Analytical articles

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

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: No good options for Afghans travelling to and from Turkey

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 12 May 2022 The economic crisis and the country’s hardening stance towards irregular migrants are making Turkey a less hospitable destination for Afghans fleeing persecution or searching for livelihood opportunities abroad. In the first part of this report, Fabrizio Foschini looked at trends in Afghan migration to and through Turkey

The Guardian view on Afghan women: the Taliban turn the screws

The Guardian Editorial 10 May 2022 The regime intensifies repression and suffering while failing to address the country’s urgent humanitarian needs Two decades ago, photographs of blue burqas became perhaps the totemic image of life under the Taliban, as Afghan women’s rights were invoked and exploited to justify the country’s invasion. On Saturday, the Taliban

Refugees or Ghosts? Afghans in Turkey face growing uncertainty  

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 9 May 2022 The number of Afghans in Turkey has been steadily growing, with those already settled or in transit to Europe joined by thousands more fleeing Afghanistan following the Taleban takeover in August 2021. Turkey already had the world’s largest refugee population, and the new arrivals, coming in the

Pakistan’s Twin Taliban Problem

 Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace May 4, 2022 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan attacks lead to growing tension between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan. What’s at stake? Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban are teetering on the brink of a major crisis. Since coming into power, the Taliban has defied Pakistan — its main state benefactor during the

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

By the Editorial Board The Washington Post 29 April 2022 Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) speaks during a news conference at the Afghan Welcome Center at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle on Oct. 22. (Ted S. Warren/AP) The Biden administration has established a sponsorship program to help admit and support tens of thousands of

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

Aid organisations must speak out when sleeping children are killed in air strikes

Shadi Khan Saif The Guaerdian Tue 26 Apr 2022 01.30 EDT The silence from NGOs in Afghanistan makes me question if humanitarianism has become just a market-driven industry When I was covering the bloody conflict in Afghanistan as a journalist, the most credible first-hand knowledge on the ground often came from the local frontline humanitarian workers, but

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

Countering a Resurgent Terrorist Threat in Afghanistan

Contingency Planning Memorandum Update Seth Jones Harold Brown Chair and Director, Transnational Threats Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies Council on Foreign Relations April 14, 2022 With al-Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Khorasan growing in strength since the U.S. withdrawal, Seth Jones lays out a strategy for the United States to prevent

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 Afghan teachers protest against the Taliban’s closure of classes to older girls. Photograph: EPA I am a woman living in Kabul and I am a

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 Afghan fighters inspect a Soviet armored personnel carrier captured in fighting near Asmar in northeastern Afghanistan in 1979. (Steve McCurry/AP) The Kremlin had banked on a quick, trouble-free decapitation to solve the problem of

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


BARNETT RUBIN NOVEMBER 1, 2021 COMMENTARY   “Everyone is failing us.” These were the first words that Ashraf Ghani uttered — not as he fled the advancing Taliban on Aug. 15, 2021, but in March 2002 as we sat down to dinner on a chilly and wet night on my first post-9/11 visit to Kabul.

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 Afghan women attend a conference to demand the Taliban reopen girls’ schools for higher grades in Kabul on March 27. (EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) Sometimes 20 years can fall away like nothing. Sometimes time telescopes into a vivid memory of a flash of red above

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 Lawmakers are worried refugees from Afghanistan are not getting the help they need. (Lorenzo Tugnoli/The Washington Post) The other refugee crisis: As President Biden moves to admit up

‘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 Elaine Little with two Afghan girls she met in Asadabad, Afghanistan, in 2005. (Photo courtesy of Elaine Little) The women. We saw them but rarely engaged.

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   Taliban fighters patrol along a road in Kandahar in Afghanistan on 15 March, 2022. Photograph: Javed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images It took the international community two long decades of

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. Taliban fighters in Kabul, Aug. 17, 2021. (VOA, Wikimedia Commons) When U.S. President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union Speech on  March

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.

