Warlords With Dark Pasts Battle in Afghan Election (NYT)
..... a member of the Transitional Justice Coordination Group, a coalition of Western-financed groups that lobbies for past war crimes to be acknowledged and punished, said that some of the men initially tried to stay out of the spotlight after the Taliban’s overthrow, worried about potential war-crimes proceedings.
But as time passed and they saw nothing happen, and they saw the Taliban growing stronger, it made them want to get involved.
Most analysts believe that none of the 11 tickets in the race will get the necessary 50 percent of the vote in the initial balloting, which will create a runoff between the top two vote-getters......
All of the six tickets with identified warlords on them have rejected that characterization. They prefer to call the men mujahedeen, for their roles in fighting the Soviet invasion and the Taliban’s rule — with the heavy support and funding of American officials. That relationship positioned them to consolidate power after the Taliban fell, and many have become wealthy from development and aid money.
“To some extent America and the West is responsible — they’re the reason we still have these warlords,” said Mohammad Aleem Sayee, the former governor who was run out of Jowzjan by General Dostum and who is now working in Qayum Karzai’s campaign. “They supported them and let them stay in power.”
warlords, war criminals, strongmen with private armies...is this the legacy we fought and died for in Afghanistan?
Should we be trying to stay longer? To what purpose ? Or we can go "0 option" , and just leave.