"The northern area … is the emerging area for insurgency," says Waliullah Rahmani, the executive director of the Kabul Center for Strategic Studies. The Americans and the Karzai administration, he says, need to send more forces there and to fix the rift with Abdullah.
"They will not be able to follow a successful strategy in the northern areas of stabilizing the situation there without, for example, the Abdullah bloc."
Abdullah himself said many of the Afghan and international community goals for better governance would be futile given the genesis of this new government.
"A government which in its formation is based on an illegal decision by a body, to hope that the second government would deliver in dealing with the corruption, issues of governance, [improving] security in this country, it sounds like an exaggeration," said Abdullah.
The north has seen a rise in attacks over the past year. Partly, this is from Taliban finding new entry points into the region, and partly from increased activity of Hizb-e-Islami forces aligned with the Taliban.
Rahmani says it's too early to know what, if any, impact unhappiness in the north over the election might have on former and Islamist party commanders. These figures – particularly those once aligned with the parties of Hizb-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Islami – form the dry tinder for a northern insurgency to spread.
"The north has the potential for insurgency and, of course, if you do not have supportive elements and correctors in these areas to control the province, then for sure insurgent elements will have a wider ground. So the Obama administration should decide to send more troops to Afghanistan," he says.