Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance Rearms Amid Rumors of Peace Talks

Is Afghanistan's Old Civil War Going to Become Afghanistan's New Civil War?

The reports of an actual peace process between the Karzai government and the Taliban may be mostly hype, but it seems to have convinced a number of people. The Taliban is far from convinced, of course, but some of the warlords from the old Northern Alliance are, and they don’t like it one bit.

In fact, the warlords are getting the old groups back together, rearming their militias and preparing to restart the ongoing civil war that came to an apparent end in 2001 when the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan, driving the Taliban into the far south of the nation.

But maybe not so much an end as a decade-long pause. Even if the current talks aren’t real US officials are pretty adamant about having the Taliban integrate into the government as an “end game” strategy. With a rearmed Northern Alliance this might not end anything, but just change combatants.

It might also, incredibly enough, but the Northern Alliance back into the role of the determined insurgency and the Taliban (with a few Karzai officials along for the ride) back into the role of the government, except with a massive NATO occupation force backing them up.

It might not be so far-fetched, as the US was cheerfully backing the Taliban under the guise of the war on drugs before the 2001 invasion, and while it might take some doing to convince the public after spending a decade branding the Taliban are al-Qaeda’s sidekicks, the temptation to be on a comparatively winning side might be enough to convince NATO to play the role of Taliban-backers, at least some day.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.