Analytical articles

Khalida Popal: ‘I was accused of wanting to brainwash women to play football’

Donald McRae Founder of Afghanistan women’s national team on fearing assassination and fleeing country then aiding 500 players and their families evacuate when the Taliban returned Guardian Sat 8 Jun 2024 03.00 EDT “They tried to silence me,” Khalida Popal says with unflinching clarity as she remembers the moment when, in 2011, she knew she had to

International assistance to Afghanistan needs to adapt to the ‘new normal’

Alexander Matheou Al Jazeera Published On 7 Jun 2024 Trucks painted bright blue, yellow, and purple dot the arid emptiness of Spin Boldak in southern Afghanistan. Their roofs are laden with the entire possessions of families who have returned from Pakistan after decades of displacement. Hundreds of thousands have preceded them in recent months following a

Kabul: Final Call by Laurie Bristow; The Afghans by Åsne Seierstad reviews – how the west abandoned Afghanistan… and what happened next

Luke Harding The Observer Sun 2 June 2024 An ex-UK envoy’s compelling account of the chaotic military withdrawal from the country is full of telling details, while Seierstad’s latest work drives home the cruel reality of women’s lives after the return of Taliban rule In August 2021, Britain’s last ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Laurie Bristow, climbed

The Daily Hustle: Why one Afghan girl decided to open her own madrasa

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  2 Jun 2024  After the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan closed girls’ high schools, thousands of older Afghan girls were left behind from education. With not much to do except help with the household chores, many families decided to enrol their girls in a madrasa so that they could

What It’s Like Backpacking in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan as an American

By Soo Kim Life & Trends Reporter Newsweek May 25, 2024 Dreaming of quitting your job to go traveling around the globe? Well, one American did just that on a quest to visit every country in the world and ended up at the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “There was an eerie silence and stillness

Departing Afghanistan

By William H. McRaven The Atlantic magazine MAY 26, 2024 A poem for Memorial Day The Atlantic has often channeled the resources of poetry—its charged and immediate patterns of language—to mourn and memorialize the war dead. The earliest years of the magazine spanned the Civil War, during which the editors published dirges, elegies, and ballads that

A Hidden History

By Azam Ahmed The New York Times May 22, 2024 A Times investigation uncovered a brutal campaign enacted by U.S.-backed forces during the war in Afghanistan. I covered the war in Afghanistan and went back after the Taliban took over. General Abdul Raziq was one of America’s fiercest allies in the fight against the Taliban.

Investigating a Monster: What We Found and How We Did It

By Azam Ahmed The New York Times. May 22, 2024 The only thing faster than the American withdrawal from Afghanistan might be how quickly the world moved on. The Biden Administration largely stopped talking about it. Most news organizations were already scaling back in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over. But a question remained, at

Where Are My Rights? Afghan retirees appeal for their pensions

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon • Jelena Bjelica Afghanistan Analysts Network 22 May 2024  Afghanistan’s retired public sector employees have not received their pensions since the toppling of the Republic and the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in August 2021. In the almost three years since then, their pleas to the government to start paying what is

The Taliban’s Attacks on Diversity Undermine Afghanistan’s Stability

BY: Joyana Richer; Belquis Ahmadi United States Institute of Peace Thursday, May 16, 2024  KEY TAKEAWAYS Afghans of all backgrounds want more than the end of violence. They want true peace built on coexistence and reconciliation. Instead, the Taliban are imposing their views on Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic, cultural and religious groups. The international and regional community

Pope’s appeal for Afghanistan helps a ‘forgotten’ people

By Deborah Castellano Lubov Vatican News 17 May 2024 Pope Francis on Wednesday made an appeal for the international community to provide necessary aid and support to the most vulnerable in Afghanistan where at least 300 people have been killed in flooding in 18 districts across at least three of the country’s northern provinces in

Before the Deluge: How to mitigate the risk of flooding in Afghanistan

Mhd Assem Mayar Afghanistan Analysts Network 15 May 2024  In Afghanistan’s rugged landscape, floods arise from a multiplicity of causes: torrential rainfall, rain on snow, the rapid melting of snow due to warmer weather, glacial lake outbursts, the overflow of natural ponds or even the breach of dams. Regardless of their origins, floods can destroy

The world’s poorest didn’t cause the climate crisis, but they bear the brunt of it

Letters The Guardian Wed 15 May 2024 12.17 EDT David Nicholson on how a ‘semi-dystopian future’ is already reality for millions, and Benny Dembitzer on how the financial approach to climate change only benefits rich countries As the global thermometer relentlessly inches upwards, revelations by top climate scientists of 2.5C warming this century (World’s top climate scientists expect

Senior Study Group on Counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Final Report

USIP Senior Study Group on Counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, May 14, 2024 Executive Summary When announcing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in April 2021, President Joe Biden identified counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan as an enduring and critical US national security interest. This priority became even more pronounced

After the Deluge: Personal accounts of rain and floods in Zurmat district

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Afghanistan Analysts Network 12 May 2024  The rain and snow that has fallen in recent weeks has eased the hearts of Afghan farmers and given them hope that the multi-year drought has finally ended. At the same time, heavy rain falling on dry, parched land has caused flooding in many areas of

Why Counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan Still Matters

BY: Ambassador Anne Patterson; Tricia Bacon, Ph.D.; Ambassador Michael P. McKinley; Joshua White, Ph.D.; Brian Finucane, Ph.D. Afghanistan Analysts Network Thursday, May 9, 2024 Washington should focus more attention and counterterrorism effort on Central and South Asia before it’s too late, says USIP senior study group. From wars in Ukraine and the Middle East to rising

The Daily Hustle: The ancient art of making surma

Sayed Asadullah Sadat • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 5 May 2024  In Afghanistan, surma (kohl) has been used since ancient times by both men and women to enhance the eyes, for its healing properties and to protect the wearer against the evil eye. Traditionally made by grinding stibnite rock into a fine power, the use of the black

Despite Daunting Economic Headwinds, Afghan Private Sector Shows Signs of Life

BY: William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Thursday, May 2, 2024 Business cannot be the economy’s savior, but it can help stabilize the situation with support from donors and the Taliban. Three years after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the country’s economy remains in a dismal state marked by depression-level price deflation,

The State of Research on Afghanistan: Too many poor quality publications and some real gems

Christian Bleuer Afghanistan Analysts Network 28 Apr 2024 With the publication of the newest edition of the Afghanistan Analyst Bibliography, Christian Bleuer, who has been compiling and adding to it since 2004/5, looks at what it says about the state of scholarship on Afghanistan and comments on the past and future of research in this

Married at 10, abused and forced to flee without her children: an Afghan woman on life under the Taliban

Mahtab Eftekhar, as told to Zuhal Ahad The Guardian Fri 26 Apr 2024 00.00 EDT At the age of 10, while still in the third grade, I received news from my mother and stepfather that we would travel to Helmand province for my brother’s wedding. Little did I know, it was to be my own

The Durand Line and the Fence: How are communities managing with cross-border lives?

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network 21 Apr 2024 The Durand Line, which serves as the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has never been officially recognised by any Kabul government. It cuts through the heart of Pashtun tribes, who share family ties, religion and traditions. For most of its existence, it made little practical

‘Why the silence? Why the inaction? It breaks my heart’: Malala and Jennifer Lawrence take on the Taliban

Catherine Shoard The Guardian Fri 19 Apr 2024 The Oscar-winner and the Nobel laureate have teamed up to make Bread & Roses, a new film about the abuse of women in Afghanistan. In an emotional interview, they warn that the west ignores its message at their peril. “Strong women are not easy women,” says Jennifer Lawrence,

The Daily Hustle: The trials and tribulations of being a street vendor in Kabul

Sayed Asadullah Sadat • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 14 Apr 2024 For anyone who has spent any time in Kabul, handcart sellers and street vendors are a familiar sight, as they walk around the city hawking their wares from dusk to dawn trying to eke out a meagre living for their families. Street vendors say that

America’s 20-Year War in Afghanistan Is Over, but Some of the U.S. Military’s Waste May Last Forever

Interview by Jenni Doering “Living on Earth” October 14, 2023 A farmer from Khoshob village walks near his water reservoir near Kandahar airfield, in southern Afghanistan. Credit: Kern Hendricks From our collaborating partner “Living on Earth,” public radio’s environmental news magazine, an interview by Managing Producer Jenni Doering with freelance journalist Lynzy Billing.  JENNI DOERING:

We Still Haven’t Figured Out How to Beat ISIS

By Christopher P. Costa and Colin P. Clarke The New York Times March 31, 2024 Mr. Costa was the special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council from 2017 to 2018. Mr. Clarke is the director of research at the Soufan Group. For all of the counterterrorism wins that the

Asfandyar Mir on Why ISIS-K Attacked Moscow

BY: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Monday, April 1, 2024 ISIS-K’s recent attack on the Russian capital was, in part, intended to assert the organization’s growing capacity to inflict terror beyond its home base of Afghanistan. “By reaching Moscow, ISIS-K is trying to signal it has the geographic reach to hit anywhere in

Does Counter-Terrorism Work? by Richard English review – a thoughtful and authoritative analysis

Ian Cobain The Guardian Tue 2 Apr 2024 04.00 EDT The Belfast academic offers vitally important lessons about government strategies, from Northern Ireland to the Middle East, warning that few campaigns are a complete success. In January 2002, during his State of the Union address, President George W Bush said that in “four short months” the US

Finally, Rain and Snow in Afghanistan: Will it be enough to avert another year of drought?

Kate Clark • AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network  26 Mar 2024 The last few weeks have finally seen rain and snowfall in Afghanistan, raising hopes for farmers and herders that this year could be better than the last three drought years. Afghans typically categorise a drought year as one where the low amount of precipitation causes problems

The U.S. Failure in Afghanistan Was Not the Withdrawal

Charli Carpenter World Politics Review Mar 26, 2024 This past week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings on the Biden administration’s controversial withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. Retired Gens. Mark A. Milley and Kenneth McKenzie, who both served in leadership roles under President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, testified and faced questions from congressional leaders from both parties.

Afghanistan: Playing Both Sides of the U.S.-Chinese Rivalry

By Sheena Chestnut Greitens and Isaac Kardon Foreign Affairs March 15, 2024 Why Countries Get External Security From Washington—and Internal Security From Beijing On a visit to Budapest in late February, China’s minister of public security, Wang Xiaohong, secured a face-to-face meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to establish a new bilateral security arrangement. China

Opium Ban: How has it impacted landless and labourers in Helmand province?

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon • Jelena Bjelica Afghanistan Analysts Network 14 Mar 2024 In what used to be Afghanistan’s largest poppy-growing province, Helmand, cultivation plummeted by 99 per cent in 2023 following the Islamic Emirate’s ban on the crop in April 2022. Although opium trading largely continued, which brought windfall profits to anyone with opium stocks to sell,

What the explosive testimony of a minister reveals about Britain’s war in Afghanistan – and its rogue special forces

Frank Ledwidge The Guardian Tue 12 Mar 2024 09.00 EDT The probe into 80 alleged SAS killings heard evidence from Johnny Mercer and highlighted the urgent need for oversight The Afghanistan inquiry is getting into gear at the Royal Courts of Justice. Led by the judge Charles Haddon-Cave, this public inquiry was convened to investigate about 80

The Daily Hustle: Waiting in Islamabad for evacuation

Rohullah Sorush and Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 8 Mar 2024 When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan returned to power in August 2021, thousands of Afghans who were working for NGOs left Afghanistan, fearing harassment by Afghanistan’s new rulers, or just taking an opportunity to start a new life elsewhere. Many have already found their

The US must do more to hold the Taliban accountable

BY ALBERT TORRES OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 03/03/24 4:00 PM ET While the Taliban reap the benefits of their grand corruption, Afghanistan appears to be reverting to pre-9/11 conditions as it once again becomes a hotbed for terrorism. The Taliban maintain strong relationships with al-Qaida, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and the Tehrik-e-Jihad Pakistan. By offering such terrorist groups financial

Who will talk to Afghanistan’s Taliban? 

BY JAMES DURSO OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 02/27/24 11:30 AM ET On Feb. 18 and 19, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convened a meeting in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the “evolving situation” in Afghanistan and future engagement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban declined an invitation to the meeting after the U.N. refused their conditions,

If Taliban wants legitimacy in Afghanistan, it must renounce al-Qaeda

Chris Fitzgerald South China Morning Post 25 Feb, 2024 The world is willing to negotiate with the Taliban and help solve Afghanistan’s problems but, first, the de facto rulers must cut ties with al-Qaeda and address rising terrorism Islamic extremism is on the rise again in Afghanistan, with terrorists flourishing under Taliban rule. With the international community

From Doha to Doha: The contest over a UN Special Envoy lingers as discussions and disagreements drag on

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 1 Mar 2024 Afghanistan is back on the world’s agenda. The UN Security Council has met behind closed doors to hear about the recently held United Nations-convened meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha, which the Islamic Emirate decided not to attend. The current rulers of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate, decided

The Challenges Facing Afghans with Disabilities

BY: Belquis Ahmadi United States Institute of Peace Thursday, February 29, 2024 Disabled Afghans — particularly women — have been among the hardest hit by the Taliban’s rollback of human rights. In Afghanistan, obtaining accurate data on the number of persons with disabilities — including gender-disaggregated information — has always been a challenging endeavor. But based

Letter from Afghanistan: A Slow Death

By Benazir Habibzadeh on February 27, 2024 Benazir Habibzadeh fought for the right to education in Afghanistan; she writes a letter recounting her experience under the renewed Taliban regime. The Wilson Center MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM MIDDLE EAST WOMEN’S INITIATIVE My dreams were not much: just to have an Afghanistan where everyone—men and women alike—has equal rights and

Afghan activist’s memoir details her inspirational fight to educate women

PBS Newshour Feb 26, 2024 06:25 PM EST By — Amna Nawaz By — Stephanie Kotuby By — Alexa Gold When the Taliban roared back to power in Afghanistan in 2021, education activist Pashtana Durrani had some 7,000 girls enrolled in her organization. The schools were shuttered and Pashtana was forced to flee. She’s now living in exile

The Pastures of Heaven: An update of Kuchi-Hazara disputes as spring approaches

Fabrizio Foschini • Rama Mirzada Afghanistan Analysts Network 24 Feb 2024  The central highlands of the Hazarajat are gearing up for a third year of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) managing one of the most polarising land conflicts in the country, that between Hazara villagers and Pashtun nomads, the Kuchis. The re-establishment of the IEA in

The Contest for a Special Envoy: Will the meeting in Doha yield a shift in the world’s engagement with the Emirate? 

