Analytical articles

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

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,

Analytical articles