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The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(Persian: جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستان‎ Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barāyi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a united military front that came to formation in late 1996[citation needed] after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president Burhanuddin Rabbani
Burhanuddin Rabbani
and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud.[citation needed] Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Asif Mohseni and others.[1] The Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
fought a defensive war against the Taliban government.[citation needed] They received support from Iran, Russia, Turkey, India, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
and others,[2] while the Taliban
Taliban
were backed by Pakistan
Pakistan
and al-Qaeda. By 2001 the Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
controlled less than 10% of the country, cornered in the north-east and based in Badakhshan province. The US invaded Afghanistan
Afghanistan
providing support to Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
troops on the ground in a two-month war against the Taliban, which they won in December 2001.[3] With the end of the Taliban, the Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
was dissolved as members and parties joined the new establishment of the Karzai administration.

Contents

1 Commanders and factions 2 History

2.1 Background 2.2 Creation of the United Front 2.3 Pakistani military interference 2.4 Taliban
Taliban
massacres 2.5 Ahmad Shah Massoud 2.6 Post 9/11

3 Legacy

3.1 Reformation (2011)

4 Human rights issues (1997–2001)

4.1 Area of Ahmad Shah Massoud 4.2 Area of Abdul Rashid Dostum

5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Commanders and factions[edit]

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The United Front was formed in late 1996 against the Taliban government by opposition factions. Since early 1999, Ahmad Shah Massoud was the only main leader able to defend his territory against the Taliban
Taliban
and as such remained as the main de facto political and military leader of the United Front recognized by members of all the different ethnic groups. Massoud decided on the main political line and the general military strategy of the alliance. A part of the United Front military factions such as Junbish-i Milli
Junbish-i Milli
or Hezb-e Wahdat, however, did not fall under the direct control of Massoud but remained under their respective regional or ethnic leaders. Military commanders of the United Front were either independent or belonged to one of the following political parties:

the Sunni Tajik-dominated Jamiat-e Islami
Jamiat-e Islami
led by Ahmad Shah Massoud and Burhanuddin Rabbani the Sunni Uzbek and Turkmen-dominated Junbish-i Milli
Junbish-i Milli
led by Abdul Rashid Dostum the Sunni Pashtun-dominated Eastern Shura led by Abdul Qadir the Shia
Shia
Tajik and Hazara-dominated Harakat-e Islami led by Asif Mohseni the Shia
Shia
Hazara-dominated Hezb-e Wahdat
Hezb-e Wahdat
led by Mohammad Mohaqiq
Mohammad Mohaqiq
and Karim Khalili

Military commanders and subcommanders of the United Front included

From northern Afghanistan: Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Atta Mohammad Noor, Mohammad Daud Daud, Mohammad Fahim, Gul Haider, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Rashid Dostum, Qazi Kabir Marzban; From eastern Afghanistan: Abdul Qadir, Hazrat Ali, Jaan Daad Khan, Abdullah Wahedi, Qatrah and Najmuddin; From southern Afghanistan: Qari Baba, Aref Noorzai and Hotak; From western Afghanistan: Ismail Khan, Doctor Ibrahim, and Fazlkarim Aimaq; From central Afghanistan: Sayed Mustafa Kazemi, Said Hussein Aalemi Balkhi, Akbari, Mohammad Ali Jawed, Karim Khaili and Sher Alam.

The two main political candidates in the Afghan Presidential Elections of 2009 both worked for the United Front:

Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah
(was a close friend of Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud
and the foreign minister of the alliance) Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
(his father was killed by the Taliban, he subsequently went on a diplomatic mission to gather support for Massoud in Europe and the U.S in 2000/2001)

History[edit] Background[edit]

Afghanistan
Afghanistan
after the Soviet retreat. Shura-e Nazar/Jamiat-e Islami (blue), Hezb-e Wahdat
Hezb-e Wahdat
and Harakat-e Islami (yellow), Ittihad-i Islami (violet), communist groups including Junbish-i Milli
Junbish-i Milli
(red), Hezb-i Islami Gulbuddin (dark green), Hezb-i Islami Khalis (white-green striped), Harakat-i Inqilab including many later Taliban
Taliban
(light green).

