In his latest Huffington Post article, Joshua Hersh discusses prominent Afghan governor Atta Muhammad Noor’s dissatisfaction with the American strategy of withdrawal, particularly their plan to bring the Taliban to the table for negotiations. Hersh highlights Noor’s argument as being the fact that many of his men and that of this fellow governors and warlords fought alongside American troops against the Taliban, and cannot stomach the fact that the Taliban was extended an hand by the Americans.
Hersh also notes Noor’s public rhetoric that attempts to galvanize Afghan nationalism by declaring that they will not be used by the “Western countries,” which fuels speculation that he might well be seeking to become the next Afghan President. Hersh corroborates by quoting Lt. Col. David Olson of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as saying of Noor that “He’s looking out for his regional and ethnic interests. But on balance he’s someone we feel we can count on. He’s a very influential fellow, and he’s very vital to the efforts of the government of Afghanistan up here.”
Sounds like Noor is someone who is trying to shine in areas where Hamid Karzai has failed. And, given that Karzai is generally viewed by the U.S. as an unreliable lying crook, why not advocate for a fresh face to lead Afghanistan and can actually contribute to the peacemaking process.