Afghan Taliban Views on Legitimate Islamic Governance

Certainties, Ambiguities, and Areas for Compromise  Clark B. Lombardi;  Andrew F. March United States Institute of Peace 28 Feb 2022 Since their return to power in August 2021, Taliban leaders have not yet articulated a clear vision of how they plan to structure the Afghan state. Some observers have expressed guarded optimism that the Taliban

Afghanistan’s Frozen Foreign Exchange Reserves: What Happened, What’s Next

William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace March 1, 2022 President Biden’s controversial decision aims to sever a legal Gordian knot and free funds to ease a deepening economic crisis. President Biden’s executive order blocking more than $7 billion of Afghan foreign currency reserves held at the U.S. central bank left confusion and consternation

The Afghan revolutionary who took on the Soviets and patriarchy

By Alizeh Kohari Al Jazeera 1 March 2022 In 1977, Meena began a resistance movement to fight for women’s rights and defy imperial occupation in Afghanistan. Only one clip of Meena speaking — flickering, faded, just a few minutes long — survives today, and it sounds like a prophecy. It is 1981. She is 24, in a pale

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 A child and his mother in January at the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times 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

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 ‘Why must ordinary Afghan citizens who had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks have their savings confiscated and their lives immiserated by bureaucrats in

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 Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; Photography by Yevhen Borysov, and Juanmonino via Getty Images On Aug. 10, 2021,

A Journalist Went Undercover as a Refugee. It Became an Act of Love.

By Jessica Goudeau The New York Times Feb. 15, 2022, 4:00 p.m. ET THE NAKED DON’T FEAR THE WATER An Underground Journey With Afghan Refugees By Matthieu Aikins Since the first Allied attack on the Taliban in October 2001 began what many consider the longest war in U.S. history, few foreign journalists have written about Afghanistan

‘We’ve Never Been Smuggled Before’

By Matthieu Aikins Mr. Aikins is the author of the forthcoming book “The Naked Don’t Fear the Water: An Underground Journey With Afghan Refugees.” The New York Times Feb. 14, 2022 Credit…Illustration by Vanessa Saba; Photographs by Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times After the U.S. withdrawal and with their country’s economy collapsing, countless Afghans

The Guardian view on a Kabul heist: snatching money from the starving

The Guardian Editorial 14 Feb 2022 Afghans are not to blame for 9/11, though they have paid for it many times over. Cruelly, they are being punished again A Taliban fighter stands guard in front of people waiting to enter a bank in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph: AP The average Afghan was not even alive when

Opinion: Washington is still ignoring Afghans’ suffering

By James Downie Digital opinions editor The Washington Post 14 February 2022 People receive food rations distributed by the Afghan Charity Foundation in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Feb. 6. (Stringer/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) On Sunday, the White House deployed national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby to the Sunday talk shows for interviews on the urgent

Former Afghan VP: ‘We Will Resist Until Our Aim Is Achieved’

By Lynne O’Donnell Foreign Policy 10 Feb 2022 Amrullah Saleh, a leader of the exiled Afghan resistance, called for elections to give Afghans, not the Taliban, control of the future. Then-Vice President of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh speaks at the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul on Aug. 4, 2021. SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES According to the protocol

Living in a woman’s body: the Taliban fear our beauty, strength – and resistance

Nazia (not her real name) is based in Kabul The Guardian Wed 9 Feb 2022 Growing up in Afghanistan I was taught to hide my body. Now I see it as a symbol of rebellion against those who would try to control me A woman walking in Kabul in January. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images As

Who Gets to Go to School? (3): Are Taleban attitudes starting to change from within?

Sabawoon Samim Afghanistan Analysts Network  7 Feb 2022   In the last of our three reports on the Taleban and education, especially of girls, we turn to what seems to be a relatively new trend. Guest author Sabawoon Samim* has been looking at views of girls’ education within the Taleban movement and finds it notable

The US economic war on Afghanistan amounts to a humanitarian crime

Larry Elliott The Guardian Sun 6 Feb 2022 06.32 EST Washington and the west are inflicting brutal collective punishment on an already destitute people by freezing assets and aid Young boys try to keep warm in Kabul’s market district. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images The war in Afghanistan did not end when US and UK troops left Kabul

Is a rift between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban imminent?

