What does the future hold for Afghanistan after the Americans leave? Some fear that the country’s army won’t be able to stop another civil war from erupting:

Many Afghans fear that NATO has lost the will to control the militias, and that the warlords are reëmerging as formidable local forces. Nashir, the Khanabad governor, who is the scion of a prominent family, said that the rise of the warlords was just the latest in a series of ominous developments in a country where government officials exercise virtually no independent authority. ‘These people do not change, they are the same bandits,’ he said. ‘Everything here, when the Americans leave, will be looted.’

Nashir grew increasingly vehement. ‘Mark my words, the moment the Americans leave, the civil war will begin,’ he said. ‘This country will be divided into twenty-five or thirty fiefdoms, each with its own government.’ Nashir rattled off the names of some of the country’s best-known leaders—some of them warlords—and the areas they come from: ‘Mir Alam will take Kunduz. Atta will take Mazar-e-Sharif. Dostum will take Sheberghan. The Karzais will take Kandahar. The Haqqanis will take Paktika. If these things don’t happen, you can burn my bones when I die.’

“After America.” — Dexter Filkins, New Yorker

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