Ali Ahmad Jalali, former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, presented a public lecture, “Afghanistan: Post-Elections” on Thursday, October 20, 2005, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall on the Princeton University campus. The lecture was co-sponsored by LISD and the Woodrow Wilson School
A Western-educated journalist and former soldier, Jalali spent more than two decades in exile in the United States where he worked as a political analyst and journalist for the Voice of America's Pashtu-and Persian-language services in Washington DC. Jalali graduated in 1964 from the US Army Infantry Advance Course at Fort Benning, Ga., and was an adviser to Afghan rebels during the 1980s war against Soviet troops occupying Afghanistan, based in neighboring Pakistan.
He returned to Afghanistan from the United States in 2002 to become Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s interior minister in early 2003. While interior minister, Jalali headed the effort to build a national police force in Afghanistan in an effort to expand security to the larger areas of the country that were unstable.
Jalali has written extensively about the Afghan military for scholarly journals and the mass media. In the spring of 2002, he wrote an influential critique of the US military role in Afghanistan, arguing that the way the United States used local chieftains in the war on terrorism “enhanced the power of the warlords and encouraged them to defy the central authorities.” He later softened his criticism but pointed out that local militias still play a significant role in working with the US military.