After the fall of the Soviet-backed communist Najibullah government in 1992, the Afghan political parties agreed on a peace and power-sharing agreement (the Peshawar Accords). The accords created the Islamic State of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and appointed an interim government for a transitional period to be followed by general elections. According to Human Rights Watch:

The sovereignty of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
was vested formally in the Islamic State of Afghanistan, an entity created in April 1992, after the fall of the Soviet-backed Najibullah government. [...] With the exception of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, all of the parties [...] were ostensibly unified under this government in April 1992. [...] Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, for its part, refused to recognize the government for most of the period discussed in this report and launched attacks against government forces and Kabul
Kabul
generally. [...] Shells and rockets fell everywhere.[4]

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received operational, financial and military support from Pakistan.[5] Afghanistan
Afghanistan
expert Amin Saikal concludes in Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival:

Pakistan
Pakistan
was keen to gear up for a breakthrough in Central Asia. [...] Islamabad
Islamabad
could not possibly expect the new Islamic government leaders [...] to subordinate their own nationalist objectives in order to help Pakistan
Pakistan
realize its regional ambitions. [...] Had it not been for the ISI's logistic support and supply of a large number of rockets, Hekmatyar's forces would not have been able to target and destroy half of Kabul.[6]

In addition, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Iran
Iran
as competitors for regional hegemony – supported Afghan militias hostile towards each other.[6] According to Human Rights Watch, Iran
Iran
was backing the Shia
Shia
Hazara Hezb-i Wahdat
Hezb-i Wahdat
forces of Abdul Ali Mazari
Abdul Ali Mazari
in order to "maximize Wahdat's military power and influence".[4][6][7] Saudi Arabia supported the Wahhabite
Wahhabite
Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and his Ittihad-i Islami faction.[4][6] A publication by the George Washington University describes:

[O]utside forces saw instability in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
as an opportunity to press their own security and political agendas.[8]

Conflict between the two militias soon escalated into a full-scale war. Due to the sudden initiation of the war, working government departments, police units or a system of justice and accountability for the newly created Islamic State of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
did not have time to form. Atrocities were committed by individuals of the different armed factions while Kabul
Kabul
descended into lawlessness and chaos as described in reports by Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
and the Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Justice Project.[4][9] Because of the chaos, some leaders increasingly had only nominal control over their (sub-)commanders.[10] Human Rights Watch writes:

Rare ceasefires, usually negotiated by representatives of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
or Burhanuddin Rabbani
Burhanuddin Rabbani
[the interim government], or officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commonly collapsed within days.[4]

Meanwhile, southern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
was under the control of local leaders not affiliated with the central government in Kabul. In 1994, the Taliban
Taliban
– a movement originating from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-run religious schools for Afghan refugees in Pakistan
Pakistan
– also developed in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
as a politico-religious force.[11] In November 1994 they took control of the southern city of Kandahar
Kandahar
and subsequently expanded their control into several provinces in southern and central Afghanistan
Afghanistan
not under the central government's control.[10]

Map of the situation in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
in late 1996; Massoud (red), Dostum (green) and Taliban
Taliban
(yellow) territories.

In late 1994, most of the militia factions which had been fighting in the battle for control of Kabul
Kabul
were defeated militarily by forces of the Islamic State's Minister of Defense Ahmad Shah Massoud. Bombardment of the capital came to a halt.[9][12][13] The Islamic State government took steps to restore law and order.[14] Courts started to work again.[14] Massoud tried to initiate a nationwide political process with the goal of national consolidation and democratic elections, also inviting the Taliban
Taliban
to join the process but they refused as they opposed a democratic system.[15] The Taliban
Taliban
started shelling Kabul
Kabul
in early 1995 but were defeated by forces of the Islamic State government under Ahmad Shah Massoud.[12] Amnesty International, referring to the Taliban
Taliban
offensive, wrote in a 1995 report:

"This is the first time in several months that Kabul
Kabul
civilians have become the targets of rocket attacks and shelling aimed at residential areas in the city".[12]

The Taliban's early victories in 1994 were followed by a series of defeats that resulted in heavy losses which led analysts to believe the Taliban
Taliban
movement had run its course.[10] At that point Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
drastically increased their support to the Taliban.[6][16] Many analysts like Amin Saikal describe the Taliban
Taliban
as developing into a proxy force for Pakistan's regional interests.[6] On September 26, 1996, as the Taliban
Taliban
with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia, prepared for another major offensive against the capital Kabul, Massoud ordered a full retreat from the city.[17] The Taliban
Taliban
seized Kabul
Kabul
on September 27, 1996, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Creation of the United Front[edit]

