Topic: Abdul Rahim Wardak

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General Abdul Rahim Wardak (عبدالرحیم وردگ) (born: in 1940, Wardak, Afghanistan) is the Defense Minister of Afghanistan. He was appointed on December 23, 2004 by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Before this appointment, Wardak was the deputy Defense Minister to the former minister, Mohammed Fahim. In the past, General Wardak was a national Mujahideen resistance leader who fought the Soviet forces during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan. He is an ethnic Pashtun from the Wardak province. His diplomacy has been instrumental promoting ethnic reconciliation due to his lineage from tribal chieftains with strong Pashtun relationships with all ethnic groups of the country. He is fluent in Pashto, Dari (Persian), and English, and as has many literal works in these languages.

General Wardak has testified in front of the U.S. Congress, and his counsel is regularly sought, on how to stabilize the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. He met with Richard Holbrooke in 2009, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, to discuss security with NATO's defense ministers and NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, U.S. General John Craddock. His on-the-ground knowledge of Afghanistan is widely respected. In 2009, General Wardak spoke at a Washington think tank, Center for a New American Security, where he said "changing course, adopting a new strategy of containment or dropping the idea of a strong central government will be falling into the trap the enemy has laid, helping them to achieve their evil objectives." He signed an accord with NATO commanders for better cooperation and coordination in counter-terrorism operations.

Wardak, son of Abdul Ghani, was born in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan in 1940. He attended Habibia High School in Kabul, and after graduating there he joined the Cadet University. He completed further studies in the United States and at the Ali Naser Academy in Cairo, Egypt. He has served as a Lecturer in the Cadet University and was Assistant of Protocol of the Ministry of Defense. He then served with the Mujahideen, as a military assistant officer in the Muhaz-e-Milli, as military assistant of the Trilateral Unity, and as a member of Itehad-e-Mujahidin and commander of the Jihadi fronts of Muhaz-e-Milli.

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