The Future of the Mujahideen: Legitimacy, Legacy and Demobilization in Post-Bonn Afghanistan

Contemporary Afghan politics is marked by a debate over the “mujahideen.” This contest involves the mythologizing, demythologizing and appropriation of the term by a wide variety of actors, from warlords, tribal combatants, the Taliban and Anti-Coalition Forces to rights activists and journalists. This struggle is a competition for legitimacy over the “right to rule” and the “right to conduct violence”; and it is critical to understanding the dilemmas of statebuilding in Afghanistan. Through such an examination, policy lessons are acquired concerning the role of the Afghan government and members of the international community in confronting armed groups.

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