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Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud
and Abdul Rashid Dostum, former enemies, created the United Front (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban
Taliban
that were preparing offensives against the remaining areas under the control of Massoud and those under the control of Dostum. The United Front included beside the dominantly Tajik forces of Massoud and the Uzbek forces of Dostum, Hazara troops led by Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq
Mohammad Mohaqiq
and Pashtun forces under the leadership of commanders such as Abdul Haq and Haji Abdul Qadir. Notable politicians and diplomats of the United Front included Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai, Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah
and Masood Khalili. From the Taliban
Taliban
conquest of Kabul
Kabul
in September 1996 until November 2001 the United Front controlled roughly 30% of Afghanistan's population in provinces such as Badakhshan, Kapisa, Takhar and parts of Parwan, Kunar, Nuristan, Laghman, Samangan, Kunduz, Ghōr and Bamyan. Pakistani military interference[edit] Due to the involvement of Indian intelligence (RAW) in supporting the Northern Alliance, Pakistan
Pakistan
looked to neutralise this threat by cultivating the Taliban.[18] In 2001 alone, according to several international sources, 28,000–30,000 Afghans, which took refuge in Pakistan
Pakistan
during Afghan jihad, 14,000–15,000 Afghan Taliban
Taliban
and 2,000–3,000 Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda
militants were fighting against anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
as a roughly 45,000 strong military force.[15][19][20][21] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
– then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban
Taliban
and Bin Laden against the forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud.[15][16][22] Of the estimated 28,000 Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan
Pakistan
fighting in Afghanistan, 8,000 were militants recruited in madrassas filling regular Taliban ranks.[19] A 1998 document by the U.S. State Department
U.S. State Department
confirms that "20–40 percent of [regular] Taliban
Taliban
soldiers are returned Afghans from Pakistani refugee camps".[16] Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
wrote in 2000:

Of all the foreign powers involved in efforts to sustain and manipulate the ongoing fighting [in Afghanistan], Pakistan
Pakistan
is distinguished both by the sweep of its objectives and the scale of its efforts, which include soliciting funding for the Taliban, bankrolling Taliban
Taliban
operations, providing diplomatic support as the Taliban's virtual emissaries abroad, arranging training for Taliban
Taliban
fighters, recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban
Taliban
armies, planning and directing offensives, providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel, and ... directly providing combat support.[23]

On August 1, 1997 the Taliban
Taliban
launched an attack on Sheberghan
Sheberghan
the main military base of Abdul Rashid Dostum. Dostum has said the reason the attack was successful was due to 1500 Pakistani commandos taking part and that the Pakistani air force also gave support.[24] In 1998, Iran
Iran
accused Pakistan
Pakistan
of sending its air force to bomb Mazar-i-Sharif
Mazar-i-Sharif
in support of Taliban
Taliban
forces and directly accused Pakistani troops for "war crimes at Bamiyan".[25] The same year Russia said that Pakistan
Pakistan
was responsible for the military expansion of the Taliban
Taliban
in northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
by sending large numbers of Pakistani troops some of whom had subsequently been taken as prisoners by the anti- Taliban
Taliban
United Front.[26] In 2000, the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo against military support to the Taliban, with UN officials explicitly singling out Pakistan. The UN secretary-general implicitly criticized Pakistan for its military support and the Security Council stated it was "deeply distress[ed] over reports of involvement in the fighting, on the Taliban
Taliban
side, of thousands of non-Afghan nationals".[27] In July 2001, several countries including the United States, accused Pakistan of being "in violation of U.N. sanctions because of its military aid to the Taliban".[28] In 2000, British Intelligence reported that the ISI was taking an active role in several Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda
training camps.[29] The ISI helped with the construction of training camps for both the Taliban
Taliban
and Al Qaeda.[29][30][31] From 1996 to 2001 the Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda
of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri
became a state within the Taliban
Taliban
state.[32] Bin Laden sent Arab and Central Asian Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
militants to join the fight against the United Front among them his Brigade 055.[32][33] With the fall of Kabul
Kabul
to anti- Taliban
Taliban
forces in November 2001, ISI forces worked with and helped Taliban
Taliban
militias who were in full retreat.[34] In November 2001, Taliban, Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
combatants and ISI operatives were safely evacuated from Kunduz
Kunduz
on Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force cargo aircraft to Pakistan
Pakistan
Air Force bases in Chitral
Chitral
and Gilgit
Gilgit
in Pakistan's Northern Areas
Northern Areas
in what has been dubbed the "Airlift of Evil".[35] The role of the Pakistani military has been described by international observers as well as by the anti- Taliban
Taliban
leader Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud
as a "creeping invasion".[36] The "creeping invasion" proved unable to defeat the severely outnumbered anti- Taliban
Taliban
forces.[36] Taliban
Taliban
massacres[edit] According to a 55-page report by the United Nations, the Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians.[37][38] UN officials stated that there had been "15 massacres" between 1996 and 2001.[37][38] They also said, that "[t]hese have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the [Taliban] Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar himself".[37][38] Al Qaeda's so-called 055 Brigade was also responsible for mass-killings of Afghan civilians.[19] The report by the United Nations
United Nations
quotes eyewitnesses in many villages describing Arab fighters "carrying long knives used for slitting throats and skinning people".[37][38] Ahmad Shah Massoud[edit]

