This is all very interesting. Like Karzai, Dostum worked closely with SF during the initial phases of OEF. Though I often questioned his character and loyalties, he and his men did fight admirably. This whole event shows how difficult reform is in Afghanistan, and how Karzi is really doing an amazing job holding together an alliance of warlords from varying ethnic groups despite desperate attempts by the remnants of the Taliban.
“Afghan Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam survived an assassination attempt on January 20 in a mosque while at Eid al-Adha prayers in Shibirghan, Northern Afghanistan. Posing as a beggar, the suicide bomber, who had strapped explosives to his body, blew himself up as he was held back from Dostum by two of the strongman's bodyguards.
The assassination attempt could be intended to create a political vacuum in northern Afghanistan and re-fragment the Afghan system. In this context the Taliban connection may still hold water.
An interesting study last September in the Asia Times detailed the existence of "two levels" of Taliban: the active Afghan and Arab fighters numbering a few thousand, and the Taliban-in-waiting in Pakistan's Balochistan border province, where vigorous madrasa expansion underpins ideologically a swelling resource of future "cannon fodder" for a renewed”