Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term warlord reemerged on the political scene due to a number of bloody intrastate conflicts since the beginning of the 1990s. In particular, the long-standing wars in West Africa, in Somalia, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Afghanistan led to the frequent use of the term in politics, media, and academia to describe powerful men and their armed organizations, which profit economically from war and violence. Modern archetypes, such as Charles Taylor (Liberia), Johnny Paul Koroma (Sierra Leone), Mohammed Farah Aideed (Somalia), Jean-Pierre Bemba (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Mahmud Khudoberdyev (Tajikistan), and Gul Agha Shirzai, Ismail Khan, and Abdul Rashid Dostum (all Afghanistan) are regarded as both a result and a key characteristic of the so-called new wars. This entry analyzes the phenomenon, in general, and points to the main characteristics of organization, leadership, and other key aspects. The warlord phenomenon is not a new ...