From late 2001 to 2004, Mohammed Fahim served as the Defense Minister but was not reappointed, after being accused of illegally occupying land in Kabul. During the same period, Abdul Rahim Wardak was the Deputy Minister. On December 23, 2004, PresidentHamid 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.