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 17 Feb 2024 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host a second meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on 18-19 February 2024. Unlike the last gathering in May 2023, the Emirate has also been invited, although it has not yet confirmed that it will

The ‘inclusive’ Afghan government Afghans do not want

Obaidullah Baheer Lecturer of Transitional Justice at the American University in Afghanistan Al Jazeera Published On 17 Feb 2024 The Taliban does not want to share power with warlords and corrupt former officials and neither does the Afghan population On February 18, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host a meeting of special envoys for Afghanistan

What to Expect from the Doha Conference on Afghanistan

 BY: Kate Bateman;  Andrew Watkins Thursday, February 15, 2024 United Nations meeting of special envoys aims to seek a way out of humanitarian and human rights crises in a Taliban-led Afghanistan. On February 18-19, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene a meeting on Afghanistan in Doha to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crises

Home at Last: After more than 20 years, two former inmates of Guantanamo reach Afghanistan

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 13 Feb 2024 Two more Afghan former inmates of the United States’ Guantanamo detention camp have finally returned home after more than two decades incarcerated or in exile. Abdul Zahir from Logar was detained by US forces and rendered to Guantanamo in July 2002, while Bostan Karim from Paktia was

The positive stories Afghanistan needs

Hujjatullah Zia A Kabul-based journalist Al Jazeera Published On 10 Feb 2024 Amid the hard times my country is going through, I have left behind despair and embraced hope. These days, Afghanistan makes international headlines more and more rarely and when it does, it is always about yet another tragedy. A humanitarian crisis, an earthquake,

The Daily Hustle: Mission impossible – the quest for passports and visas in Afghanistan

AAN Team • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  4 Feb 2024 Afghans who got onto evacuation lists may have the chance to go to Europe or North America, if they can get passports and visas for Pakistan. Their first dilemma is whether to go; it is not easy leaving one’s homeland. But there is a second dilemma –

ICG report: The Taliban’s Neighbourhood: Regional Diplomacy with Afghanistan

30 JANUARY 2024 International Crisis Group report The Taliban’s Neighbourhood: Regional Diplomacy with Afghanistan Even as many diplomats shun the Taliban regime, protesting its treatment of women and girls, emissaries of countries near Afghanistan have sought dealings with Kabul in areas like security and commerce. It is a worthwhile endeavour, and the West should not

Sending Money Home: The impact of remittances on workers, families and villages

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network 25 Jan 2024 For a country where jobs are scarce and, for many, livelihoods unreliable, sending men from the family abroad to work is an option tried by many families. Remittances, the money those workers send home, are hugely important for the national economy, individual families and communities. In this

In the new Afghanistan, it’s sell your daughter or starve

By Stephanie Sinclair The Washington Post January 15, 2024  Stephanie Sinclair, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, is the founder and president of Too Young To Wed. Their names are Khoshbakht, Saliha, Fawzia, Benazir, Farzana and Nazia — Afghan girls ages 8 to 10 who have been sold into marriage. Desperation forced their parents to thrust them

What We Wrote, What You Read in 2023: Daily struggles, edicts and orders, falcons flying high

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 11 Jan 2024 2023 was a busy year for AAN, with just over 50 publications. They ranged from in-depth investigations into the economy, public finance and the aid industry to a poetic journey into the world of falconry. We introduced a new form of report – short, first-person accounts by

The Daily Hustle: ‘Packing up a life’ in Pakistan and being forcibly returned to Afghanistan 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Afghanistan Analysts Network 7 Jan 2024 Nearly a million Afghans, many born and brought up in Pakistan, have ‘returned’ to their country since the start of Pakistan’s latest deportation campaign. On 3 October 2023, the government in Islamabad told undocumented Afghans living in the country to leave voluntarily by the end of

It’s Time for America to Go Back to Afghanistan

By Kathy Gannon Ms. Gannon is a Canadian journalist who covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for 34 years for The Associated Press. The New York Times 4 January 2024 It’s striking how much Afghanistan, which has the unfortunate legacy of being the site of America’s longest war, has all but disappeared from public discussion in the

Recommended Reads from AAN Writers and Readers: The search for context, deeper understanding, surprise and good stories

AAN Team • AAN Guests Afghanistan Analysts Network  2 Jan 2024   We thought we would start the new year by asking AAN writers and friends to recommend books about Afghanistan. The books they reviewed were diverse – fact and fiction, classics and newly-published and written in English, Pashto and German. Two were books that the reviewers

I teach in secret, defying the Taliban ban and fighting despair

Maryam Ahmadi A pseudonym for an Afghan peace and women’s activist Al Jazeera Published On 1 Jan 2024 The biggest challenge of teaching girls and women in Afghanistan is not the security risk or the bad internet connection, but the creeping hopelessness. I have sent the link and I am waiting for my students to

UN Security Council Resolution on Afghanistan: Just another ‘much ado about nothing’?

AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network 31 Dec 2024 The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution on the Independent Assessment on Afghanistan, which former Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Feridun Sinirlioğlu had put together. UNSC Resolution 2721 only passed after a month and a half of Security Council meetings, mainly held behind closed doors,

Of Hunters and Hunted (2): Falconry, bird smuggling and wildlife conservation

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 28 Dec 2023 The cold weather marks the start of the hunting season in many countries across the world. In Afghanistan, despite a hunting ban, this time of year sees the resumption of particular hunting-related activities. One particular group of hunters – raptor birds migrating through the country – become

Of Hunters and Hunted (1): Falconry in Afghanistan from classical literature to colonial sources 

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 25 Dec 2023 Unbeknownst to many, Afghanistan has a rich historical heritage related to falconry. Photographs dating from the 1950s to the 1970s offer a relatively recent glimpse of Afghan falconers with their birds. However, those ancient traditions of Afghans practising falconry – embodied in literary works such as the

Afghan women are hanging on amid Taliban repression

BY MALALAI HABIBI OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 12/19/23 8:30 AM ET In the shadows of the oppressive and misogynistic Taliban regime, Afghan women find themselves navigating a perilous journey where their rights are systematically erased. Yet amid this darkness, a formidable spirit of resistance, agency, and activism by Afghan women has emerged, becoming an example of

Land in Afghanistan: This time, retaking instead of grabbing land?

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Afghanistan Analysts Network 15 Dec 2023 When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) retook power, it started reclaiming state land that had been seized during previous administrations. In October 2022, the IEA established the Land-Grabbing Prevention and Restitution Commission, within the Ministry of Justice, whose purpose is to investigate land-grabbing under the

A Dreams Deferred (Again): The last remaining Afghan in Guantanamo loses his latest bid for freedom

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 8 Dec 2023 The last Afghan still held in Guantanamo, Muhammad Rahim from Nangrahar province, has failed in his latest attempt to persuade the United States authorities to release him. The US continues to assert that he was a translator, courier and facilitator for al-Qaeda leaders and even though it

How the Taliban Enables Violence Against Women

Belquis Ahmadi United States Institute of Peace Thursday, December 7, 2023 As the world commemorates 16 Days of Activism to end gender-based violence, Afghans discuss their experiences under the Taliban. Right now, women and feminist organizations around the world are commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with the 16 Days of Activism campaign. Starting

Whose Seat Is It Anyway: The UN’s (non)decision on who represents Afghanistan 

Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Network 7 Dec 2023  While the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) maintains that it deserves full-scale recognition, it has not been given the country’s seat at the United Nations. In early December 2023, the UN General Assembly will again consider whether or not to allow the Islamic Emirate to take Afghanistan’s

The Daily Hustle: “Helping the dreams of girls come true”

Rohullah Sorush • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 24 Nov 2023 After the Islamic Emirate banned older girls from education, many girls found alternative avenues to continue their studies, find intellectual stimulation – and even, as this Daily Hustle found out, make a living in the private education sector. AAN’s Rohullah Sorush hears from one young Afghan

The Long Winding River: Unravelling the water dispute between Afghanistan and Iran

Mhd Assem Mayar • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  20 Nov 2023   Afghanistan and Iran have been at loggerheads for much of this year over the Helmand River and its water. As the region grappled with a punishing drought for the third year running, the two neighbouring countries have been locked in a tense melee over

In a Major Rift, Pakistan Ramps Up Pressure on the Taliban

BY: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Thursday, November 16, 2023 Tensions over anti-Pakistan TTP terrorist group, expulsion of Afghan refugees will have implications for U.S. interests. On November 8, in an unprecedented press conference, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar offered a blistering critique of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. He announced that

Afghanistan’s Economy Once Again Nears the Precipice

 BY: Belquis Ahmadi;  William Byrd, Ph.D.;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace Friday, November 17, 2023 Despite some signs of stabilization, Afghanistan now faces renewed crisis as humanitarian aid dries up. More than two years into Taliban rule, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world with some of the highest humanitarian needs.

Prosperity or Penury: The political and economic fallout of the opium ban in Afghanistan

Kate Clark • Jelena Bjelica Afghanistan Analysts Network  15 Nov 2023  Two new reports, one from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and another by David Mansfield and Alcis, show that Afghan farmers have largely complied with the Islamic Emirate’s ban on opium cultivation. They chart a swingeing cut in cultivation in 2023 – just

The Guardian view on Pakistan’s expulsion of Afghans: don’t send them back to the Taliban

The Guardian Editorial Mon 6 Nov 2023 The deportation campaign by Islamabad is cruel. Other countries have let down these refugees too Human Rights Watch reports that refugees are now facing detentions, beatings and extortion by police. Others have been evicted by landlords or fired from jobs. The result is that Afghans believe they have no choice

Nautre’s Fury: The Herat earthquakes of 2023

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 10 Nov 2023 The earth has continued to shudder in Herat province ever since the first of a series of deadly earthquakes hit the province on Saturday 7 October around 11am local time. They have destroyed entire villages and killed and injured thousands of people. Since then, dozens more tremors,

Biden Could Be Preparing to Upgrade Ties With the Taliban

Annie Pforzheimer World Politics Review Nov 6, 2023 Joe Biden has quietly begun to soften Washington’s stance on the Taliban as a sponsor of terrorism, despite an authoritative report by United Nations experts in June 2023 noting the “strong and symbiotic” links between the Taliban, the Haqqani network, al-Qaida and other terror groups. Ongoing U.S. consultation

Survival and Stagnation: The State of the Afghan economy

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 7 Nov 2023  This paper is an attempt to give an overview of the Afghan economy in light of two new World Bank reports, one on the economy, two years on from the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and a second on the welfare of households. The

Pakistan carries out a mass expulsion

Analysis by Ishaan Tharoor Columnist The Washington Post November 6, 2023 at 12:00 a.m. EST As global attention centered on Gaza and the compounding upheavals and traumas triggered by Israel’s war on Hamas, another population is in crisis. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees are being forced to leave Pakistan as the country implements an order

The Guardian view on Pakistan’s expulsion of Afghans: don’t send them back to the Taliban

The Guardian Editorial 6 Nov 2023 The deportation campaign by Islamabad is cruel. Other countries have let down these refugees too Human Rights Watch reports that refugees are now facing detentions, beatings and extortion by police. Others have been evicted by landlords or fired from jobs. The result is that Afghans believe they have no choice but

Why Is Pakistan Expelling 1.7 Million Afghans?

Michael KugelmanForeign Policy NOVEMBER 1, 2023, 8:20 PM Islamabad’s policy of deporting all undocumented foreigners will have widespread repercussions. On Wednesday, Pakistan began the process of expelling all undocumented foreigners, including 1.7 million Afghans—one of the country’s largest immigrant communities. Officials say the policy, which was first announced last month, will be implemented in phases, with migrants and refugees temporarily placed

Finding Business Opportunity after Conflict: Shopkeepers, civil servants and farmers in Andar district

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network 30 Oct 2023  Andar district in Ghazni province was a battleground for most of the years of the Islamic Republic, from 2003 up until its fall in 2021. The conflict caused not only loss of life, but also severe damage and disruption to business. Andar’s economy is once again fully

A Shift Toward More Engagement with the Taliban?

Kate Bateman United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, October 25, 2023 For the United States, greater engagement with Afghanistan’s de facto authorities is the least bad policy option. Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the United States has found itself in a vexing dilemma — wanting to condemn and hold accountable

Pakistan must not collectively punish Afghan refugees

Obaidullah Baheer Al Jazeera Published On 24 Oct 2023 Ordinary Afghans are not responsible for the perceived faults of a government they did not elect. On October 3, Pakistan’s interim government announced it was giving “illegal immigrants” 28 days to leave the country. Those who do not do so would be forcefully deported starting on November 1.

