Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan)
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The Afghan Ministry of Defense (Pashto: د افغانستان ملی دفاع وزارت) is an organ of the Central Government of Afghanistan, overseeing the entire military of Afghanistan. From 2004 to 2012 the ministry was headed by General Abdul Rahim Wardak. The current minister is General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. Zahir Azimi is the Major General and spokesman of the Ministry of Defense.
From late 2001 to 2004, Mohammed Fahim served as the Defense Minister but was sacked after being accused of illegally occupying land in Kabul. During the same period, Abdul Rahim Wardak was the Deputy Minister. On December 23, 2004, President Hamid Karzai appointed Wardak as the new Defense Minister. He resigned on August 7, 2012.
One of the primary functions of the Defense Ministry today is disarming the militias and warlords not answering to the authority of the central government through programmes such as the Afghan New Beginnings Programme. These militias coalesced from warlords and former army personnel after the collapse of the Najibullah government in 1992. Taliban insurgents have repeatedly attacked ministry officials.
On June 9, 2003, the United Nations urged the Afghan government to take drastic steps to make both the Afghan National Army and Defense Ministry better reflect the nation's ethnic make-up. This came after an earlier announcement on February 20, 2003 by former Defense Minister Mohammad Fahim that steps were being taken to this effect.
List of Defense Ministers
|No.||Name||Took Office||Left Office||Political Party|
|*||Ghulam Haidar Rasuli||1977||April 1978||Republican|
|*||Abdul Qadir Dagarwal||May 1978||August 1978||PDPA-Parcham|
|*||Mohammad Aslam Watanjar||30 March 1979||July 1979||PDPA-Khalq|
|*||Hafizullah Amin||July 1979||27 December 1979||PDPA-Khalq|
|*||Mohammed Rafie||28 December 1980||1982||PDPA-Parcham|
|*||Abdul Qadir Dagarwal||1982||September 1984||PDPA-Parcham|
|*||Nazar Mohammad||September 1984||1986||PDPA-Khalq|
|*||Mohammed Rafie||December 1986||May 1988||PDPA-Parcham|
|*||Shahnawaz Tanai||May 1988||March 1990||PDPA-Khalq|
|*||Mohammad Aslam Watanjar||March 1990||April 1992||PDPA-Khalq|
|*||Ahmad Shah Massoud (for internationally recognized Islamic State of Afghanistan)||April 1992||September 2001||Jamiat-e Islami|
|*||Obaidullah Akhund (for not internationally recognized Emirate of Afghanistan)||September 1996||December 2001||Taliban|
|*||Mohammed Fahim||September 2001||23 December 2004||Jamiat-e Islami|
|*||Abdul Rahim Wardak||23 December 2004||7 August 2012||None|
|*||Bismillah Khan Mohammadi||7 August 2012||Present||Jamiat-e Islami|
- Eurasianet.org, , 2003
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