“ The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban
Taliban
massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud.[39] ”

After longstanding battles especially for the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum
and his Junbish forces alongside allied Hezb-e Wahdat
Hezb-e Wahdat
forces were defeated by the Taliban
Taliban
and their allies in 1998. Dostum subsequently went into exile. Ahmad Shah Massoud remained the only major anti- Taliban
Taliban
leader inside Afghanistan who was able to defend vast parts of his territory against the Pakistan
Pakistan
army, the Taliban
Taliban
and Al-Qaeda. The Taliban
Taliban
repeatedly offered Massoud money and a position of power to make him stop his resistance. Massoud declined. He explained in one interview:

"The Taliban
Taliban
say: “Come and accept the post of prime minister and be with us”, and they would keep the highest office in the country, the presidentship. But for what price?! The difference between us concerns mainly our way of thinking about the very principles of the society and the state. We can not accept their conditions of compromise, or else we would have to give up the principles of modern democracy. We are fundamentally against the system called “the Emirate of Afghanistan”".[40] "There should be an Afghanistan
Afghanistan
where every Afghan finds himself or herself happy. And I think that can only be assured by democracy based on consensus".[41]

Massoud wanted to convince the Taliban
Taliban
to join a political process leading towards democratic elections in a foreseeable future.[40][42] He also stated:

"The Taliban
Taliban
are not a force to be considered invincible. They are distanced from the people now. They are weaker than in the past. There is only the assistance given by Pakistan, Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
and other extremist groups that keep the Taliban
Taliban
on their feet. With a halt to that assistance, it is extremely difficult to survive".[41]

In early 2001 the United Front employed a new strategy of local military pressure and global political appeals.[43] Resentment was increasingly gathering against Taliban
Taliban
rule from the bottom of Afghan society including the Pashtun areas.[43] In total, estimates range up to one million people fleeing the Taliban.[44] Many civilians fled to the area of Ahmad Shah Massoud.[45][46] National Geographic concluded in its documentary "Inside the Taliban": "The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban
Taliban
massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud".[22] In the areas under his control Massoud set up democratic institutions and signed the Women's Rights
Women's Rights
Declaration.[47] At the same time he was very wary not to revive the failed Kabul
Kabul
government of the early 1990s.[43] Already in 1999 the United Front leadership ordered the training of police forces specifically to keep order and protect the civilian population in case the United Front would be successful.[15] In early 2001 Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud
addressed the European Parliament
European Parliament
in Brussels
Brussels
asking the international community to provide humanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan.[44] He stated that the Taliban
Taliban
and Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda
had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam" and that without the support of Pakistan
Pakistan
and Bin Laden the Taliban
Taliban
would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year.[44] On this visit to Europe he also warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on U.S. soil being imminent.[48] On September 9, 2001, two Arab suicide attackers, allegedly belonging to Al Qaeda, posing as journalists, detonated a bomb hidden in a video camera while interviewing Ahmed Shah Massoud
Ahmed Shah Massoud
in the Takhar province of Afghanistan. Commander Massoud died in a helicopter that was taking him to a hospital. He was buried in his home village of Bazarak in the Panjshir Valley.[49] The funeral, although taking place in a rather rural area, was attended by hundreds of thousands of mourning people. The assassination of Massoud is considered to have a strong connection to the attacks in the U.S. two days later, which killed nearly 3,000 people and which appeared to be the terrorist attack that Massoud had warned against in his speech to the European Parliament
European Parliament
several months earlier. John P. O'Neill
John P. O'Neill
was a counter-terrorism expert and the Assistant Director of the FBI until late 2001. He retired from the FBI and was offered the position of director of security at the World Trade Center (WTC). He took the job at the WTC two weeks before 9/11. On September 10, 2001, John O’Neill told two of his friends,