The Daily Hustle: Selling traditional Afghan clothes on Facebook

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Afghanistan Analysts Network 16 Oct 2023 How to support your family when you have just lost your job during hard economic times? That was the question one journalist asked himself after his newspaper laid him off during the calamitous contraction of the economy in 2021 when the amount of international money coming

22 Years On, Remembering US-Led Coalition Attack on Afghanistan

Naweed Samadi Tolo News 8 Oct 2023 The 20-year presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan ended on August 31, 2021, with the withdrawal of the last US soldier in Afghanistan. 22 years ago, an international coalition led by Washington on October 7, 2001, attacked Afghanistan. America stated that the aim of the attack was to

Learning from Failed Peace Efforts in Afghanistan

Kate Bateman United States Institute of Peace October 4, 2023 Over the course of 20 years, the United States made strategic mistakes in its war with the Taliban that helped fuel the insurgency and likely precluded an earlier end to the war. The U.S. government became fixated on a purely military solution, to the neglect of a political

Ahmad Massoud and the Arduous Path of Fighting Against the Taliban

By: Kohistani By Hasht-E Subh  Oct 1, 2023 In the current period, Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), finds himself residing in France. During his stay, he has engaged with numerous leaders from French political parties and the Afghan community living in the country. He also took part in

Peace has not stopped Afghanistan’s depopulation

Hujjatullah Zia A Kabul-based journalist Al Jazeera Published On 7 Oct 20237 Oct 2023 Climate change is bringing about more devastation, forcing more Afghans to flee. Deportations from neighbouring countries will not stop them. This summer, I visited my village in Jaghori district in Ghazni province for the first time since 2017. I had never

Aid Diversion in Afghanistan: Is it time for a candid conversation?

Ashley Jackson Afghanistan Analysts Network 1 Oct 2023 Diversion of aid in Afghanistan is in the news again, this time with allegations by the United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, that the Islamic Emirate or its officials are diverting humanitarian aid. Language in a draft US appropriations bill would prohibit

Keep on Moving on the Balkan Route: No quarter for Afghan asylum seekers in Croatia and Serbia

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 26 Sep 2023 The number of Afghan refugees moving along the Balkan Route has remained very high this summer. In particular, a great proportion in their earlier 20s and often under-age Afghans seem to be taking the long trip to central, western and northern Europe. From Turkey, they usually cross

Afghanistan women suffer 2 years after Taliban takeover

By the Editorial Board The Washington Post September 5, 2023 Two years after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has banned all women from visiting the country’s premier national park. “Going sightseeing is not a must for women,” the head of the ministry explained. Band-e-Amir, a UNESCO World

Developing Afghanistan’s mines will uplift Afghans

Abdullah Azzam Adviser to the government of Afghanistan Al Jazeera Published On 23 Sep 2023 Recently signed contracts will help the country tackle unemployment, underdevelopment and currency issues. Afghanistan is one of the world’s most resource-rich nations in the world, boasting over 1,200 mineral fields. According to estimates, its mineral wealth is worth $3 trillion

New UN Report Charts the Emirate’s Treatment of Detainees: Allegations of torture and ill-treatment

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  20 Sep 2023 UNAMA has released its first report dedicated to the treatment of detainees since the Taleban takeover and alleges that the use of torture by the police and General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) is “systemic.” The report details methods of torture familiar to earlier generations of detainees –

Chinese Investments in Afghanistan: Strategic ecnomic move or incentive for the Emirate?

Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Network 16 Sep 2023  When the West withdrew from Afghanistan, many assumed its acquisitive neighbour, China, would reap the economic benefits of the change of government in Kabul. Afghanistan has immense, but largely untouched mineral and hydrocarbon wealth, including strategically valuable metals, such as lithium. That assumption was fed in the

Two Years of the Taliban’s ‘Gender Apartheid’ in Afghanistan

 Belquis Ahmadi;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace Thursday, September 14, 2023 Afghan women and girls deserve moral and material support to sustain their resiliency against the Taliban’s worsening repression. Two years after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the human rights situation in the country is abysmal, with women and girls experiencing the worst

Afghanistan’s Two Years of Humanitarian Crisis Under the Taliban

 BY: Dayne Curry;  Becky Roby;  Ellen Bevier;  Anastasia Moran United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, September 19, 2023 Afghans need long-term sustainable solutions, which require increased humanitarian assistance, economic stability and resumed development aid. The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 immediately exacerbated the country’s precarious humanitarian situation, leaving millions in need of food assistance


By Franklin Foer The Atlantic October 2023 issue Joe Biden was determined to get out of Afghanistan—no matter the cost. August 1 August is the month when oppressive humidity causes the mass evacuation of official Washington. In 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki piled her family into the car for a week at the beach.

The Daily Hustle: Crossing the Durand Line to visit family in Pakistan

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  11 Sep 2023 The story of Afghan families is often one of loved ones separated by long distances and national borders. Every year, many Afghans who have family living in neighbouring countries make the hours and sometimes days-long journey overland from Afghanistan, braving long bus rides, hours waiting

Afghanistan delusions blind US on Russia-Ukraine

ANATOL LIEVEN Responsible Statecraft Quincy Institute SEP 06, 2023 On the two-year anniversary of the Kabul withdrawal, if Washington forgets the war’s lessons, its mistakes are likely to be repeated. On the second anniversary of the final debacle of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, we should consider the lessons of that disaster for U.S. strategy elsewhere.

Predictions of an Afghan ‘security vacuum’ were all wrong

ADAM WEINSTEIN Responsible Statecraft Quincy Institute SEP 05, 2023 It was still shocking for many Americans to witness the swift collapse of a government that so many lives and tax dollars contributed to building. Today, Afghanistan is a nightmarish place for many Afghans, marked by a lack of rights and opportunities. It’s crucial to recognize

Hollywoodgate review – a fascinating insight into the Taliban’s insular world

Xan Brooks The Guardian Fri 1 Sep 2023 Venice film festival: It’s no surprise that Ibrahim Nash’at’s documentary lacks in-depth interviews – his subjects barely tolerate his presence as he reveals the fighters’ lack of purpose after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan The spoils of war are a chore in this fascinating fly-on-the-wall study of the

An Ambassador Without a Country

By Steve Coll The New Yorker August 13, 2023 The Afghan statesman Zalmai Rassoul is recognized by the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland—but not by the Taliban. Photographs by Silvana Trevale for The New Yorker King Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan, who reigned after his country gained independence from Great Britain, in 1919, collected

Women in Afghanistan are fighting an unequal war. We need your support

Zahra Joya The Guardian Wed 6 Sept 2023 The Taliban have barred us from the workplace, cut our access to healthcare and closed schools to us. Must we struggle alone? We suddenly all woke in the middle of the night. A piercing cry came from the corner of our room. It was my teenage sister,

A Taleban Theory of State: A review of the Chief Justice’s book of jurisprudence

John Butt United States Institute of Peace 3 Sep 2023 In the second of our mini-series on Taleban publications, this report examines what may be the fullest and most authoritative account yet of what the Taleban believe an Islamic state should look like. In his book, ‘Al-Emarat al-Islamiya wa Nidhamuha’ (The Islamic Emirate and its System of

‘Freedom’ Is a Word I No Longer Trust

By Sola Mahfouz Ms. Mahfouz is an Afghan writer. The New York Times Aug 31, 2023 When the United States freed Afghanistan from the first Taliban government in 2001, everything in my homeland seemed to change overnight. My father, a businessman, retrieved his cherished television from its hiding place in our home in Kandahar, where

Upcoming Biden book recounts untold timeline of Afghanistan withdrawal

By KIERRA FRAZIER Politico 08/29/2023 12:27 PM EDT By the end of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, President Joe Biden was sure he made the right decision after watching the events unfold in the Situation Room. “Biden didn’t have time to voraciously consume the news, but he was well aware of the

Extensive but not Inclusive: Afghanistan’s growing list of national holidays

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network  30 Aug 2023  August has already seen two days of national public holidays in Afghanistan and will see a third this week, celebrating the anniversary of the departure of the last United States troops on the 31st. That follows the celebration of Taleban forces’ entry into Kabul on 15 August

 The Taliban is snuffing out hope in Afghanistan. It will fail.

By Shabana Basij-Rasikh The Washington Post August 15, 2023  It’s the small things that find you, and they can come without warning. Not too long ago I was in Turkey, at the airport in Istanbul. My husband had gone to get us food, something to eat before our plane boarded. He brought it to where

She was lucky to escape Afghanistan. Two years later, she’s stuck in limbo.

By Catherine Rampell Columnist The Washington Post August 8, 2023 Mahnaz Akbari was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. The former commander of an Afghan military all-female special ops team, Akbari was among the 77,000 U.S. allies successfully evacuated to the United States when the Taliban retook her country. An additional 200,000 or

What Do Young Afghan Women Do? A glimpse into everyday life after the bans

Jelena Bjelica • AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network 17 Aug 2023  Since coming to power, the Taleban authorities have issued many edicts, decrees, declarations and directives limiting, restricting, suspending or banning basic freedoms for women and girls. Afghan women are no longer free to go to public parks, gyms and other public spaces and are banned from boarding planes

The Last Afghan in Guantanamo: Pressure mounts on US to deal with the remnants of its ‘War on Terror’ 

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  13 Aug 2023 It is more than three years since the United States signed its peace deal with the Taleban and almost two since the last American soldier left Afghanistan. Yet the US still insists that the last Afghan it holds in relation to that war – at its prison

The Emergent Taleban-Defined University: Enforcing a top-down reorientation and unquestioning obedience under ‘a war of thoughts’

S Reza Kazemi Afghanistan Analysts Network 6 Aug 2023  Since the takeover around two years ago in August 2021, the Taleban have sought to overhaul and reinvent Afghanistan’s higher education. They have put their affiliates in charge at the ministry and many public universities, created new bodies to promote religious institutions and incorporate them into

Amid Taliban Repression, Afghan Media Are a Beacon of Hope

 Barry Salaam United States Institute of Peace Thursday, August 10, 2023 Since regaining power two years ago, the Taliban have largely discarded Afghanistan’s democratic institutions but have taken a somewhat accommodating, albeit contradictory, approach toward independent media. Instead of banning independent media altogether, they have implemented regulatory restrictions and punitive measures to limit free speech

Two Years into Taliban Rule, New Shocks Weaken Afghan Economy

 BY: William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Thursday, August 10, 2023 The opium ban, falling aid and regime actions against women will exacerbate poverty, worsen hunger and increase outmigration. The Taliban have done a better job than expected in managing the Afghan economy despite some missteps. But nevertheless, the Afghan economy seems caught in

Two Years Under the Taliban: Is Afghanistan a Terrorist Safe Haven Once Again?

BY: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, August 15, 2023 Two years into Taliban rule, the question of whether Afghanistan would once again become a safe haven for international terrorism remains alive. Longstanding fears were affirmed a little over a year ago, when the U.S. government located al-Qaeda leader Aimen al-Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan,

Don’t shut the door on Afghans. The people deserve connectivity and all its hope and promise

Nicola Gordon-Smith The Guardian Mon 14 Aug 2023 Western officials like me watched in despair two years ago on this day when the Taliban dramatically seized back control of Afghanistan, 20 years after the US-led invasion, toppling their regime in Kabul. The Afghan people, especially women and girls, faced the new and grim reality of their

How a suicide bombing in Pakistan shows spillover effect from Taliban’s Afghanistan

Michael Levitt, Lee Hale, Sacha Pfeiffer Heard on All Things Considered National Public Radio July 31, 20234:44 PM ET NPR’s Sacha Pfeiffer talks to security and counter-terrorism Asfandyar Mir about how instability in the Taliban’s Afghanistan has spilled into Pakistan, after a suicide bombing that killed dozens.   SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST: Funeral services were held today

Video: Will talks between US officials and Taliban leaders bring Afghans hope?

Al Jazeera 2 August 2023 Parties hold first face-to-face discussions since group retook power in Afghanistan in 2021. High-level discussions between Taliban leaders and US officials have taken place in Doha. It’s the first time the two sides have met directly since the group retook control in Afghanistan two years ago, when NATO forces

Taleban Perceptions of Aid: Conspiracy, corruption and miscommunication

Sabawoon Samim • Ashley Jackson Afghanistan Analysts Network  30 Jul 2023 Despite publicly claiming to welcome international aid, the Taleban government has exercised a growing influence over humanitarian operations within Afghanistan at both national and local levels. This includes bans on women working for NGOs and the United Nations and, more recently, an order to hand over

Taliban again denies TTP presence in Afghanistan

BY BILL ROGGIO Long War Journal July 21, 2023 The Taliban continues to claim that there are no foreign terror groups operating inside Afghanistan, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. The latest denial came this week when the Taliban was pressed about the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP), which shelters inside of Afghanistan

The Daily Hustle: Women take to street peddling to feed their families

Sayed Asadullah Sadat • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  22 Jul 2023  After the Taleban came to power in August 2021, the flow of international funds into the country that helped prop up the economy declined precipitously, and a significant number of people lost their jobs. Women, facing new legal restrictions on work from the Islamic Emirate,

From Land-grabbing to Haircuts: The decrees and edicts of the Taleban supreme leader 

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 15 Jul 2023 The decrees, edicts and instructions of Taleban supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, from 2016, when he became leader, to May 2023, have been published. They make fascinating reading, tracing some of what the leadership felt was important to ban, make obligatory, organise or administer during the insurgency

What the Taliban’s Defensive Public Messaging Reveals

 BY: Andrew Watkins United States Institute of Peace Thursday, July 13, 2023 In the nearly two years since the Taliban’s takeover, much of the Afghan population continues to struggle to meet basic daily needs amid a severe humanitarian crisis. The Taliban have imposed a raft of draconian restrictions on Afghan women and girls, effectively erasing them from public

Books are losing value in Afghanistan – this scares me

Hujjatullah Zia A Kabul-based journalist Al Jazeera Published On 9 Jul 2023 My country, where the pursuit of knowledge was always venerated, is descending into darkness. It has been almost two years since the Taliban took over Kabul. I, like many Afghans who worked hard to attain a good education, am struggling. Knowledge seems to

No Food For Hope: Afghanistan’s Child Malnutrition Dilemma in 2023

Fabrizio Foschini • Rohullah Sorush United States Institute of Peace  7 Jul 2023 The time of the summer harvest has come, bringing with it some temporary relief to millions of Afghan households struggling to feed themselves. Standards of living, which had already worsened well before the Taleban takeover of August 2021, plunged further with their capture of

Daily Hustle: Running a home school for girls

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 30 Jun 2023 The Taleban made their move against education for older girls about a month after they took over Afghanistan when they ordered secondary schools for boys to re-open, but made no mention of girls. Since then, there have been a few instances of false hope, notably in March

Civilian Casualties since the Taleban Takeover: New UNAMA report shows sharp drop – but some communities still under threat

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts  Network 27 Jun 2023 UNAMA has published its first stand-alone report on conflict-related civilian casualties since the Taleban’s capture of power on 15 August 2021. Casualties have plummeted since the takeover, but the threat remains, especially to some communities, from suicide attacks and roadside and magnetic IEDs. UNAMA has also found

Where Did We Go Wrong in Afghanistan?

