Arwin Rahi via The National Interest: The United States had no reliable allies or partners in Afghanistan. Both the warlords and so-called liberals who had returned from the West worked to further their own personal and family interests. For instance, right after the Taliban’s collapse in 2001, instead of agreeing on a constitutional framework to devolve power from Kabul to local governments, to ensure civic participation at the grassroots level, the warlords agreed—on paper—to a strong central government in Kabul in exchange for ministerial portfolios in the cabinet or governorships. Later, in the mid-to-late 2000s, when former president Hamid Karzai consolidated his hold on power, he fired many of the warlords that he had previously relied on. Click here to read more (external link).