"We're due. And we're due for something big. ... Some things have happened in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
[referring to the assassination of Massoud]. I don’t like the way things are lining up in Afghanistan. ... I sense a shift, and I think things are going to happen. ... soon".[50]

O'Neill died the following day, when the south tower collapsed.[50] After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, United Front troops ousted the Taliban
Taliban
from power in Kabul
Kabul
with American air support in Operation Enduring Freedom, using intelligence reports offered by Iran during the Six plus Two Group meetings at the United Nations Headquarters. In November and December 2001 the United Front gained control of much of the country and played a crucial role in establishing the post- Taliban
Taliban
interim government of Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
in late 2001. Post 9/11[edit]

United Front troops lined up next to the runway at Bagram Airfield
Bagram Airfield
in Parwan Province. (December 16, 2001)

After the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in the United States
United States
in 2001, the United Front succeeded in retaking Kabul
Kabul
from the Taliban
Taliban
with air support from US-led forces during Operation Enduring Freedom. Despite fears of a return to the chaos similar to that of the 1992–1996 civil war, all the Afghan leaders met in Germany to create a new government. Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
was chosen to lead the country and most key positions were given to Tajik members of the Northern Alliance. This created a major international issue. While Pakistan
Pakistan
has always favored Afghanistan's major ethnic group, the Pashtun, India
India
saw an opportunity for increasing its regional power by jumping on board with the support of the Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
in the early days of the war.[51] With both nations seeking to increase or maintain their regional power through opposing factions on the ground, the conflict in Afghanistan has increasingly been seen by observers as a proxy-war between these powers.[52][53] From 2002 to 2004 Afghanistan
Afghanistan
witnessed relative calm. By 2006, however, with the support of Pakistan, a Taliban
Taliban
insurgency was increasingly gaining strength. In 2010, Afghan President Karzai decided that the only way to end the Taliban
Taliban
insurgency is to call for peace. This process became accepted and supported by all international partners of Afghanistan, except by several key figures of the Northern Alliance such as Abdullah Abdullah, Ahmad Zia Massoud, Mohammad Mohaqiq, and others. The opposition, by then splintered into several parties, warned that Karzai's appeasement policy could come at the cost of Afghanistan's political and economic development, and the progress made in areas such as education and women's rights. As the opposition leaders were excluded from secret talks with the Taliban
Taliban
by NATO
NATO
and the Karzai administration and Karzai's political rhetoric was increasingly adjusted to Taliban
Taliban
demands, United Front leaders, in late 2011, regrouped to oppose a return of the Taliban
Taliban
to Afghanistan. Legacy[edit] Between 1996 and 2001, the Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
blocked the Taliban
Taliban
and al-Qaeda from gaining control of the entirety of Afghanistan. Many internally displaced persons found shelter in areas controlled by Ahmad Shah Massoud. After the September 2001 attacks in the United States, U.S. air raids followed by ground troops of the United Front ousted the Taliban
Taliban
from power in Kabul. Between November and December 2001, the United Front gained control of most major Afghan cities. Had it not been for the United Front, the U.S. would have needed to deploy large number of ground troops, as was done in the Iraq
Iraq
War. The United Front was influential in the transitional Afghan Government of Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
from 2001 until 2004. Notably, Mohammed Fahim
Mohammed Fahim
became the Vice President and Defense Minister, Yunus Qanuni
Yunus Qanuni
became the Minister of Education and Security Advisor and Abdullah Abdullah became the Foreign Minister. Most foreign observers expected this dominance to continue and for Fahim or Qanuni to be selected as Karzai's Vice President in the 2004 elections. However, Karzai instead selected Ahmad Zia Massoud, younger brother of the former United Front leader Ahmad Shah Massoud. Karzai easily won the 2004 Presidential election with 55.4% of the vote, followed by three former leaders of the Northern Alliance, Quanuni (16.3%), Mohaqiq (11.7%) and Dostum (10%). Some of the military strength of the UIF has now been absorbed into the military of Afghanistan, while many of the remaining soldiers were disarmed through a nationwide disarmament program. The existence and strength of the Afghan National Army