By Andrew J. Bacevich The New York Times June 18, 2023 BY ALL MEANS AVAILABLE: Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy, by Michael G. Vickers Michael G. Vickers speaks with a member of the Yemeni special forces in Sana.Credit…via Michael G. Vickers An implicit question haunts this illuminating and richly detailed

Taleban Bans on Drugs: What is the Emirate’s counter-narcotics agenda?

Jelena Bjelica • Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 15 Jun 2023 Since they captured power in summer 2021, the Taleban have issued two strict bans on drugs. In April 2022, they banned the cultivation and production of opium and the use, trade and transport of all illegal narcotics. A year later, in March 2023, they issued another

Former Afghan Pilots Remain Grounded, Hunted by Taliban

Lynne O’Donnell By Lynne O’Donnell, a columnist at Foreign Policy and an Australian journalist and author. Foreign Policy 12 June 2023 Afghanistan’s top guns have no easy path to a new life. Pilots trained at great expense to the U.S. taxpayer to fly for the Afghan Air Force during the 20-year war against the Taliban, who could have

The Taliban’s Successful Opium Ban is Bad for Afghans and the World

BY: William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Thursday, June 8, 2023 / The ban is not a counter-narcotics victory and will have negative economic and humanitarian consequences, potentially leading to a refugee crisis. The Taliban have done it again: implementing a nearly complete ban against cultivation of opium poppy — Afghanistan’s most important agricultural product

The Growing Threat of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and South Asia

BY: Abdul Sayed;  Tore Refslund Hamming United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, June 7, 2023 When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021, counterterrorism experts were alarmed at the possible resurgence of Islamist terrorist groups within the country. This Special Report lays out why those concerns, particularly about the regional Islamic State affiliate known as

The Daily Hustle: Being a widow in Afghanistan

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  4 Jun 2023 The word most often used by Afghans to refer to widows is bisarparast (without someone to take care of you). In Afghanistan’s highly patriarchal society, where men are expected to be the breadwinners and opportunities for women to work are relatively few, being a widow is likely to be socially

Who Are the Taliban Now?

Steve Coll Hassan Abbas’s book surveys the second Islamic Emirate’s ideology and leading personalities and probes its internal tensions. The New York Review of Books June 22, 2023 issue The Return of the Taliban: Afghanistan After the Americans Left by Hassan Abbas Yale University Press, 286 pp., $26.00 Nearly two years after the Taliban’s return

The West has a golden opportunity to engage the Taliban

Sultan Barakat Al Jazeera Published On 30 May 2023 The appointment of a new prime minister in Kabul signals the Taliban’s openness to dialogue. Western leaders should not miss this chance. On May 18, the interim Taliban administration in Afghanistan announced that it has replaced caretaker Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund with his deputy, Maulvi Abdul Kabir.

What caused deadly Afghan-Iran border clashes? What happens next?

Al Jazeera Published On 30 May 2023 The two countries call to de-escalate the situation after deadly clashes erupt apparently over river water-sharing dispute. Last week, deadly clashes broke out between Afghan and Iranian guards at their border raising fears of a new conflict. Both sides have accused each other of initiating the shooting in which at

Gender Persecution in Afghanistan: Could it come under the ICC’s Afghanistan investigation?

Ehsan Qaane Afghanistan Analysts Network 26 May 2023 Since their return to power in August 2021, the Taleban have enacted successive laws and orders which apply to women and girls, but not to men and boys. Earlier this month, United Nations experts reported their assessment that these measures violated women and girls’ rights to education,

The uncounted: how millions died unseen in America’s post-9/11 wars

Simon Tisdall The Guardian Sun 21 May 2023 A new report puts the loss of life from Afghanistan to Yemen at 4.5 million – the bulk of them poor women and children who are victims of economic collapse and continuing trauma Abdoulaye is a lost child of the post-9/11 world – one among millions. Born

Afghanistan’s Crisis Requires a Coherent, Coordinated International Response

BY: William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, May 16, 2023 The Taliban’s missteps are harming their own interests but are even worse for Afghans. Here’s what the international community can do Over the past year, especially in recent months, the Taliban have made several missteps. The consequences are not a threat to

I am finally reunited with my family after 13 years. But the threat for Hazaras in Afghanistan remains

Sajjad Askary The Guardian Tue 16 May 2023 22.28 EDT Australia has become a beacon of hope, where we can rebuild our lives and make a new home Joy flooded my heart as I finally welcomed my mother, sister and niece in Melbourne last week after 13 years of family separation as a refugee in

The Other ‘Peace Process’ on Afghanistan: Geneva Talks 1982-1988

By Rahmat Hashemi PRIO Posted May 16, 2023 In the past three years, the US government’s role in the Doha Talks (2010-2020) has attracted scrutiny and criticism within the United States and abroad. Zalmay Khalilzad (USA) and Taliban representative Abdul Ghani Baradar sign the agreement in Doha, Qatar in 2020. State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain Starting in November

The New ISIS: How a Branch of the Terrorist Group Is Becoming a Top Threat

 By Drew F. Lawrence 12 May 2023 The Islamic State’s Khorasan Province, also known as ISIS-K, has rapidly become the new boogeyman in the Middle East — specifically in Afghanistan, where the overall ISIS apparatus has spread its influence. The State Department has issued warnings about the group and has previously designated its leaders

What Do the Taleban Spend Afghanistan’s Money On? Government expenditure under the Islamic Emirate

 Kate Clark • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  10 May 2023   When our readers told us about some errors in our report: ‘What Do The Taleban Spend Afghanistan’s Money On? Government expenditure under the Islamic Emirate,” we started checking and cross-checking our sources and the report. We found that several budget lines in the operational budget

Lashing, Beating, Stoning: UNAMA tracks corporal punishment and the death penalty in Afghanistan

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 8 May 2023  A new United Nations report on capital and corporal punishment has detailed the widespread use of corporal punishment delivered ad hoc by non-judicial authorities, such as the police and ‘Vice and Virtue’ officials. It also documents a rise in corporal punishment ordered by judges since November 2022

U.N. Conference Highlights Global Unity but Limited Leverage Over the Taliban

BY: Belquis Ahmadi;  Kate Bateman;  Andrew Watkins;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace Thursday, May 4, 2023 This week’s summit showed remarkable solidarity with beleaguered Afghans, but it remains to be seen if that can translate to meaningful change. Over a year and a half since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, not a single

A Ban, a Resolution and a Meeting: A look at the May 2023 meeting in Doha and the reactions to it

Kate Clark • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 5 May 2023 The 1-2 May 2023 gathering in Doha, hosted by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, brought together the representatives of 21 countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council, major donors and regional players, plus the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. They

The May 2023 Doha meeting: How should the outside world deal with the Taleban?

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  30 Apr 2023 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is due to host a two-day meeting on Afghanistan with foreign envoys, beginning tomorrow, 1 May 2023, in the capital of Qatar, Doha. The Taleban have not been invited. AAN understands from sources from invited countries that the idea for the meeting

Hearts Turned Away from Music: Afghan musicians’ paths to exile

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 24 Apr 2023  A year and a half after the Taleban takeover, music has completely disappeared from Afghan streets, TV channels, radios, cars and wedding halls. It barely survives in more personal and subdued forms and volumes – inside a house with tightly closed windows or shutters, inside headphones on


By Atal Ahmadzai Foreign Policy in Focus April 13, 2023 The Taliban contains many contending factions, but that’s also a source of its stability. Rumors about the internal division of the Taliban began soon after their return to power in 2021. Power struggles among the regime’s top-tier military and political leadership—confounded by personal ambitions as well as tribal

Bans on Women Working, Then and Now: The dilemmas of delivering humanitarian aid during the first and second Islamic Emirates

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 16 Apr 2023 Anyone who lived in Afghanistan during the first Islamic Emirate will find the current stand-off between the Taleban and NGOs – and now the United Nations – over the issue of women working familiar. There is the same clashing of principles: the Emirate’s position that women must

Taking a Terrible Toll: The Taliban’s Education Ban

BY: Belquis Ahmadi;  Hodei Sultan United States Institute of Peace April 13, 2023 Over a year and a half after the Taliban barred girls from secondary education, ‘the sadness is overpowering,’ one female student told USIP. In March, 20 months after the Taliban banned Afghan girls from receiving secondary education, another school year began in

What’s Next for the Taliban’s Leadership Amid Rising Dissent?

 BY: Andrew Watkins US Institute of Peace 11 April 2023 Since their takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban have moved to restrict social freedoms, with a persistent focus on the rights of women and girls. Two edicts issued in December 2022, indefinitely banning Afghan women from attending universities and prohibiting working in NGO offices, constitute the

The Observer view on Afghanistan: withdrawal should be a cause for lasting shame in Britain and the US

The Observer Editorial 9 April 2023 Governments on both sides of the Atlantic are still failing to take responsibility for abandoning the Afghan people to the Taliban The fall of Kabul in August 2021 and the accompanying chaotic evacuation of US and UK forces, foreign nationals and limited numbers of Afghan civilians marked the end of a

Tajikistan’s Peace Process: The Role of Track 2 Diplomacy and Lessons for Afghanistan

BY: Parviz Mullojanov United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, April 4, 2023 The peace process that ended the Tajik civil war in the late 1990s successfully combined both official and civic channels of communication and negotiation from its start. This report argues that although the agreement and its implementation were far from perfect, the Tajik

Afghanistan Requires a Change from Humanitarian Business as Usual

By William Byrd Lawfare Thursday, March 30, 2023 ICRC and Red Crescent personnel deliver humanitarian assistance in Faryab province, Afghanistan. (ICRC,; CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, International humanitarian aid is critical in responding to natural disasters and other short-term emergencies. But as the U.N. itself recognizes, such aid is not well positioned to

Back to the Village: Afghan city dwellers go home for a long-over-due visit

Sabawoon Samim  Afghanistan Analysts Network  25 Mar 2023 After the Taleban seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the lives of millions of Afghans changed overnight. While these events have had a negative impact on the lives of many, some have seen positive changes. The end of the conflict meant that many urban dwellers who

In Afghanistan, women and girls are being erased

By Shabana Basij-Rasikh Global Opinions contributing columnist The Washington Post March 23, 2023 at 7:30 a.m. EDT I was standing in the arrivals hall at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda this month, waiting for an Afghan girl and thinking about the days that brought the two of us here. March 23rd marks one year since

Simple Pleasures Amidst Great Frustrations: An essentially outlawed Nawruz in Taleban-ruled Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi • Sayed Asadullah Sadat Afghanistan Analysts Network  21 Mar 2023  The second Nawruz, the first day of the spring and the new solar hejri year, after the Taleban’s return to power comes in an overwhelmingly frustrating atmosphere and appears even more lacklustre than the previous one. The Taleban have effectively banned it as a holiday

Afghanistan is ready to work with the US, but sanctions must go

Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi Interim Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Al Jazeera Published On 23 Mar 2023 Afghanistan’s new leaders believe in dialogue and an exchange of ideas. But it takes two hands to clap. A year and a half after the developments of August 15, 2021, when the Islamic Emirate regained control of Afghanistan, the

Two Security Council Resolutions and a Humanitarian Appeal: UN grapples with its role in Afghanistan

Jelena Bjelica • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 19 Mar 2023  Recent complex negotiations surrounding UNAMA’s mandate in Taleban-run Afghanistan have shone a light on longstanding divisions among UN Security Council members concerning key issues, such as human rights, women’s rights, peace and security and governance. This year, on 16 March 2023, member states agreed to resolve

Afghan women deserve a Nobel Peace Prize

Hujjatullah Zia A Kabul-based journalist Al Jazeera 19 Mar 2023 Under the Taliban regime, Afghan women are facing growing hostility and restrictions, but they continue to resist. Over the past few weeks, there has been a vivid debate among Afghans on which prominent individual from among our women compatriots deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Some

The Taliban Are Out of Step With Afghans on Women’s Rights

Charli Carpenter World Politics Review Mar 14, 2023 Last week, International Women’s Day drew renewed media attention to the situation in Afghanistan, now characterized by the United Nations as the most repressive country on earth for women. Over the past 18 months since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, conditions for women in the country have continuously deteriorated. Despite early promises

America Is Again Failing Afghanistan’s Women—and Itself

By Xanthe Scharff CEO and co-founder of The Fuller Project. Foreign Policy MARCH 8, 2023, 8:04 AM The deteriorating status of women under Taliban rule is a strategic disaster for Washington. On Aug. 16, 2021, the day after Kabul fell to the Taliban and the United States began its hasty withdrawal, journalist Zahra Joya woke

A Worsening “Human Rights Crisis”: New hard-hitting report from UN Special Rapporteur

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 6 Mar 2023 The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, has said the Islamic Emirate is increasingly flouting “fundamental freedoms, including the rights of peaceful assembly and association, expression and the rights to life and protection against ill-treatment” and is “ruling Afghanistan


Murtaza Hussain The Intercept March 1 2023, 11:07 a.m. Echoing America’s failure in Vietnam, a new inspector general report found the U.S. built an Afghan army dependent on outside support. WHEN THE AFGHAN military and government collapsed in the summer of 2021, it was the worst failure of the U.S. defense establishment since the fall of Saigon.

