Hwang, Benjamin E.
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The purpose of this thesis is to understand warlordism, and in particular, the warlord environment in Afghanistan. Weak central authority in the state of Afghanistan has been a political tradition due largely to a patronage system of governance. This weak political structure allows warlord military organizations to draw resources from the environment. Warlord organizations use armed force to access these resources. Warlords also wield political power and use their military organizations as a base to expand their power and fame. There are numerous population bases of support, and not all are good for the growth of stable organizations. However, warlords are able to develop their political organizations reliably because of the stability provided by their military organizations. Because of these factors, the warlord Ahmed Rashid Dostum, a man with minimal political education, has slowly but surely built a political organization based on ethnicity.
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