Afghan National Army
has significantly reduced the threat of the former UIF elements attempting to use military action against the new NATO-backed Afghan government. Most of the country's senior military personnel are former members of the UIF, including Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. Some members of the alliance are now part of the United National Front (Afghanistan) which is led by Rabbani and includes some former leaders of the UIF such as Yunus Qanuni, Mohammed Fahim, and Abdul Rashid Dostum. The United National Front has positioned itself as a "loyal" opposition to Hamid Karzai. Others like Abdul Sayyaf claim to be loyal to Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
while, however, following their own agenda. Abdullah Abdullah, a doctor of medicine and one of Ahmad Shah Massoud's closest friends, ran as an independent candidate in the 2009 Afghan presidential election and came in second place. On November 1, 2009, Abdullah, however, quit the runoff election because of widespread allegations of election fraud. Some of his followers wanted to take to the streets but Abdullah called for calm. Massoud Khalili, another of Ahmad Shah Massoud's close friends, became ambassador to India
India
and subsequently to Turkey, while the younger brother of Massoud, Ahmad Wali Massoud, serves as ambassador to the United Kingdom. Massoud's ex-commander Bismillah Khan Mohammadi
Bismillah Khan Mohammadi
was chief-of-staff of the Afghan National Army, then as Minister of the Interior followed by Minister of Defense. One of Massoud's close intelligence agents, Amrullah Saleh, became director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in 2004 but had to resign in 2010. Reformation (2011)[edit] Main article: National Front of Afghanistan The National Front of Afghanistan, which was created by Ahmad Zia Massoud, Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum
and Mohammad Mohaqiq
Mohammad Mohaqiq
in late 2011 to oppose peace talks with Taliban, is generally considered as a reformation of the military wing of the United Front.[54] Meanwhile, much of the political wing has reunited under the National Coalition of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
led by Abdullah Abdullah.[55][56] Former head of the National Directorate of Security
National Directorate of Security
(NDS), Amrullah Saleh, has created a new movement, Basej-i Milli, with support among the youth. It mobilized about 10,000 people in an anti-Taliban demonstration in the capital Kabul
Kabul
in May 2011.[57][58][59] Former Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
strongman Mohammed Fahim, Vice President of Afghanistan, remained in an alliance with Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
until Fahim's death in 2014. Human rights issues (1997–2001)[edit] The human rights situation during combat was heavily dependent on the specific commander and his troops. The situation for different leaders and their troops of the United Front thus shows sharp contrasts. Also, the quality of life of the Afghan population was heavily dependent on the specific leader that was directly controlling the area in which they lived. Sharp contrasts could also be witnessed regarding life and structures in those areas. Area of Ahmad Shah Massoud[edit] Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud
controlled the Panjshir area, some other parts of Parwan and Thakar province. Some parts of Badakshan were under his influence while others were controlled by Burhanuddin Rabbani. Badakshan was the home region of Rabbani Massoud created institutions which were structured into several committees: political, health, education and economic.[15] In the area of Massoud women and girls were allowed to work and to go to school,[15] and in at least two known instances Massoud personally intervened against cases of forced marriage.[60] Women also did not have to wear the Afghan burqa.[15] While it was Massoud's stated conviction that men and women are equal and should enjoy the same rights, he also had to deal with Afghan traditions which he said would need a generation or more to overcome. In his opinion that could only be achieved through education.[15] Hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled from the Taliban
Taliban
to the areas controlled by Massoud.[61] There was a huge humanitarian problem as there was not enough to eat for both the existing population and the internally displaced Afghans. In 2001, Massoud and a French journalist described the bitter situation of the displaced people and asked for humanitarian help.[61] Area of Abdul Rashid Dostum[edit]

Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
troops under General Dostum's command in Mazar-e Sharif, December 2001

