011120nakamura   比較政策研究(大学院) 中村祐司メモ


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* Yuji Nakamura colored, lined and gave notes, italic blue words.


NOVEMBER 23, 2001


The Next Front

Following a rapid succession of victories, opposition Northern Alliance forces now control half of Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul. But the real challenge forming a viable, broad-based government lies ahead



The eight foreign ministers holed up inside the United Nations headquarters in New York on Nov. 12 were the ones supposed to be moving fast. Half a world away, troops of the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance were speeding toward the battle-scarred capital of Afghanistan in tanks and pickup trucks. The representatives of Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, China and the U.S. were struggling to find a formula for an interim government to place in Kabul before the rebels arrived.[1] The message for the ministers from U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was "speed, speed, speed." But they couldn't move, literally, held captive by a security lockdown after a U.S. airliner smashed into a residential area in Queens nearby.


By the next day, Kabul had fallen. The ruling Taliban, softened up by weeks of bombing by the U.S., fled the capital, and opposition tanks rolled in, even though Washington had urged the Northern Alliance to keep out of Kabul until an interim government had been formed. The incoming troops were greeted by jubilant Kabul residents, who celebrated the occasion by playing music and shaving off their beards activities that had been proscribed under the ultra-strict Islamic rule of the Taliban. As reports flowed in of local uprisings even in the Taliban's southern heartland, it looked like the first major victory for the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism.


The hard part, however, is just beginning. Military developments have overtaken political events, making the situation in Afghanistan dangerously fluid. With the northern half of the country now held by the potentially unruly warlords of the Northern Alliance and the southern half still largely in Taliban hands, Afghanistan is in danger of splitting down the middle and plunging deeper into civil war. At the heart of the crisis is the lack of a viable government that will satisfy all ethnic and tribal factions in Afghanistan, as well as the country's demanding neighbors.[2] And as top-level diplomatic efforts intensify to put a "broad-based" government in place in Kabul, the man who triggered the U.S.-led campaign in the first place Osama bin Laden remains elusive and threatens a guerrilla war from mountains in the south. The added danger is that his struggle could spill over into neighboring Pakistan and threaten that country's already shaky political stability.


The swiftness of the Northern Alliance's advance on Kabul has thrown the U.S. and its allies into a quandary. The opposition success is good news for the coalition, but what next? The eight ministers in New York released a statement that the Afghan people should establish "a broad-based, multi-ethnic, politically balanced, freely chosen Afghan administration." The country's former king is likely to figure in any such equation. "Afghanistan needs an interim government, composed of the various ethnic groups, with a leadership council headed by former king Zahir Shah,"[3] says Pir Gailani, a former mujahideen leader now in Islamabad.


The big question is how to form such a government. Northern Alliance foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah got the ball rolling by announcing: "We invite all Afghan groups at this stage to come to Kabul to start negotiations about the future of Afghanistan." Easier said than done. Nation building is hindered by a lack of credible players. Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Northern Alliance commander who had fought the Soviets before he took on the Taliban, was slain just two days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, allegedly by assassins sent by bin Laden. Fellow mujahideen war hero Abdul Haq, a member of the majority Pushtun ethnic group, was captured and executed by the Taliban two weeks ago during a mission to rally opposition forces in southern Afghanistan.


Even if key military and political leaders were found and brought together, that would only be half of the challenge. Afghanistan specialist Olivier Roy says the problem is not the lack of political will among the different parties. "All except the Taliban consider a broad-based government to be the solution," he says. "The problem is the sharing of power between the different ethnic and regional groups." [4]


A potential sticking point is that the Northern Alliance is mainly composed of ethnic minorities Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras while most Afghans, including the Taliban, belong to the Pushtuns. The U.N. is trying to form what has been dubbed a "southern alliance" of ethnic Pushtuns, to complement the Northern Alliance, but progress has been slow. With the Taliban being pushed south, some predict that Afghanistan will consolidate along ethnic lines. "There will be no peace as the fight between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban will continue," says former Pakistan army chief Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg. "Going into winter it now becomes a harder war, with the country divided on the basis of ethnicity."


Pakistan is watching these developments with growing concern. The country's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate helped create the Taliban in the mid-1990s, even supplying military advisers and intelligence officials. Many Taliban members were educated in Pakistan's militant madrassahs (Islamic schools), and some Pakistanis themselves have been joining the Taliban's cause. Now Islamabad has seen crowds in Kabul welcoming opposition troops with cries of "death to Pakistan." Pakistani fighters, as well as other foreign militants fighting for the Taliban, have been singled out for retaliation, with reports of hundreds killed in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.


As part of the U.S.-led coalition, Islamabad is now technically opposed to the Taliban, but it remains suspicious of the enemy of its creation the Northern Alliance. It fears that the presence of northern ethnic minorities in any government may further dilute Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan. Little wonder that, as opposition troops were entering the capital, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf insisted that Kabul be maintained as a "demilitarized city," and called for a U.S. military force with Muslim participation to help maintain stability. Pakistan, Roy says, "is still angry over the disappearance of its influence and might try to sabotage any indigenous Afghan solution."


Pakistan has other worries, too. If the Taliban continues to get pushed southward or if it collapses altogether there is the danger of its militants coming over the border.[5] "This is a nightmare scenario for Pakistan," says Rifaat Hussain, chairman of the defense and strategic studies department at Islamabad's Quaid-i-Azam University. "The Taliban retreat toward the Pakistan border will heighten pressure on Pakistan, with the danger of civil unrest." The fact that most Pakistanis living along the border are ethnic Pushtuns sympathetic to the Taliban makes the situation potentially even more explosive.


In the meantime, Osama bin Laden has two options hide in the mountains in southern Afghanistan and wage guerrilla warfare, or slip into Pakistan and perhaps escape to a third country. [6]Either way, few are expecting a resolution anytime soon. "I don't think anybody is under the illusion that it will be easy to catch Osama bin Laden," says Rachel Bronson of the Washington-based Brookings Institution.


On the ground, though, the mood is more optimistic.[7] The Northern Alliance has tried to bring some sort of normalcy to Kabul, installing gray-uniformed policemen to impose order. According to foreign minister Abdullah, the opposition's latest success is "a very good beginning of the end" for bin Laden and his terrorist network. The fall of Kabul is a battle won. The real struggle now is to bring the warlords together to manage the peace.


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With the fall of Kabul, the battle moves to the political front

















[2] How can we establish“ a viable government“?  What is the point of coordinating procedure for a nation building?


[3] How can we establish “ a broad-based, muli-ethnic, politically balanced, freely chosen Afghan administration”? What should we do? What should Malaysia, Korea and Japan implement policies which lead to peaceful society of Afghanistan?


[4] For example, concerning an influential voice, should which ethnic or regional groups have priority in Afghanistan?


[5] What is the best Pakistan policy toward Afghanistan now?


[6] Which option is expected Osama bin Laden adopt? Or is there third option?


[7] What is the reason that “ the mood is more optimistic” on the ground?