(in alphabetical order by last name)
AFGHAN CITIZENS AT PAKISTAN AND IRANIAN EMBASSIES
Citizens queue up early at the embassies, in hopes of leaving the country for a better life elsewhere. They must often pay bribes to obtain the visas.
LT. Col. JASON AMERINE
Lt. Col. Amerine is a highly decorated officer credited with leading the Special Forces team that worked with future Afghan President Hamid Karzai to deliver the crushing defeat to the Taliban in their Pashtun homeland, in Kandahar. Amerine is a West Point graduate and former professor, a green beret, fluent in Arabic and currently serves at the Pentagon.
Dobbins is the director of the Rand Corporation's International Security and Defense Policy Center. He has held numerous State Department and White House posts, including the Bush Administration's representative to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, then to the Bonn Conference, helping to establish the interim Afghan government in 2001. Dobbins also served as Special Envoy to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia.
GEN. ABDUL RASHID DOSTUM
A leader of Afghanistan's Uzbek community and party Junbish-e Milli-yi-Islami-y, Dostum has had a long political and military career; leading and fighting in many engagements during the Soviet and Civil Wars. His forces are credited with bringing the Taliban to their knees in the northern regions of Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom. After OEF, President Karzai appointed him Deputy Defense Minister.
AMBASSADOR / LT. GEN. KARL W. EIKENBERRY (ret)
Eikenberry is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He served in many posts in the past, including Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Director for Strategic Planning and Policy for U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Security Coordinator and Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul, Afghanistan.
ELDERS OF AQCHAH
The Elders of Aqchah comprise the town council; some of them are elected, while some are appointed officials. Their function is much like that of a western town council, to run village affairs, as well as solve disputes. It is a societal system that's been practiced inside Afghanistan for centuries.
Zaki is currently a Member of the Afghan Parliament, and also an esteemed leader within the Uzbek community. He was Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee that successfully passed "The Law on Environment" in 2005. He earned a Geology degree from Kabul University in 1958.
Jaffar is a Taliban Commander leading troops in the Kandahar and Uruzgan Provinces.
ALI AHMAD JALALI
Jalali is former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, and is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He was a colonel in the Afghan National Army and top military planner in the Afghan resistance to the Soviet invasion.
Jouvenal is a former independent journalist, working for organizations like BBC, The Guardian, Frontline and AP. He settled in Kabul in 2001, married and became proprietor of the infamous Gandamack Lodge, a hotel patronized by ex-pats and military personnel. He has spent more time in Afghanistan than most foreign journalist, and has filmed both Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden.
Karzai was elected President of Afghanistan in 2005, and again in 2009. He is credited with bringing down the Taliban in their Pashtun homeland of Kandahar in Operation Enduring Freedom, in late 2001. Karzai was selected to lead the interim government at the UN sponsored the Bonn Conference. He is from the Pashtun tribe, which constitutes about 40% of the population of Afghanistan, and roughly 20% of Pakistan.
Jamil Karzai is currently a member of the Wolesi Jirga, Afghanistan's Lower House of Parliament; and serves on the Internal Security Committee. He is the leader of the National Youth Solidarity Party, a Pashtun, and a cousin of President Hamid Karzai.
Khan is a former Mujahadeen commander and member of the Northern Alliance who fought both the Soviets and the Taliban. He was governor of Herat Province before becoming Minister of Energy. Khan was held captive for a year by the Taliban after they baited him by murdering his son, a military aviator.
HAJI MOHAMMAD MOHAQIQ
Mohaqiq is currently a Member of Parliament and a respected leader of the Hazara people. He served as Planning Minister in the transitional government, and was a candidate for president in 2004. Mohaqiq is head and founder of the Wahdat-e-Mardum political party, and was also a key commander in Operation Enduring Freedom.
DR. MUHAMMAD ISMAIL MUNSHI
Munshi is Minister of Labour and Cultural Affairs, and a Turkmen doctor from Jowzjan province. After earning his degree from Kabul University, he lived in Pakistan and Turkmenistan, and returned to Afghanistan in 2002, where he is revered as an important community leader.
BRIG. GEN. JOHN "MITCH" PERRYMAN
Commanded Combined Joint Task Phoenix IX in Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Perryman has served in the US Army since 1976.
Qanoni has served as the Speaker of the House since 2005. He is also a leader within the Tajik community, including the Naween (New Afghanistan) political party. He was the righthand man to the late Gen. Abdul Massood, and represented the Northern Alliance at the Bonn Conference held in late December 2001, to establish the interim Afghan government. In the 2005 presidential election, he placed second to Karzai.
CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA)
Rohrabacher is currently serving his 12th term representing the 46th District, which runs along the Pacific Coast south of Los Angeles. He is the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and an outspoken critic of the Karzai government. He has spent much time establishing and voicing his opinions on the state of affairs in Afghanistan, even traveling there to fight alongside the mujahideen in a battle in the 80's, and again recently to access the current situation.
BARNETT R. RUBIN
Rubin is a political scientist and a leading expert on Afghanistan. He is Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation of New York University, as well as a consultant to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. Department of State. Rubin was also Special Assistant to the Deputy Chair at the Bonn Conference. He is the author of 8 books, as well as articles for Foreign Affairs, Survival, International Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New York Review of Books.
Rumsfeld was U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2001-2006 under George W. Bush. He's known for the controversial Rumsfeld Doctrine, which constituted an increase in military force readiness while decreasing the amount of supplies necessary; employing fewer boots on the ground working with air power. Highly criticized for his involvement in propelling the United States into invading Iraq, as well as the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison; he is also hailed as a man of integrity by his supporters, and spent much of September 11th loading the wounded at the Pentagon onto stretchers. Rumsfeld also served President Gerald Ford as U.S. Secretary of Defense, from 1975-77; and as Illinois Congressman in the 60's.
Santos is a former UN mediator who worked inside Afghanistan for much of the 80's and 90's. He served on Diego Cordovez's UN team to negotiate the Soviet withdrawal; later in negotiations with Taliban representatives; and finally, he maintained relations with key Northern Alliance commanders who were holding out against the Taliban in the years before 9/11. He was the man the Pentagon called on to open communications with the NA leaders that would make Operation Enduring Freedom a success in the days following 9/11.
Wahida runs a clothing boutique for women and children in a strip mall in a nicer part of Kabul. Before the Taliban regime seized power, she owned her own shope and flew to fashion shows in Paris, Milan and Dubai to chose items for her clients. She is a graduate of Kabul University.
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