The Daily Hustle: How to survive a winter in Kabul

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 28 Feb 2023  Winters in Kabul are always difficult, and this year was no exception – with temperatures dropping well below zero and heavy snowfall. The snow turns the unpaved secondary roads where most Kabulis live into rivers of mud, making it difficult for people to get around. But if

‘Books they love’: A Kabul graveyard library for two schoolgirls

By Ruchi Kumar Al Jazeera Published On 26 Feb 2023 Listen to this story: Kabul, Afghanistan – One morning in early October last year, 16-year-old cousins Marzia and Hajar Mohammadi were laid to rest next to one another in a remote graveyard on the outskirts of Kabul. Among the roses on the girls’ graves, their grieving

High Representative Says EU Cannot Abandon Afghan Women by Cutting Aid

TOLOnews TV Network 24 Feb 2023 The Islamic Emirate’s Spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, called aid by the international community a right of the people of Afghanistan. Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that they “cannot abandon the Afghan women to be punished twice,” both by the

The global aid system failed Syria just as it did Afghanistan. How long can this go on?

Shadi Khan Saif The Guardian Mon 20 Feb 2023 We must make humanitarianism a global agenda, just like climate change, press freedom and gender equality After the dreadful earthquakes in Syria and Turkey – the latter of which is now grappling with two more powerful shocks – the global humanitarian ecosystem seems to have once again failed

Is Pakistan Poised to Take on the TTP?

BY: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Andrew Watkins United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, February 14, 2023 Amid Pakistan’s economic crisis and the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban have reemerged as an increasingly potent threat. The Pakistani Taliban’s late January attack in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, claimed the lives

The story of Shazia Ramzan, Malala’s schoolfriend, shows why education must be a right for all children

Gordon Brown Gordon Brown is chairman of the UN’s Education Cannot Wait fund and was UK prime minister between 2007 and 2010 The Guardian 12 Feb 2023 As a child, Ramzan’s fight for an education almost cost her her life. Worldwide, there are 222 million children out of school who urgently need our help Shazia

The Politics of Survival in the Face of Exclusion: Hazara and Shia actors under the Taleban

Ali Yawar Adili Afghanistan Analysts Network 9 Feb 2023   Since the Taleban’s return to power, an array of Hazara and Shia Muslim groups and individuals have tried to position themselves vis-à-vis the new order in an effort to protect a community that feels particularly vulnerable. The struggle over who gets to speak for the

Afghanistan: single women and widows are struggling to find their next meal under Taliban restrictions

Nitya Rao Professor of Gender & Development, University of East Anglia The Conversation February 3, 2023 Jamila*, a widow living in Herat, lost her husband in a suicide attack about eight years ago. She has an 18-year-old daughter who is blind and a 20-year-old son who lost both legs in a mine blast. Jamila used

Talking with the Taliban: a necessary exercise in frustration

By Edward Girardet Global Geneva 27 January 2023 UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths meets with Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. (Photo: UN) UPDATE: At a UN press conference in New York on Monday 30 January 2023, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths stated that they were hopeful the Taliban would rescind at least some of their constraints,

New Lives in the City: How Taleban have experienced life in Kabul

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network 2 Feb 2023   A large number of Taleban fighters have moved to Afghanistan’s cities since the movement’s capture of power, many of them seeing life in the city for the first time in their lifetime. These fighters, many of whom are from villages, had lived modest lives, entirely focused

Winter has come for Afghanistan

By Ishaan Tharoor with Sammy Westfall The Washington Post January 30, 2023 For much of the past year, the West’s policymakers and analysts were possessed by one haunting question: How bad will Europe’s winter be? Energy prices on the continent surged because of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia’s energy industry. The prospect of

Wrestling with a Humanitarian Dilemma in Afghanistan

William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, January 25, 2023 Recent decrees by the Taliban barring Afghan women from attending university or working in NGOs are severely damaging the country both socially and economically, especially coming atop a ban on girls’ secondary education last year. The marginalization of half the population also highlights the “humanitarian dilemma” that aid

To Help Afghanistan, Engage Its Political Opposition

By Richard Fontaine, the chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security, and Lisa Curtis, the director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Foreign Policy magazine January 31, 2023, 9:33 AM The Taliban’s rule isn’t inevitable or forever. Eighteen months after the fall of Kabul, the

Wrestling with a Humanitarian Dilemma in Afghanistan

William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, January 25, 2023 Recent decrees by the Taliban barring Afghan women from attending university or working in NGOs are severely damaging the country both socially and economically, especially coming atop a ban on girls’ secondary education last year. The marginalization of half the population also highlights the “humanitarian dilemma” that aid

The Daily Hustle: How Afghan women working for NGOs are coping with the Taleban ban

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  26 Jan 2023   Afghan women who were studying at university or working for NGOs have now had a few weeks to take in the implications of two decrees issued by Taleban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada which denied them a university education and banned them from working for NGOs. The announcements

The Afghans I Trained Are Fighting for Putin in Ukraine

By Thomas Kasza The New York Times 25 Jan 2023 Mr. Kasza served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am an American Special Forces soldier, a volunteer knowing well the hazards of this profession in which I’ve served quietly for 14 years. And I helped build Vladimir Putin’s foreign legion. Green Berets — the “Horse Soldiers”

The World Has Fallen for the Taliban’s Lies Once Again

By Fawzia Koofi Ms. Koofi is the former deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament. The New York Times 20 Jan 2023 I was a first-year medical student at Kabul University when, on Sept. 26, 1996, Taliban fighters swept in and seized the capital. It was a Thursday. I remember that clearly because I was rushing

Can the Taliban’s Brazen Assault on Afghan Women Be Stopped?

BY: Belquis Ahmadi;  Kate Bateman;  Andrew Watkins;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace Thursday, January 12, 2023 The audacity of the Taliban’s latest bans on women in public life brings two new factors into play, which may over time lead to change. The Taliban marked the New Year by doubling down on their severe, ever-growing

As Humanitarian Crises Escalate, So Do Demands to End Them

By Claudia Dreifus The New York Times Jan. 14, 2023 This article is part of our special report on the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, says the global refugee crisis “is manageable, not insoluble.” Humanitarian crises — especially the plight of refugees — around the world

Afghanistan & Haiti: failed as autocracies and democracies

Anatol Lieven Responsible Statecraft DECEMBER 27, 2022 Both have intractable governing problems, but that doesn’t mean the West should keep intervening to save them. Recent months have seen escalating clashes along Pakistan’s disputed border with Afghanistan. In the latest, on December 11 and 15, civilians on both sides were killed when Taliban forces fired into Pakistan

There’s Nothing for Me Here,’ My Mother Hears Again

Jamil Jan Kochai The New York Times 8 Jan 2023 Last September, 13 months after the Taliban takeover, my family and I flew into Kabul one morning as many of our relatives were on the cusp of fleeing the city. We hoped to see them before they parted. My uncle Fawad and cousin Hashmat picked

What the United States Owes Afghan Women

Murtaza Hussain The InterceptJanuary 1 2023 IN THE EARLY days of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, alleviating the plight of Afghan women under the Taliban was a major part of the campaign to sell the conflict to the American public — and eventually to justify an open-ended military occupation. Whether the United States did much to

The Guardian view on Afghanistan’s suffering: the war against women

The Guardian Editorial 2 Jan 2023 Families are in desperate straits, the security situation is worsening – but the Taliban’s priority is punishing half the population The Taliban’s relentless campaign against women is not only a matter of rights, but of survival. It is not only cruel and oppressive, but deadly. In a country already

Strangers in Our Own Country: How Afghan women cope with life under the Islamic Emirate

Roxanna Shapour • Rama Mirzada Afghanistan Analysts Network  28 Dec 2022 Sixteen months since its takeover of Afghanistan, the Emirate has imposed sweeping new restrictions on women’s lives, kicking female students out of universities and education centres, and banning women from working for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The bans have come on top of the continuing closure of

Depriving Afghan women of an education would benefit no one

Sultan Barakat Al Jazeera 28 December 2022 The Taliban’s anti-education edicts stand against the very foundations of Islam and will harm Afghan society as a whole. The recent edict to ban women from higher education in Afghanistan is not only a blow to those directly affected but to all of Afghan society because it further

 The Taliban strikes another blow to Afghanistan’s women

By Shabana Basij-Rasikh Global Opinions contributing columnist The Washington Post December 22, 2022  In the autumn of 2020, during the pandemic’s bleakest days, one of my students at the School of Leadership, Afghanistan drew a picture. It depicts a tent in a field ringed by mountains. The tent is blue fabric, staked to the ground at its

The Taliban are taking away women’s right to learn. The world can’t afford to stay silent

Gordon Brown The Guardian 22 Dec 2022 In Afghanistan, girls may be banned from primary school. Other Muslim nations hold the key to upholding their rights Afghan girls at a private institute in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 9 November 2022. Photograph: EPA This week, the Taliban made a bombshell announcement that they will ban women from attending university

Conflict Management or Retribution? How the Taleban deal with land disputes between Kuchis and local communities

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 22 Dec 2022 A series of clashes between local villagers and incoming Pashtun groups in the northern province of Takhar brought the issue of conflict over land back into the spotlight. This is an age-long problem, but the collapse of the Republic shifted local power balances and brought different communities

Will Congress really send 80,000 Afghans back to the Taliban?

by Trudy Rubin | Columnist The Philadelphia Inquirer Dec 14, 2022 Failure by Republicans and Democrats to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act this year means that Afghans admitted here after Kabul fell will lose their temporary U.S. parole status next year. Before the United States made its chaotic exit from Afghanistan in August 2021, Congress

Do Right by Our Afghan Allies. Pass the Afghan Adjustment Act.

FARAH STOCKMAN The New York Times 17 December 2022 Ms. Stockman is a member of the editorial board who reported from Afghanistan in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2011. The fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August of 2021 left a consolation prize for the Afghans who stood by the United States for 20 years:

Pakistan confronts the collapse of its friendship with the Taliban

By Hamid Mir Global Opinions contributing columnist The Washington Post December 15, 2022 On Dec. 11, Taliban government forces in Afghanistan shelled a town just across the border in Pakistan, killing seven Pakistani civilians. Pakistan responded in kind, killing one Taliban fighter and injuring 10 Afghans. Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the “unprovoked shelling” by Afghan forces. On

What Went Wrong: The 2021 collapse of Afghan National Security Forces

Timor Sharan Afghanistan Analysts Network 15 Dec 2022 On 15 August 2021, the Afghan government and large parts of the state, primarily the army and police, came tumbling down like a house of cards, leaving serious questions about the sudden melting away of Afghanistan’s security forces. Many factors contributed to the collapse of the security

The Taliban Continue to Tighten Their Grip on Afghan Women and Girls

Belquis Ahmadi;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace Thursday, December 8, 2022 Since the Taliban’s August 2021 takeover of Afghanistan, they have ratcheted up restrictions on women and girls as the group consolidates power. These restrictions include limitations on employment, education, public interactions and other fundamental rights such as access to justice. These restrictions

Francesc Vendrell obituary

Francesc Vendrell, then UN special envoy to Afghanistan Jonathan Steele The Guardian Mon 5 Dec 2022 Effective United Nations peace negotiator who brought about dialogue between warring parties in many international crises Francesc Vendrell, who has died aged 82, was one of the longest serving and most successful United Nations peace negotiators of modern times.

Afghanistan’s Hunger Crisis Is a Human-Made Catastrophe

Charli Carpenter World Politics Review Dec 6, 2022 A Taliban fighter stands guard as people receive food rations distributed by a Chinese humanitarian aid group, in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 30, 2022 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi). Just as Americans began to gather for Thanksgiving dinner two weeks ago, the BBC reported that families in Afghanistan are selling

The Daily Hustle: Going to the bank

Roxanna Shapour • Rama Mirzada  Afghanistan Analysts Network 2 Dec 2022 In the wake of the Taleban takeover in August 2021, the Afghan banking system, which up to then had been linked to the global banking network, collapsed. Reportedly very little money had been left in the treasury, and then overnight, the United States stopped flying in

The Next Afghan-Refugee Crisis Is Right Here in the U.S.

By Elliot Ackerman The Atantic NOVEMBER 28, 2022 Without congressional action, the tens of thousands of Afghans we evacuated to the United States may be deported in the coming year. The night before the midterm elections, Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, addressed a packed room in the basement of the Council on Foreign Relations

Is Peacebuilding Possible in Afghanistan?

by An Afghan peacebuilder Peace Policy Universirty of Notre Dame, Kroc Intitute Nov 17, 2022 Photo: TEU/ECHO Pierre Prakash (Flickr) When the Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban asserted that the war was over and that they now had control of the entire country. But just a year into Taliban control, an armed

Human Rights Defenders and the Future of Multi-ethnic Democracy in Afghanistan

by A Senior Human Rights Defender from the Shia Community Peace Policy University of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute Nov 17, 2022 Photo: iStock (used with permission) Minority ethnic and religious groups and women in Afghanistan have led the movement for democracy and human rights. Discrimination and violence against these groups in Afghanistan are not new. But

Afghanistan needs a new political process to prevent a renewed phase of armed conflict

Aref Dostyar Peace Process University of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute Nov 17, 2022 Several armed opposition groups launched attacks against the Taliban in multiple provinces over the last year. While these groups may be in their initial stages of formation, the number of casualties they have inflicted on the Taliban is enough to meet the definition of an active conflict according to Uppsala

Afghanistan Requires a National and Regional Dialogue Based on the Principle of Inclusivity

Nilofar Sakhi Peace Policy University of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute Nov 17, 2022 Photo: iStock (used with permission) The withdrawal of US troops and immediate takeover by the Taliban in August 2021 marked a radical transition from Afghanistan’s status as a republic to an Islamic Emirate system. With this transition, the Taliban maintains the perception

Afghans Adapting to Economic Decline, Social Restrictions

BY: William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, November 30, 2022 Newly released household data paint a bleak picture of the ongoing human tragedy in Afghanistan and how the Afghan people are adapting as best they can to economic decline and draconian social restrictions, while perhaps benefiting from better security. The second round of

Obituary for Francesc Vendrell (1940-2022)

Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Network  28 Nov 2022 An outspoken diplomat who cared about people, principles and peace. The Afghanistan Analysts Network mourns for the chair of our Advisory Board, Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, who died on the morning of 27 November 2022 in London of severe illness, aged 82. Francesc was a passionate diplomat, a

