March 1, 2005, Dostum was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the Commander of
the Armed Forces by President Hamid Karzai. He officially took office on April
18th and stepped down as the head of Jumbesh-i-Milli Islami (National Islamic
Movement). Dostum was also a candidate in the presidential elections of October
2004. He is very popular with the ethnic Uzbeks in Northern Afghanistan. Dostum
was a former Communist General who switched sides to help the Mujahideen bring
down Dr. Najibullah's Russian supported government.