View Full Version : Afghan City Falls Despite Troop Dispatch

04-08-04, 07:09 PM
Afghan City Falls Despite Troop Dispatch
Thu Apr 8, 2:00 PM ET

By David Brunnstrom

KABUL (Reuters) - Forces of a renegade adviser to President Hamid Karzai overran the capital of a northern province of Afghanistan (news - web sites) on Thursday, creating a fresh security headache for the government and its U.S.-led foreign backers.

General Abdul Rashid Dostum's largely ethnic Uzbek militia invaded Faryab from neighboring provinces on Wednesday, prompting the central government to send national troops there on Thursday in an attempt to maintain control.

The fighting in the north and another outbreak in the western province of Herat last month have been an unwanted diversion for Karzai and U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan even as they battle Taliban and allied militants in the south and east.

The latest unrest bodes ill for President Bush (news - web sites)'s hopes for a successful election in Afghanistan later in the year to offset the mounting problems he faces in Iraq (news - web sites).

As the situation deteriorated in the far north on Wednesday, three Afghan security men and three Taliban guerrillas were killed in clashes in a southern province in which a U.S. soldier was also wounded.

A U.S. military spokesman said on Monday that remnants of the Taliban regime overthrown in late 2001 and their al Qaeda allies no longer posed a threat to the U.S.-backed government in Kabul.

But the guerrillas have continued to mount hit-and-run attacks in the south and east of the country, adding to concerns about security for elections due in September.

Now Karzai and his U.S. led allies need to find a way to deal with Dostum, who analysts say is disgruntled about having his bid for a senior post in government turned down.

Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali called the taking of the city of Maimana "an unconstitutional act of interference by General Dostum" and an emergency National Security Council meeting ordered all armed groups that had entered Faryab to withdraw immediately.


"These events are a clear indication that peace and security of the people of Afghanistan cannot be ensured so long as warlords and armed militias exist in the country," the NSC said.

U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said the unrest, like that last month in Herat, underlined the importance of a U.N.-backed plan to disarm factional militias like Dostum's, which the government wants to cover 40,000 fighters by June.

Jalali said the first batch of a force of 750 national army troops had arrived in Maimana. "With the deployment of the national army, the situation will improve," he said.

It was the second time in less than a month that the government has sent in troops from the still-infant national army to keep order in troubled provinces and deal with unrest involving warlord militias targeted for disarmament.

There were fierce clashes in the western city of Herat last month after forces of a commander appointed by Karzai killed the cabinet minister son of the provincial governor.

Karzai rushed in 1,500 troops from the national army which still has a combat strength on only about 8,000, prompting expressions of concern from the U.S. military that this took up resources that should be pursuing Taliban and al Qaeda militants.

Vikram Parekh of the International Crisis Group think tank said he did not think deploying the Afghan National Army in Faryab could be a long-term solution.

"There is not enough ANA to go around and I don't think the Americans are going to see Faryab as a security priority enough to warrant having one battalion there," he said.

Parekh said this could mean that despite the government's tough words, it might have to come to accommodation with Dostum, whose forces have been involved in several rounds of fighting for territory since helping overthrow the Taliban in late 2001.

A federalist, Dostum unsuccessfully opposed Karzai's bid for a strong presidency in a constitutional assembly in January.

A diplomat from a NATO (news - web sites) member state said the unrest could affect the alliance's plans to deploy troops as military- civilian reconstruction teams to help bolster election security.

Maimana has been envisaged as a location for such a team in the north.

"It would be surprising if NATO did not now reassess its plans," the diplomat in Brussels said. "You could argue now that the PRT in Maimana is even more important but equally you could argue that enthusiasm to set one up just won't be there." (Additional reporting by Sayed Salhuddin and Yousuf Azimy in Kabul, Jason Szep in Islamabad and John Chalmers in Brussels)



04-08-04, 07:51 PM
a two front war for us, uf da

04-08-04, 10:12 PM
Now this besides the President of Pakistan troubles in not taking the person they thought they had cornered.
We should have taken care of Afghanistan before taking on Iraq.
There was no hurry, other than the self imposed timeline we placed on ourselves.
We are fighting a two prong war or two front war wheter we know it or we don't.
Some made jest about my concern of logistics before our taking on the talibon in Afghanistan.
We were lucky that the President of Pakistan side with us instead of the talibon.
If he was over-thrown and they close passage through or over their air space.
Than logistics will be a big problem unless we have position enough of everything to carrying on the war on terrorism.
What a strange web we weave...

Semper Fidelis

04-09-04, 04:36 AM
This is too much of a coincidence! Is this General Abdul Rashid Dostum just taking a percieved opportunity?

Or is it a general plan timed with the Islamic holidays? What's the connection? Who do we need to kill?

If Syria and Iran are pulling strings, a Westinghouse 100kt greeting card is in order!

Keep an eye on Israel's AO.