How Can a Bird Fly On Only One Wing? Afghan women speak about life under the Islamic Emirate

Roxanna Shapour • Rama Mirzada Afghanistan Analysts Network 22 Nov 2022  Fifteen months after the Taleban returned to power, Afghan women have seen their country and their lives dramatically alter, as jobs evaporated, restrictions were announced and families sank into poverty. To better understand how these changes affect the day-to-day lives of women and which changes are

‘I had tears streaming’: a sobering film about the last months of the Afghan war

David Smith in Washington The Guardian Thu 17 Nov 2022 Acclaimed documentarian Matthew Heineman talks about his often devastating account of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan ‘They didn’t leave winning. They left losing. No matter what your belief sets are, we lost the war’ … a still from Retrograde. Photograph: Film PR handout Wearing a dark

Afghan needs, global priorities, and the treasures of Mes Aynak

Nadia Ahmad Law professor based in Orlando, Florida Luke Danielson President and co-founder of Sustainable Development Strategies Group Al Jazeera OPINION Published On 17 Nov 2022 Afghanistan’s copper deposits can alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people and help the world’s green transition. Since it assumed power in Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban has

US Needs Afghanistan Watchdog, Experts Say, After Biden Admin Obstructs Accountability Efforts

MICAELA BURROW REPORTER Daily Caller News Foundation Quincy Institute November 12, 20223:23 PM ET The Biden administration is stonewalling the independent Afghanistan watchdog organization authorized by Congress in 2008, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Executive agencies argued that their efforts fall outside of SIGAR’s mandate, but experts disagreed, saying the organization is vital

‘In Her Hands’ Review: A Young Woman’s Resolve as Life Unravels

By Devika Girish The New York Times Nov. 16, 2022 In Her Hands Directed by Tamana Ayazi, Marcel Mettelsiefen Hillary and Chelsea Clinton executive produced this documentary, which follows a young Afghan mayor as she navigates upheavals wrought by the Taliban’s return to power. Zarifa Ghafari as seen in the documentary “In Her Hands.”Credit…Netflix Tamana Ayazi and

Despite ‘Ban’ on Opium, Afghanistan’s Poppy Crop Is Growing

By Lynne O’DonnelForeign Policy November 2, 2022 More drugs and higher prices a year after the Taliban takeover. The Taliban that took over Afghanistan after a 20-year war largely funded by heroin trafficking have, after pretending to ban drugs, instead turbocharged the cultivation and sale of narcotics a year after their takeover. While the United

The Unwinnable War

By Laurel Miller Foreign Affairs November/December 2022 Issue Book Review The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan By Elliot Ackerman Penguin Press, 2022, 288 pp. America’s Blind Spots in Afghanistan In August 2021, Afghanistan was thrust back into the headlines. Taliban forces rapidly closed in on Kabul, and the United States began making its final military

ICC Afghanistan Investigation Re-Authorised: But, will it cover the CIA, ISKP and the forces of the Islamic Republic, as well as the Taleban?

Ehsan Qaane  Afghanistan Analysts Network  11 Nov 2022   The judges of the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II have ruled that the investigation into war crimes related to the conflict in Afghanistan – which was stalled for two and a half years – can be resumed. However, the authorisation relates to “all alleged crimes and

When I set foot inside the MCG, I felt a joy myself and other Afghan refugees won’t forget

Shadi Khan Saif The Guardian 10 Nov 2022 I will never forget seeing our world-class players on the international stage after all Afghanistan has been through Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan takes photos with fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Photograph: James Ross Sitting inside the magnificent arena, I felt every moment of the experience. The joy

Stability in Afghanistan: Prioritize human rights and women’s rights

Opinion by Fawzia Koofi Opinion contributor  The Hill 9 Nov 2022 I was recently jolted awake at 3 a.m. by a call. As I answered the phone, at first all I could hear was girls screaming in terror and sharp banging on a metal door. Seconds that felt like hours passed before I heard the

In Afghanistan, Was a Loss Better than Peace?

BY: Kate Bateman United States Institute of Peace Thursday, November 3, 2022 By the time the United States started pushing for a political settlement, it was too late. Washington can draw lessons from that experience. The American war in Afghanistan incurred staggering costs — for the United States, Afghans and others — over two decades. The

Biden, Democrats’ downward spiral began with Afghanistan

OPINION  By Arthur Herman | Fox News Published November 8, 2022  Historians will pinpoint Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan as the moment when Americans began to lose trust in their president When historians look back at the pivot point for the Biden presidency—and what originally set up the coming expected Democrat meltdown in Tuesday’s midterms—they will point to Afghanistan,

No Justice in Afghanistan for Slain Journalist 2 Years On

Patricia Gossman Associate Asia Director Human Rights Watch November 7, 2022 Yama Siawash, Other Attack Victims, Their Families Deserve Answers, Accountability Two years ago today, former Tolo News TV presenter Yama Siawash was killed in a car bombing on November 7, 2020, moments after he climbed into a government-owned vehicle in Kabul. Despite the high-profile

Is There a Way Out of Afghanistan’s Economic Nightmare?

by Masom Jan Masomy National Interest November 6, 2022 Despite the supply and delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, the people continue to experience acute food insecurity and economic tensions. In its recent report, the World Bank has estimated that Afghanistan’s economy ‘faces critical challenges’ in which the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to contract

If the U.S. supports the idea of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, then it needs to have an inclusive engagement with all Afghan factions

Afghanistan: The Next Chapter Cornerstone Forum Series RFI/Religious Freedom Institute November, 2022 More than one year after the Taliban’s nearly unimpeded takeover of Afghanistan, religious freedom and associated rights in the country are spiraling towards an all-time low. The modest gains in these freedoms made over the past two decades risk complete erasure. The withdrawal

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress October 30, 2022

Let’s Not Kid Ourselves: Afghanistan’s Taliban Regime Will Not Become More Inclusive

By William Byrd Lawfare Blog Monday, October 24, 2022, 8:31 AM Ever since the August 2021 Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, there has been widespread, almost universal, rhetoric in international diplomatic circles—ranging from the United Nations to the European Union and the United States to Russia—that the Taliban need to form a more inclusive government, with varying definitions and views on what

Missteps and Missed Opportunities for Peace in Afghanistan

Ashish Kumar Sen United States Institute of Peace Thursday, October 27, 2022 A failure by the United States, successive Afghan governments and the Taliban to seize opportunities has put Afghanistan back at ‘square one.’ The United States, successive Afghan governments and the Taliban missed several opportunities to achieve peace over the past couple of decades.

Taliban Escalate New Abuses Against Afghan Women, Girls

 Belquis Ahmadi United States Institute of Peace Thursday, October 27, 2022 Officials, armed fighters widen ‘enforcement,’ beatings, puberty exams for schoolgirls. Afghanistan’s Taliban are escalating restrictions against women, sending armed men into girls’ classrooms and forcing staff to inspect girls’ bodies for signs of puberty to disqualify them from further schooling. Afghan women report Taliban

The Kabul Bank Crash

From: Al Jazeera World 26 October 2022 The Kabul Bank Crash The inside story of Kabul Bank and the nearly $1bn of money laundering and corruption that devastated Afghanistan. From its foundation in 2004 to its collapse six years later and subsequent attempts to recover its vast losses, this is the inside story of the rise

Living in a Collapsed Economy (4): The desperation and guilt of giving a young daughter in marriage 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Afghanistan Analysts Network 20 Oct 2022 The collapse of the economy has led families across Afghanistan to make desperate decisions, including, for some, giving young daughters in marriage in exchange for a bride price. To gain more insight into this, AAN’s Ali Mohammad Sabawoon sought to interview fathers of young brides. He


By Ed Corcoran Foreign Policy in Focus October 18, 2022 Here’s how to promote projects inside Afghanistan that benefit and empower the people. The Taliban waged an impressive military campaign and removed the prior government in August 2021. They know how to fight, but they clearly do not know how to run a government. The new

The Daily Hustle: One young woman’s journey to an English course in Kabul

Rama Mirzada AQfghanistan Analysts Network 15 Oct 2022   For many Afghans the first year of Taleban rule was marked by uncertainty and anxiety over the country’s sudden change in fortunes. Virtually every area of daily life, from banking and shopping to travelling around the country to marriage celebrations has been affected. We wanted to

Barnett Rubin: Counter-Terrorism ‘High Priority’ for US

Banafsha Binesh Tolo News 17 Oct 2022 According to Rubin, the Doha agreement does not specify that the US will recognize the Islamic Emirate. Barnett Rubin, an Afghanistan expert with the Center on International Cooperation, said the US’s sending the deputy head of the CIA for talks with the Islamic Emirate indicates terrorism is a


By Bushra Seddique The Atlantic OCTOBER 9, 2022 The country is, once again, the worst place in the world to be a woman. Hajera gave birth to her daughter, Sarah, in Kabul two weeks after the Taliban took over Afghanistan last summer. Hajera is 35 and worked as a government economist. She and her husband already

Iran’s Protests … and the Afghan Sisters Next Door

Belquis Ahmadi;  Palwasha L. Kakar United States Institute of Peace Thursday, October 13, 2022 Afghan and Iranian women’s movements share a struggle, a language—and an opportunity. Iran’s women are seizing worldwide admiration with 26 days of courageous defiance against their authoritarian government’s violent confinement of females as second-class citizens who may not freely work, marry,

How Western Errors Let the Taliban Win in Afghanistan

Stefano Pontecorvo Foreign Policy OCTOBER 2, 2022 NATO’s last man in Kabul helped facilitate the airlift and had a front-row seat to the Taliban takeover of the capital. At 6:21 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, NATO’s Afghan adventure formally ended. At that moment, the Italian C-130 on which I was flying as the last

Afghan Resistance Leaders See ‘No Option’ but War

By Lynne O’Donnell Foreign Policy SEPTEMBER 29, 2022, 2:44 PM But first they must present a united front to win the support they need to dislodge the Taliban. Afghanistan is now perhaps the most dangerous country in the world, controlled by Taliban terrorists who are sheltering dozens of anti-Western jihadi groups while torturing, raping, starving,

Biden to Drip-Feed Afghanistan Its $3.5 Billion in Frozen Reserves

By Lynne O’Donnell Foreign Policy SEPTEMBER 20, 2022 The decision by the United States to release $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s central bank reserves has sparked fears that the money will hand a jackpot to the Taliban, which have presided over the country’s slide into dire economic crisis since they took over more than a year

Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state

Kate Clark  Afghanistan Analysts Network 28 Sep 2022 On 15 August 2021, much in Afghanistan was overturned or radically altered. The insurgents became the rulers and the old elites fled. Afghanistan’s relationship with the rest of the world ruptured and the country became poorer overnight. It also went from being a state where the administration

Want more accountability for the Taliban? Give more money for human rights monitoring.

Belquis Ahmadi;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace 29 September 2022 Protecting human rights in Afghanistan should be both a policy priority and a national security priority for the United States. Ahead of the U.N. General Assembly last week, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett released his first report grading the Taliban’s

U.S. to Move Afghanistan’s Frozen Central Bank Reserves to New Swiss Fund

William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace 28 September 2022 Money deployed by the Geneva-based foundation may help the country’s lagging economy but won’t reverse its earlier collapse. For almost seven months, Afghan central bank reserves frozen by the United States and set aside to somehow help the Afghan people, have sat, immobilized. Now

My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan review – desperately sad study of a boy’s life

Cath Clarke The Guardian Mon 19 Sep 2022 This documentary following one boy’s life in Afghanistan feels like a brutal, desperately sad companion piece to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Its co-directors, the British documentary-maker Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharifi, first started filming Mir Hussein aged seven in 2002, and they haven’t stopped. They have already made

Some Hope for Afghans in Need

By Steve Coll The New Yorker September 14, 2022 The Biden Administration has agreed to release $3.5 billion in frozen funds, but will they reach a desperate population? Embargoes imposed to coerce dictators also punish suffering populations. For years, lawyers, economists, and policy wonks have searched for technocratic solutions to this dilemma—for example, by designing

Is Afghanistan’s Long Civil War Really Over?

