Rashid Dostum



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Afghan War News > Biographies > Rashid Dostum

Picture of General Rashid Dostum General Rashid Dostum is a controversial leader of the minority Uzbek community / region of Afghanistan. He has been characterized as a politician, warlord, general, pasha, militia leader, and a host of other terms.

Military Career. He started out as a Communist union boss working in the gas fields of Northern Afghanistan but switched occupations when he became the leader of an Uzbek militia group fighting on the side of the Soviets in the 1980s. His militiar group started small but soon grew in size (to 20,000 personnel). He then joined the Afghan government as a military officer fighting the mujahedeen. He later switched sides in 1992 once he saw that the withdrawal of the Soviets would spell the end of the Najibullah regime and became a mujahedeen fighter.

Changing Alliances. Dostum is well-known for changing sides in the middle of a conflict or war. He has fought for and against the Soviets, Afghan central government, the Northern Alliance, and the Taliban.

Atrocities. He and the forces under his command have been accused of atrocities during the mid-1990s when the Mujihadeen were fighting amongst each for control of Kabul. In addition, allegations indicate that after the Northern Alliance forces took control of areas around Mes-e-Sharif that Dostum forces killed a number of Taliban captives by suffocating them in shipping containers. Many critics say that the Afghan government and the United States have not conducted an investigation into these allegations.

Northern Alliance. His forces were a large part of the Northern Alliance during their fight against the Taliban. During the removal of the Taliban regime in the fall and winter of 2001 his forces were responsible for the capture of Mezar-e-Sharif. His capture of MeS was aided by assistance from U.S. Army Special Forces and air support from the U.S.

Vice Presidential Candidate.  Dostum was picked to run as a Vice President in the April 2014 elections. With the election of President Ghani, Dostum is now serving as a First Vice President. In the event of the death of President Ghani, Dostum would assume the Presidency.

Websites with Info on Rashid Dostum

Abdul Rashid Dostum. By WikipediA.

General Dostum Website.

Warlords of Afghanistan - Uzbek Warlord.

News Reports about Rashid Dostum

December 6, 2017. "Inside Dostum's Mansion: Afghanistan's Inequality Laid Bare", The Diplomat. When Mazar-i-Sharif fell to the Taliban in August 2021 Dostum fled to Uzbekistan. The Taliban soon discovered just how opulant Dostum's mansion was.

July 22, 2017. "General Dostum, the hero Afghanistan deserves", Lima Charlie News. This article, by John Sjoholm, traces the history of Dostum from the early days of the Soviet occupation to his current status as First Vice President of Afghanistan.

May 19, 2016. "What An Afghan Warlord-Turned Vice President Tells Us About Military Intervention and State Building", Political Violence at a Glance.. Romain Malajecq explores the relationship between warlords and stability using Rashid Dostum as an example.

April 25, 2016. "Afghanistan's Vice President is Barred from Entering U.S.", The New York Times.

February 1, 2016. "Afghan Vice President in Quiet Government Boycott Over Power Sharing", Gandhara Blog.

May 18, 2015. "Old Rivals Attempting Uneasy Cooperation in Northern Afghanistan". Gandhara Blog - Radio Free Europe. Governor Atta Mohammad Noor (Balkh province) and Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum have been rivals for many years.

March 18, 2015. "Afghan First Vice President, an Ex-Warlord, Fumes on the Sidelines". The New York Times. Dostum is side-lined by the Ghani government.

October 26, 2014. "Afghanistan: Warlords and Democracy". The Diplomat. The author features Dostum as an example of how warlords can transition from warlord to politician and perform a useful service of ensuring regional stability for a weak, central government.

April 23, 2014. "Dostum, a former warlord who was once America's man in Afghanistan, may be back". The Washington Post. Could be vice president.

March 30, 2014. "Ruthless Warlord, Hero to Uzbeks, On Ballot in Afghan Elections". National Public Radio. A five minute audio.

December 4, 2013. "Dostum the Taliban Killer: Afghanistan's Pro-American Warlord". The Huffington Post. This article refutes many of the claims of brutality credited to Dostum.

October 8, 2013. "A Leader Apologises: General Dostum, elections, and war crimes".  Afghanistan Analysts Network - Kate Clark.

July 29, 2012. "Taking tea with Afghanistan's most fearsome warlord, General Abdul Rashid Dostum". The Telegraph.

October 12, 2018. "Big fish among the Afghan warlords". The Washington Times. A comprehensive and detailed bio of Dostum.

September 25, 2001. "Profile: General Rashid Dostum". BBC News.








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