Until the conquest of Balkh by the Taliban
Taliban
in 1998, Abdul Rashid Dostum controlled the following provinces: Samangan, Balkh, Jowzjan, Faryab, and Baghlan provinces. According to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
many of the violations of international humanitarian law committed by the United Front forces date from 1996–1998[62] when Dostum controlled most of the north. According to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
in 1997, some 3,000 captured Taliban soldiers were summarily executed in and around Mazar-i Sharif by Dostum's Junbish forces under the command of Abdul Malik Pahlawan. The killings followed Malik's withdrawal from a brief alliance with the Taliban
Taliban
and the capture of the Taliban
Taliban
forces who were trapped in the city.[23] With the U.S. War on Terror, troops loyal to Dostum also returned to combat. In December 2001, during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, between 250 and 3,000 (depending on sources) Taliban prisoners were shot and/or suffocated to death in metal truck containers. The prisoners were killed while being transferred from Kunduz
Kunduz
to Sheberghan. This became known as the Dasht-i-Leili massacre[63] In 2009, Dostum denied the accusations.[64][65][66] Dostum belonged to those commanders making their own, often draconian, laws. Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
has released documents alleging widespread crimes targeted against the civilian population.[23] Human Rights Watch asked to actively discourage and refuse support in any way to any group or coalition that includes commanders with a record of serious violations of international humanitarian law standards, specifically naming Abdul Rashid Dostum; Haji Muhammad Muhaqqiq, a senior commander of the Hezb-i Wahdat; Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, leader of the erstwhile Ittihad-i Islami; and Abdul Malik Pahlawan, a former senior Junbish commander.[23] See also[edit]

War in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(1996–2001) War in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(2001–present)

References[edit]

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Russia
and Tajikistan.  ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/attack/2001/12/07/handover.htm ^ a b c d e "Blood-Stained Hands, Past Atrocities in Kabul
Kabul
and Afghanistan's Legacy of Impunity". Human Rights Watch.  ^ Neamatollah Nojumi. The Rise of the Taliban
Taliban
in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War, and the Future of the Region (2002 1st ed.). Palgrave, New York.  ^ a b c d e f Amin Saikal. Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (2006 1st ed.). I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., London New York. p. 352. ISBN 1-85043-437-9.  ^ GUTMAN, Roy (2008): How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban
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Taliban
Phenomenon, Afghanistan
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1994–1997, Oxford University Press, (1999), pp. 25–26 ^ a b c Amnesty International. "Document – Afghanistan: further information on fear for safety and new concern: Deliberate and arbitrary killings: Civilians in Kabul." November 16, 1995 Accessed at: Amnesty.org Archived July 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Afghanistan: escalation of indiscriminate shelling in Kabul". International Committee of the Red Cross. 1995.  ^ a b "BBC Newsnight 1995". Youtube.com. Retrieved February 4, 2012.  ^ a b c d e f g h Marcela Grad. Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader (March 1, 2009 ed.). Webster University Press. p. 310.  ^ a b c "Documents Detail Years of Pakistani Support for Taliban, Extremists". George Washington University. 2007.  ^ Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin, 2005), 14. ^ http://www.dawn.com/news/1163376 ^ a b c " Afghanistan
Afghanistan
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Afghanistan
(August 3, 2011 ed.). Chelsea Green Publishing. p. 416.  ^ Rashid 2000, p. 91 ^ a b "Inside the Taliban". National Geographic Society. 2007.  ^ a b c d "Pakistan's support of the taliban". Human Rights Watch. 2000.  ^ Clements, Frank (2003). Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-85109-402-8.  ^ "Afghanistan: Arena for a New Rivalry". Washington Post. 1998.  ^ "Pak involved in Taliban
Taliban
offensive – Russia". Express India. 1998. Archived from the original on 2005-01-28.  ^ " Afghanistan
Afghanistan
& the United Nations". United Nations. 2012.  ^ "U.S. presses for bin Laden's ejection". Washington Times. 2001.  ^ a b Atkins, Stephen E. (2011). The 9/11 Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 540. ISBN 978-1-59884-921-9.  ^ Litwak, Robert (2007). Regime change: U.S. strategy through the prism of 9/11. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-8018-8642-3.  ^ McGrath, Kevin (2011). Confronting Al-Qaeda. Naval Institute Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-59114-503-5. the Pakistani military's Inter-services Intelligence Directorate (IsI) provided assistance to the taliban regime, to include its military and al Qaeda–related terrorist training camps  ^ a b "Book review: The inside track on Afghan wars by Khaled Ahmed". Daily Times. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-09-13.  ^ "Brigade 055". CNN.  ^ Hussain, Zahid (2007). Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle With Militant Islam. Columbia University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-85368-769-2. However, Pakistani intelligence agencies maintained some degree of cooperation with the Taliban
Taliban
elements fleeing the fighting.  ^ Hersh, Seymour M. (2002-01-28). "The Getaway". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-02-15.  ^ a b Maley, William (2009). The Afghanistan
Afghanistan
wars. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-230-21313-5.  ^ a b c d Newsday (October 2001). " Taliban
Taliban
massacres outlined for UN". Chicago Tribune.  ^ a b c d Newsday (2001). "Confidential UN report details mass killings of civilian villagers". newsday.org. Archived from the original on November 18, 2002. Retrieved October 12, 2001.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ a b "The Last Interview with Ahmad Shah Massoud". Piotr Balcerowicz. 2001. Archived from the original on 2006-09-25.  ^ a b "The man who would have led Afghanistan". St. Petersburg Times. 2002.  ^ "Proposal for Peace, promoted by Commander Massoud". peace-initiatives.com. 1998. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10.  ^ a b c Steve Coll. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (February 23, 2004 ed.). Penguin Press HC. p. 720.  ^ a b c "Massoud in the European Parliament
European Parliament
2001". EU media. 2001.  ^ "Inside the Taliban". National Geographic. 2007.  ^ "Inside the Taliban". National Geographic. 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008.  ^ Marcela Grad. Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader (March 1, 2009 ed.). Webster University Press. p. 310.  ^ "Defense Intelligence Agency (2001) report" (PDF). Gwu.edu. Retrieved 2014-02-13.  ^ Bearak, Barry (2001-09-17). "Rebel Chief Who Fought The Taliban
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Is Buried". Pakistan; Afghanistan: Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31.  ^ a b "The Man Who Knew". PBS. 2002.  ^ Atul Aneja, “High Stakes for India” The Hindu, October 8th 2001. ^ " Afghanistan
Afghanistan
is a proxy war between India
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and Pakistan". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-13.  ^ "Musharraf: Afghanistan
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Is a Proxy War Between India
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Taliban
rally". BBC Persian. 2011-05-05.  ^ "Govt Opposition Warn of Taking to Streets". Tolo TV. 2011-05-05.  ^ Marcela Grad. Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader (March 1, 2009 ed.). Webster University Press. p. 310.  ^ a b "Massoud in the European Parliament
European Parliament
2001". EU media. 2001.  ^ " Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Backgrounder, October 2001". Human Rights Watch. 2001.  ^ "Starved, hurt and buried alive in Afghanistan". Independent Online. 2002-05-02. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-07.  ^ Rashid, Abdul. "'It Is Impossible Prisoners Were Abused'". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2014-01-31.  ^ "Afghan Warlord Denies Links to '01 Killings". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-13.  ^ Zarifi, Sam (2009-07-17). "A Response To General Dostum". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(Northern Alliance).