By Carter Malkasian Foreign Affairs September 13, 2022 The Forces That Could Threaten the Taliban’s Control One year ago, the democratic government of Afghanistan collapsed. The humiliating evacuation of U.S. military forces and civilians as well as roughly 100,000 Afghans remains a sore spot for Washington and its allies. The Taliban regime has ruled the

UN Human Rights warns of Afghanistan’s descent into authoritarianism

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  10 Sep 2022 The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan has released his first report to the UN’s Human Rights Council. The situation in the country has deteriorated, Richard Bennett said, “to the point where the human rights crisis matches Afghanistan’s humanitarian and financial

Afghanistan withdrawal remains the correct choice one year later

By Adam Smith Fox News August 26, 2022 President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both reached the same conclusion about U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan — it no longer made sense. Twenty years into our effort, it had become clear that no amount of money or U.S. and coalition troops could get the Afghan

Afghanistan’s Women Are on Their Own

By Shaharzad Akbar Foreign Affairs August 30, 2022 How the International Community Turned Its Back Life under the Taliban is the worst women’s rights crisis on the planet. When the Taliban returned to power last August, they imposed immediate and brutal restrictions, the harshest of which were reserved for women. They quickly imposed a ban on girls’ secondary education, which remains in

How America Sealed Afghanistan’s Fate—Again

Lynne O’DonnellForeign Policy August 28, 2022 Two recent books chronicle how the United States turned its back on Afghanistan and pitched the country into chaos. The betrayal of Afghanistan by the United States was inked on Feb. 29, 2020, when an emissary of then-U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bilateral deal with the unreconstructed terrorist-led

Americans Must Face the Hard Truth on Afghanistan

Daniel L. Davis The National Interest August 18, 2022 We must resist the temptation to believe that if only the United States had done this or that differently, the war would have been won. Editor’s note: In August, The National Interest organized a symposium on Afghanistan one year after the U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

The Evacuation of Afghanistan Never Ended

By Eliza Griswold The New Yorker August 30, 2022 A year after the last U.S. military flights left, some Afghans who are vulnerable to retribution from the Taliban are being resettled in the U.S. But others are stuck in third-party countries, and many remain trapped in Afghanistan, at great risk. Last month, Metra Mehran, an

You Can’t Choose Your Neighbors: The Taliban’s Testy Regional Relationships

BY: Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace 1 September 2022 A year after the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan’s neighbors are engaging pragmatically with the Taliban, but still wary of what’s next. One year after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, its relations with its neighbors remain tepid as the region comes to grips with the

I have spent a year helping people flee the Taliban: failure is traumatic, success bittersweet

Ruchi Kumar The Guardian 31 August 2022 We are still trying to find ways to get visas – writing letters, appealing to governments – but the options are running out It was past midnight on 9 August 2021, and I was immersed in writing when my phone pinged: a message from a contact at the

Why Was a Negotiated Peace Always Out of Reach in Afghanistan?: Opportunities and Obstacles, 2001–21

BY: Steve Brooking United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, August 30, 2022 August 30, 2022, marks the one-year anniversary of the last US troops leaving Afghanistan. During America’s 20-year military intervention, there were several opportunities to negotiate peace among the Taliban, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the United States—but these opportunities were

After a Year of Taliban Rule, Advances for Afghan Women and Youth Have All but Evaporated

BY: Belquis Ahmadi;  Matthew Parkes United States Institute of Peace Thursday, August 25, 2022 The Taliban’s disturbing rollback of economic and educational opportunities show they haven’t changed since the 1990’s. Despite prior assurances that they had moderated their positions, the past year of Taliban rule has been marred by a disturbing rollback of women’s and girl’s

Belquis Ahmadi on Afghanistan a Year After the Taliban Takeover

BY: Belquis Ahmadi United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, August 30, 2022 Podcast A year on, the situation in Afghanistan is “looking really grim” as women and girls have lost the gains made over the past two decades and the country’s humanitarian crisis continues to spiral, says USIP’s Belquis Ahmadi.  “The Taliban are trying to erase women

The Real Problem With Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal: It Came 10 Years Too Late

Daniel Davis 19fortyfive Published 29 August 2022 Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of America’s messy and chaotic withdrawal from the 20-year war in Afghanistan. Many observers are evaluating today whether President Joe Biden’s decision to end the war was the right one. While there is no question that America’s exit could have been handled better,

The Afghan Women Left Behind

By Rozina Ali The New Yorker August 24, 2022 After the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, a U.S. organization shut down the country’s largest network of women’s shelters. Its founders think that it made a huge mistake.  On the morning of August 15, 2021, Samira was lying in bed, drifting in and out of sleep,

Why the Afghan peace process failed, and what could come next?

August 18, 2022 Aref Dostyar, Zmarai Farahi Middle East Institute After nearly two decades of U.S. presence, the Afghan conflict between the central government and the Taliban reached a deadly stalemate, taking a hundred lives a day from each side between 2018 and 2021. However sad, the international community viewed this impasse as a sign of

A Year After the Fall of Kabul

By Steve Coll The New Yorker August 27, 2022 For the Biden Administration, supporting the Afghan people without empowering the Taliban is the foreign-policy case study from hell. Public anniversaries mark the meaning of the past in the political present. In Washington, one year after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the failure of

Strategic Patience: Sustainable Engagement with a Changed Afghanistan

Adam Weinstein QUINCY BRIEF NO. 29 Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft AUGUST 15, 2022 Executive Summary One year after the United States withdrew its military from Afghanistan, relations between the two countries are stuck in a holding pattern. The United States remains the single largest humanitarian donor to the people of Afghanistan, with over $774

A Year into Taliban Rule, Afghans Face Spiraling Economic, Humanitarian Crises

Dhabie Brown;  Yasmin Faruki;  Ashley Igwe;  Allyson Neville;  Becky Roby United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, August 17, 2022 The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last year — followed by economic sanctions and other restrictions from the international community — precipitated a dire humanitarian crisis. Afghan women and children, particularly girls, have been hit the hardest.

Transition to a New Political Order: AAN dossier takes stock of Afghanistan’s momentous year

Afghanistan Analysts Network AAN Team  12 Aug 2022  It is almost a year since the departure of the last foreign forces from Afghanistan, the collapse of the Republic and its armed forces and the Taleban’s capture of power. It is almost a year, as well, that the Taleban have been ruling Afghanistan. AAN has reported

The Cost of Victory: How the Taleban used IEDS to win the war, despite the misgivings of some

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network 21 Aug 2022 During their long and ultimately successful insurgency, the Taleban, like their foreign enemies, were faced with choices over battlefield tactics, between military effectiveness and trying to win over, or at least not alienate, local people. As insurgents, the Taleban were up against well-drilled foreign forces with advanced weaponry

Zeal, Dogma, and Folly: How the Taliban Bungled Afghanistan

by Vanda Felbab-Brown The National Interest August 15, 2022 Editor’s note: In August, The National Interest organized a symposium on Afghanistan one year after the U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban takeover of Kabul. We asked a variety of experts the following question: How should the Biden administration approach Afghanistan and the Taliban government? The following article is one of

Afghanistan’s crisis started well before August 2021

Samira Sayed-Rahman Al Jazeera Published On 17 Aug 2022 I worked for Afghanistan’s government. Now I recognise we, too, bear responsibility for the country’s struggles. On the morning of August 15, 2021, I boarded a 9am flight from Kabul to Istanbul, thinking I would be back at work in a few days’ time at the

In Afghanistan, a legacy of U.S. failure endures

By Ishaan Tharoor with Sammy Westfall The Washington Post August 16, 2022 A year ago, the Taliban captured Kabul, capping the dramatic fall of Afghanistan’s fragile U.S.-backed government. America’s longest war ended in ignominy and tragedy. The Islamist militants that had been chased from power in 2001 were back in command and the legacy of two decades of U.S.-led state-building

The Taliban’s year-one report card

Sultan Barakat Professor in Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at Qatar Foundation’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University and an Honorary Professor of the University of York Al Jazeera Published On 15 Aug 2022 The Taliban’s first year back in power was one of crisis, but they also scored victories that deserve to be acknowledged. When asked in

The Afghanistan Deal that Never Happened

By LARA SELIGMAN Politico 08/11/2022 04:30 AM EDT A Q&A with General Frank McKenzie, one year after his negotiations with the Taliban and the chaotic American withdrawal. General Frank McKenzie was on his way to negotiate with the Taliban when he got the call that Kabul had already fallen. It was Aug. 15, 2021, and

The Taliban’s Dangerous Collision Course With the West

By Matthieu Aikins New York Times Magazine Aug. 14, 2022 After barring girls from high school — and harboring an Al-Qaeda leader — the regime now risks jeopardizing the billions of dollars of global aid that still keeps Afghans alive. Afghanistan’s ministry of education sits on a chaotic thoroughfare in downtown Kabul, not far from

If the Taliban take power again, will Afghans have died in vain?

Pamela Constable The Washington Post April 18, 2021 The flawed U.S. presence lifted expectations about what kind of society they could have. When I first heard this past week that President Biden had decided to send home the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan by Sept. 11, I felt the same chill of dread that many Afghans did.

Biden, Trump, and the missing big picture in Afghanistan coverage

Jon Allsop Columbia Journalism Review AUGUST 23, 2021 LAST SUNDAY, in the hours after Kabul fell to the Taliban, swathes of the mainstream US news media instantly savaged President Biden for losing Afghanistan. In the week since then, he has stayed under an intense spotlight. News organizations have disputed the accuracy of many of his claims about the situation on

Petraeus: Doha Deal ‘Among the Worst Diplomatic Agreements’

TOLOnews TV Network 10 Aug 2022 Deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi, rejected Petraeus’s remarks and called the Doha agreement effective. The former head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), David Petraeus, said the deal signed between the Islamic Emirate and US “has

Ayman al-Zawahiri assassination: The Taliban’s biggest crisis

Michael Kugelman Al Jazeera Published On 5 Aug 2022 The drone attack that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has plunged the Taliban into an internal crisis. The group has been humiliated by a unilateral US military action and its relentless claims that it has denied space to “terrorists” have been exposed as lies. This imperils

One Year Later, Taliban Unable to Reverse Afghanistan’s Economic Decline

 William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace Monday, August 8, 2022 Afghanistan’s economy was already deteriorating before the Taliban takeover of the country on August 15, 2021, suffering from severe drought, the COVID-19 pandemic, declining confidence in the previous government, falling international military spending as U.S. and other foreign troops left, human and capital

After al-Zawahiri’s Killing, What’s Next for the U.S. in Afghanistan?

Kate Bateman;  Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.;  Andrew Watkins United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, August 2, 2022 On Monday, President Biden revealed that a U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaida leader, and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Ayman al-Zawahiri over the weekend. Al-Zawahiri was reportedly on the balcony of a safe house in Kabul, Afghanistan. Last week,

What Zawahri’s Death Tells Us About Afghanistan’s Future

By JONATHAN SCHRODEN Politico 08/02/2022 12:20 PM EDT The killing is a valuable, if troubling, datapoint about a volatile nation. The successful strike on Sunday against Ayman al-Zawahri —a man with no shortage of American blood on his hands — is a celebratory moment for President Joe Biden’s administration. For watchers of Afghanistan, it is

For the Taliban, a New Era of Isolation Has Arrived

By Christina Goldbaum and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Aug. 2, 2022 The group has promised moderation even while reinstituting its harsh rule of Afghanistan. Now, the revelation that the Taliban were sheltering Al Qaeda’s leader is likely to harden support for sanctions. Hours after an American drone strike killed the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman

Killing of Qaeda Leader Crystallizes Debate Over Biden’s Afghanistan Strategy

By Peter Baker The New York Times Aug. 2, 2022 President Biden now confronts the question of what, if anything, he will do in response to the revelation that the Taliban were again sheltering a leader of Al Qaeda. WASHINGTON — The sunrise missile strike that shredded the leader of Al Qaeda on the balcony of a

Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Kabul: What might be the repercussions for the Taleban and Afghanistan?

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 2 Aug 2022   President Joe Biden has announced the killing of the leader of al-Qaeda, Aiman al-Zawahri, in a drone strike. Zawahri was central to the founding of al-Qaeda, the intellectual and organisational force behind the group, key to the decision to attack US targets in east Africa, the

 Ignoring Afghan women and girls is to do the Taliban’s work for them

By Shabana Basij-Rasikh The Washington Post August 1, 2022 In Afghanistan, women now talk about their futures in the past tense. I was on a Zoom call recently with two young university graduates in Kabul when I asked them about their plans. “I hoped to go …,” they answered. “I planned to do …” Sign

What Zawahri’s Death Tells Us About Afghanistan’s Future

By JONATHAN SCHRODEN Politico          08/02/2022 12:20 PM EDT Dr. Jonathan Schroden directs the Countering Threats and Challenges Program at the CNA Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and analysis organization based in Arlington, Virginia. The views expressed here are his and do not necessarily represent those of CNA, the Department of the

A New Platform for Afghan Women and Civil Society

Anthony Navone United States Institute of Peace Monday, August 1, 2022 As Taliban reinstates repressive policies, a new initiative directly connects Afghan women and civil society to U.S. policymakers. When the Taliban returned to power last August, many wondered if the previous two decades of progress and change in Afghanistan would temper the group’s previously

Zawahiri’s killing was a Biden play for popularity – but it may have unintended consequences

Hameed Hakimi The Guardian 2 August 2022 The death of the al-Qaida leader points to a potential shift in the complex dynamic between the US, Pakistan and the Taliban A decade after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in a special operation in Pakistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike in Kabul. Both

Delaying Justice? The ICC’s war crimes investigation in limbo over who represents Afghanistan

Ehsan Qaane Afghanistan Analysts Network 28 Jul 2022 Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have still not made a decision to authorise, or not, the resumption of the court’s war crimes investigation in Afghanistan, ten months after the ICC Prosecutor urged them to expedite their approval. It means that, 16 years after the ICC began to

Arbitrary Power and a Loss of Fundamental Freedoms

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 20 Jul 2022   A look at UNAMA’s first major human rights report since the Taleban takeover UNAMA has published its first major report on human rights in Afghanistan since the Taleban came to power on 15 August 2021. It covers a multitude of issues, including detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings,

Afghanistan: Taliban Execute, ‘Disappear’ Alleged Militants

Human Rights Watch July 7, 2022 8:30AM EDT Over 100 Bodies Found Dumped in Canal in East (New York) – Taliban security forces have summarily executed and forcibly disappeared alleged members and supporters of an Islamic State offshoot in eastern Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the Taliban took power in August 2021, residents of Nangahar and

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan By KATHY GANNON Associated Press July 3, 2022 FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 file photo, Associated Press Special Regional Correspondent for Afghanistan and Pakistan Kathy Gannon sits with girls at a school in Kandahar, Afghanistan. A Kabul court announced Wednesday, July 23,

Donors’ dilemma: How to provide aid to a country whose government you do not recognise

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 5 Jul 2022 It has been ten months since the Taleban took control of Afghanistan, setting off economic collapse on an unprecedented scale that has seen millions of Afghans fall into extreme poverty. While the Taleban continue to snub calls from Western capitals to respect human rights, including the rights

The Climate Change Crisis in Afghanistan: The catastrophe worsens – what hope for action?

Mhd Assem Mayar Afghanistan Analysts Network 6 Jun 2022 The earth has only one atmosphere, and the effects of climate change transcend political boundaries. Afghanistan is one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases, but among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. The harm is already evident in the increased frequency of

Why Have the Wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine Played Out So Differently?

