fact it is proving difficult to raise enough money even for the more modest 60,000-strong army, despite the fact that its cost is estimated at a relatively manageable US$422 million for the first year. With regard to appointments READ MORE >

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Maps
Afghanistan Political Map 2002
Afghanistan Map showing Areas controlled by Warlords and Political Factions, April 2002

The Movers and Shakers
Who's who

Factional alignments as of April 2002
Rabbani, Royalists, Dostum, Panjsheris, Hizb-i Wahdat

Parties, Factions and Groups in April 2002
Description and estimated military strengths

Table: Major ethnic groups in Afghanistan
Estimates 2002

Historical background
The army under the monarchy
The communist period: before the Soviet occupation
The communist period: under the Soviet occupation
The communist period: after the Soviet occupation
The armed forces of the Taleban
Underlying problems of forming a national army in Afghanistan

The Political-military picture in April 2002
Abdul Rashid Dostum - The eponymous warlord?
Ismael Khan: an Iranian puppet?
The legacy of Jamlat-i Islami's Massud - Respectable warlords?
Hizb-i Wahdat - A people's party?
The Pashtun warlords of Southern and Eastern Afghanistan
The warlords in the Afghanistan of tommorrow

Towards a real national army?
The initial debate
Theory and practice
The process gets started

Conclusion : 
'A brief window of opportunity'

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