v t e

War on Terror

War in Afghanistan Iraq
Iraq
War War in North-West Pakistan Symbolism of terrorism

Participants

Operational

ISAF Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
participants Afghanistan Northern Alliance Iraq
Iraq
(Iraqi Armed Forces) NATO Pakistan United Kingdom United States European Union Philippines Ethiopia

Targets

al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Abu Sayyaf Anwar al-Awlaki Al-Shabaab Boko Haram Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami Hizbul Mujahideen Islamic Courts Union Islamic State of Iraq
Iraq
and the Levant Jaish-e-Mohammed Jemaah Islamiyah Lashkar-e-Taiba Taliban Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

Conflicts

Operation Enduring Freedom

War in Afghanistan OEF – Philippines Georgia Train and Equip Program Georgia Sustainment and Stability OEF – Horn of Africa OEF – Trans Sahara Drone strikes in Pakistan

Other

Operation Active Endeavour Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) Insurgency in the North Caucasus Moro conflict
Moro conflict
in the Philippines Iraq
Iraq
War Iraqi insurgency Operation Linda Nchi Terrorism in Saudi Arabia War in North-West Pakistan War in Somalia (2006–09) 2007 Lebanon conflict al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen Korean conflict

See also

Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse Axis of evil Black sites Bush Doctrine Clash of Civilizations Cold War Combatant Status Review Tribunal Criticism of the War on Terror Death of Osama bin Laden Enhanced interrogation techniques Torture Memos Extrajudicial prisoners Extraordinary rendition Guantanamo Bay detention camp Iranian Revolution Islamic terrorism Islamism Military Commissions Act of 2006 North Korea and weapons of mass destruction Terrorist Surveillance Program Operation Noble Eagle Operation Eagle Assist Pakistan's role Patriot Act President's Surveillance Program Protect America Act of 2007 September 11 attacks State Sponsors of Terrorism Targeted killing Targeted Killing in International Law Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World Unitary executive theory Unlawful combatant Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan CAGE

Terrorism

.