BY: William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace June 23, 2022 The United States, NATO, national leaders and security forces failed in Afghanistan but not in Ukraine. The Taliban insurgency and U.S. troop withdrawal, and Russian incursions culminating in the February 24 invasion, constituted existential “stress tests” for Afghanistan and Ukraine, respectively. Ukraine and

Isolated Afghanistan may face struggle for aid after earthquake

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor The Guardian Wed 22 Jun 2022 12.45 EDT Analysis: humanitarian appeals for Taliban-ruled country have had poor responses and there are sanctions complications   As Afghanistan reels from a powerful earthquake and starts to bury its more than 1,000 dead, the Taliban leadership in Kabul have appealed to the international community to clear


BY ADNAN NASSER  Diplomatic Courier 17 June 2022. Despite the rapid fall of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan, resistance to Taliban rule has continued. This has come from both armed and unarmed actors in the country writes Adnan Nasser. The Taliban have returned to power in Kabul. Following U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to end

Policing Public Morality: Debates on promoting virtue and preventing vice in the Taleban’s second Emirate

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network 15 Jun 2022 The Taleban’s ‘religious police’ are back in force, leaving many Afghans fearing a return to the notorious brutalities of the Taleban’s 1990s Amr bil-Maruf ministry. Yet, two decades on, argues guest author Sabawoon Samim* (with input from Roxanna Shapour), Taleban views on the promotion of virtue and

Four Ways the U.S. Can Help Prevent Mass Atrocities in Afghanistan

Belquis Ahmadi;  Lauren Baillie;  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace 14 June 2022 The Taliban’s takeover has increased the risk of mass atrocities. Here’s how the United States can help prevent them. Following the Taliban’s August 2021 takeover, the risk of mass atrocities in Afghanistan has risen considerably, with multiple groups facing imminent threats

Afghanistan is not ours to fix

BY FORMER AMBASSADOR DAVID ROBINSON OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 06/17/22 The United States Air Force announced on Monday exonerated and returned to flight status the crew of a C-17 military plane after body parts had been found in its wheel well. The remains were likely Afghani, the awful result of the plane’s emergency departure from Kabul

What are the prospects for Afghan-US relations?

From: The Bottom Line What are the prospects for Afghan-US relations? Former US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad has had a front-row seat to relations between Washington and Kabul for decades. Normal relations between Afghanistan and the United States are not on the horizon after 20 years of war. Host Steve Clemons speaks with Zalmay Khalilzad, who was

The Climate Change Crisis in Afghanistan: The catastrophe worsens – what hope for action?

Mhd Assem Mayar Afghanistan Analysts Network 6 Jun 2022   The earth has only one atmosphere, and the effects of climate change transcend political boundaries. Afghanistan is one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases, but among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. The harm is already evident in the increased frequency

Women across Afghanistan navigate the Taleban’s hijab ruling

“We need to breathe too” Kate Clark • Sayeda Rahimi Afghanistan Analysts Network 1 Jun 2022   It has been three weeks since the Taleban announced a new order, prescribing a strict dress code for women, that they should not leave the house without real need and if they do, should wear what is termed ‘sharia hijab’,

RAND Offers Three Options for US Policy on Afghanistan

Farshad Daryosh  Tolo News 2 June 2022 Afghan analysts suggest that commitments made by the Islamic Emirate in Doha during their talks with the United States need to be fulfilled. US-based research organization, RAND Corporation, has offered three options for Washington’s policy on Afghanistan, suggesting the United States should either come up with engagement, isolation,

Opinion: Trump and Biden were both foolish about Afghanistan. Now we’re all paying the price

By Peter Bergen CNN National Security Analyst May 27, 2022 (CNN) Whether it’s providing a safe haven for terrorist groups like al Qaeda or installing officials who face United Nations sanctions in cabinet positions, the Taliban is up to its old ways, according to a new report issued by the UN on Friday. While the report

Food Aid in a Collapsed Economy: Relief, tensions and allegations

Martine van Bijlert • AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network 23 May 2022 A major focus of the international humanitarian response to Afghanistan’s economic collapse has been a ramped-up distribution of food aid, as large parts of the population no longer have the income to buy enough food for their families. In this fourth instalment of our economic

How the Taliban’s Hijab Decree Defies Islam

Belquis Ahmadi;  Mohammad Osman Tariq United States Institute of Peace Thursday, May 12, 2022 The worst-case scenario for Afghan women is playing out before our eyes. The international community cannot sit by idly. The Taliban continued this week to roll back Afghan women’s rights by decreeing women must be fully covered from head to toe

As the World Looks Away, Violence Is on the Rise Again in Afghanistan

By Habib Khan Totakhil and Justine Fleischner The Diplomat May 11, 2022 New data on violent trends in Afghanistan shows a marked shift in terrorism and violence toward women, journalists, and educators under Taliban rule. Afghanistan may have fallen out of international headlines, but violent trends are once again on the rise. Our team at Afghan Peace Watch

New IRC report calls for specific actions to avert growing needs in Afghanistan, as almost half the population lives on less than one meal a day

International Rescue Committee Press Release Kabul, Afghanistan, May 12, 2022 — A new IRC report confirms that the economic crisis that has engulfed Afghanistan since August 2021 is now the primary driver of persistent food insecurity threatening the survival of nearly 20 million Afghans, who are experiencing extreme hunger in the face of continuing political uncertainty and economic calamity. Unemployment

The Taliban drapes Afghan women in repression

By the Editorial Board The Washington Post 12 May 2022 Panicked Afghans by the thousands tried to escape their country as the United States evacuated last year. They feared that a victorious Taliban would offer no more respect for basic rights, especially those of women, than the movement did when it ruled Afghanistan between 1996

Don’t forget the Afghan refugees who need America’s support

By the Editorial Board The Washington Post 29 April 2022 The Biden administration has established a sponsorship program to help admit and support tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, but too many Afghan evacuees, including some who helped U.S. troops and personnel, have been left without adequate support in this country or spurned altogether. For

The Fourth Wave of Covid-19 Hits Afghanistan: “According to Sharia keeping yourself healthy is a must”

Rohullah Sorush • Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Network 20 Apr 2022 Another wave of Covid-19 struck Afghanistan early in 2022 with doctors throughout the country reporting a rise in cases from January onwards. The devastation suffered by the Afghan health system since the suspension of most foreign aid following the Taleban takeover left it wholly unprepared to

China’s Embrace of the Taliban Complicates US Afghanistan Strategy

By Zane Zovak The Diplomat April 13, 2022 China’s willingness to partner with the Taliban undermines American efforts to influence the extremist group’s behavior through pressure campaigns and sanctions. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with the Taliban’s acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, in Kabul, Mar. 24, 2022. Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the

The New Taleban’s Opium Ban: The same political strategy 20 years on?

Jelena Bjelica • Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 14 Apr 2022 Seven and a half months after they took power in Afghanistan, the Taleban have officially banned opium. Observers had been waiting to see if they would implement their promise to ban narcotics made shortly after they captured Kabul. The ban has come at the beginning of

I am now one of millions of Afghan refugees

Hujjatullah Zia A Kabul-based journalist Al Jazeera Published On 16 Apr 2022 Do not forget us. When the Taliban took over Kabul in August, like millions of other Afghans, it came as a shock to me. Within the first days of their rule, the office of Daily Outlook Afghanistan newspaper, where I worked as a

The Taliban Promised Them Amnesty. Then They Executed Them.

An Opinion Video investigation reveals the Taliban have been on a campaign of revenge killings against former U.S. allies. By Barbara Marcolini, Sanjar Sohail and Alexander Stockton Ms. Marcolini is an investigative journalist. Mr. Sohail is the founder of the Afghan newspaper Hasht e Subh Daily. Mr. Stockton is a producer with Opinion Video. Link to

The girls I taught in Kabul were Afghanistan’s future. The Taliban has taken that away

Shikiba The Guardian 11 April 2022 The school I worked in has been forced to close. Our dreams are shattered and we urge you, people of the west, to help I am a woman living in Kabul and I am a teacher. Until eight months ago, I was one of the staff at The City

Crops not Watered, Fruit Rotting: Kandahar’s agriculture hit by war, drought and closed customs gates

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Afghanistan Analysts Network 7 Apr 2022   Farmers across Afghanistan have been hit hard by drought and fighting in recent years. In this report, we look at how this has affected agriculture in one province, Kandahar, famous for its fruit production. Much of the fruit crop is – or should be –

In Putin’s Ukraine quagmire, echoes of Soviet failure in Afghanistan

By Griff Witte Washington Post 2 April 2022 Moscow appears to have underestimated its adversary this time, just as it did then The Kremlin had banked on a quick, trouble-free decapitation to solve the problem of a neighbor appearing to stray too far from Moscow’s orbit. But after its vaunted army thundered across the border, very

A Pledging Conference for Afghanistan… But what about beyond the humanitarian?

Roxanna Shapour • Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  31 Mar 2022 The United Kingdom, Germany, Qatar and the United Nations are co-hosting a virtual, ministerial-level, international, pledging summit for Afghanistan, today. It aims to raise USD 4.4 billion for lifesaving humanitarian support to 22.1 million Afghans who are at “immediate and catastrophic levels of need.” Afghanistan’s Taleban

The Ban on Older Girls’ Education: Taleban conservatives ascendant and a leadership in disarray

Ashley Jackson Afghanistan Analysts Network 29 Mar 2022 The Taleban’s abrupt decision to keep girls’ secondary schools closed, despite promising for months that they would re-open, has caused distress to girls, parents and teachers alike. The Taleban’s justification was confused, with various officials giving different reasons for the closure, from lack of teachers to inappropriate school

Opinion: The world can’t allow Afghan girls to vanish from classrooms again

By Shabana Basij-Rasikh Global Opinions contributing columnist The Washington Post March 28, 2022 Sometimes 20 years can fall away like nothing. Sometimes time telescopes into a vivid memory of a flash of red above a sea of blue. On March 23, 2002, I was 12 years old, living in Kabul, walking into an all-girls public

Some lawmakers worry Afghan refugees will be forgotten

 Theodoric Meyer and Jacqueline Alemany   with research by Tobi Raji The Washington Post 28 March 2022 Some lawmakers worry Afghan refugees will be forgotten as focus turns to Ukrainians The other refugee crisis: As President Biden moves to admit up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to the United States, lawmakers and advocates are urging him not to forget

‘She Had Suffered Enough’ – I Feel for All the Afghan People, But Especially the Women

By Elaine Little War Horse The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of  24 March 2022 The women. We saw them but rarely engaged. With few exceptions, their burqas enveloped them from head to toe. I was familiar with middle eastern abayas. I knew some

The media spotlight on Afghanistan is fading fast – but the agony of its people is far from over

Ayesha Jehangir The Guardian 18 March 2022 Afghans have been fighting since the 70s for the same reason Ukrainians are fighting but they have been neglected and betrayed It took the international community two long decades of sacrifices with blood and fortune to establish some sort of representative governance in Afghanistan, which the Taliban overthrew in

Remember Afghanistan

By Kern Hendricks International Politics and Society March 14, 2022 Consortium News Many of the most severe restrictions that people expected the Taliban to impose have not yet materialized, writes Kern Hendricks. When U.S. President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union Speech on  March 2, the eyes of the world were understandably locked on

It is hardly surprising Empire stole Afghan money

Sahar Ghumkhor and Anila Daulatzai Al Jazeera Published On 14 Mar 202214 Mar 2022 Washington’s decision to give Afghan funds to 9/11 victims is a continuation of its colonial venture in Afghanistan. On February 11, US President Joe Biden announced the allocation of $3.5bn belonging to the Afghan people to cover lawsuits by 9/11 families.

Regime Change, Economic Decline and No Legal Protection: What has happened to the Afghan media?

Ehsan Qaane Afghanistan Analysts Network 7 Mar 2022  What has happened to the Afghan media? The Taleban takeover of Afghanistan delivered a devastating blow to one of the Republic’s few achievements – freedom of expression and a vibrant media sector. Since the fall of the Republic, nearly half of Afghanistan’s media outlets have closed and

Why cancellation of Fulbright Program in Afghanistan matters

Mohsin Amin Fulbright Scholar, Afghan Analyst and Researcher Al Jazeera Published On 4 Mar 2022 After the US’s catastrophic exit from Afghanistan, the programme should have been cherished, not abandoned. Many have been puzzled by the policy choices of the Biden administration vis-à-vis Afghanistan since the United States’ disastrous withdrawal from the country last August.

Living With Radical Uncertainty in Rural Afghanistan: The work of survival

Adam Pain Afghanistan Analysts Network 21 Feb 2022  Yet again, Afghanistan is experiencing a moment of rupture, the latest in a long series of upheavals that have marked the lives of most Afghans over the age of 55. For those living in rural areas, unpredictability is created not only by regime change or violent conflict,

The Taliban Confront the Realities of Power

By Jon Lee Anderson The New Yorker February 28, 2022 issue They fought for decades to retake Afghanistan, but promises of a new start are already colliding with internal divisions and external opposition. Without foreign support, the Afghan economy is foundering. At a drug-rehab facility established on a former U.S. military base near Kabul, staff members

If Joe Biden Doesn’t Change Course, This Will Be His Worst Failure

EZRA KLEIN Opinions The New york Times Feb. 20, 2022 Ninety-five percent of Afghans don’t have enough to eat. Nearly nine million are at risk of starvation. The U.N.’s emergency aid request, at more than $5 billion, is the largest it has ever made for a single country. “The current humanitarian crisis could kill far more

Why is the White House stealing $7bn from Afghans?

Moustafa Bayoumi The Guardian 16 Feb 2022 To take Afghan money to pay grieving Americans in order to punish the Taliban is nothing less than larceny as collective punishment Last week, the White House issued an executive order announcing the theft of some $7bn. Shocking, to be sure. But more shocking still was when that same

Our Allies Deserve Better Than Starvation and a Life on the Run

By Ryan C. Crocker and Philip M. Caruso Mr. Crocker is a former United States ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Caruso is the chairman of the nonprofit No One Left Behind. The New York Times Feb. 17, 2022 On Aug. 10, 2021, days before the collapse of Afghanistan’s government, Fawad Khan Safi arrived in the United States

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