Raza Khan Al Jazeera Published On 6 Feb 2022 Tensions over border demarcation and TTP violence may damage relations between Islamabad and Kabul. When the Taliban took over the Afghan capital, Kabul, in August last year, many in Islamabad cheered. The collapse of the Western-backed Afghan government was seen as an opportunity to reset relations

Despite brutal repression, Afghan women demand the right to go to school and work

Jane Ferguson PBS NewsHour Feb 3, 2022 6:35 PM EST Afghanistan’s women saw two decades of progress vanish when U.S. forces withdrew in August as the Taliban took back control of the country. The group’s arch-conservative interpretation of Islam pushed women out of the workplace, and cast most young women and girls out of school.

Taliban Are Collecting Revenue — But How Are They Spending It?

William Byrd, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace February 2, 2022 U.S. and other donors must engage Taliban on their finances so that aid doesn’t pay for costs already covered by Afghanistan’s government budget. Although economic and humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan continue to deteriorate, the Taliban have taken some positive steps toward financial stability by

Who gets to go to school? (2) The Taleban and education through time

S Reza Kazemi • Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 31 Jan 2022   The Taleban and education through time In trying to understand Taleban policy on state education, especially for girls, our first report heard from people around the country. They painted a picture of primary schools for boys and girls, and boys’ secondary schools having generally re-opened after

The Betrayal

By George Packer The Atlantic JANUARY 31, 2022 THE BETRAYAL America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan added moral injury to military failure. But a group of soldiers, veterans, and ordinary citizens came together to try to save Afghan lives and salvage some American honor. Afghans camp near Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, on August 24,

Afghanistan’s economy is collapsing, the US can help stop it

Shah Mehrabi Member of the Supreme Council of the Central Bank of Afghanistan Dr Shah Mehrabi is a member of the Supreme Council of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. He is a Professor of Economics at Montgomery College and former advisor to the Afghan president. Al Jazeera Published On 29 Jan 2022 The US can

The Guardian view on Afghanistan’s despair: the UK must step up

The Guardian 27 Jan 2022 Editorial Britain needs to show that it cares about the lives of starving humans, not just animals ‘Britain must do more for Afghans who are not safe in their country. But it must also help the many more who will remain there.’ Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP Soon after the Taliban swept

Who Gets to Go to School? (1): What people told us about education since the Taleban took over

Kate Clark and the AAN Team \Afghanistan Analysts Network  26 Jan 2022 Taleban policy towards women and girls is one of the prisms through which the movement has been studied – and judged – ever since the Taleban first came to power in the mid-nineties. A touchstone for many Afghans and outside observers was whether,

Opinion: I want to educate Afghan freedom fighters, but not with rifles. Will the world support us?

By Shabana Basij-Rasikh Global Opinions contributing columnist The Washington Post 26 Jan 2022 A boy looks as an Afghan fighter rides in the back of a vehicle during a police patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 14. (Felipe Dana/AP) As a girl in Afghanistan in the 1990s, I learned to count by adding assault rifles

EXPLAINER: Why effort to help Afghanistan is falling short

By BEN FOX Associated Press 23 Jan 2022 FILE – A family prepares tea outside the Directorate of Disaster office where they are camped, in Herat, Afghanistan, on Nov. 29, 2021. As winter deepens, a grim situation in Afghanistan is getting worse. Freezing temperatures are compounding the misery from the downward spiral that has come

As Afghanistan starves, the pundit class turns away

Jon Allsop Columbia Journalism Review January 21, 2022 IN RECENT WEEKS, a number of journalists at major outlets have voiced their alarm about the economic catastrophe that’s unfolding in Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal from the country and its takeover by the Taliban. Last month, Christina Goldbaum, a Kabul-based correspondent for the New York

Afghanistan Faces “Tsunami of Hunger” as U.S. Sanctions Crash Country’s Economy

DemocracyNow! JANUARY 21, 2022 GUESTS Jane Ferguson special correspondent for PBS NewsHour and contributor to The New Yorker. LINKS “Afghanistan Has Become the World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis” The World Food Program has warned Afghanistan faces a “tsunami of hunger” as the economy continues to collapse, due in part to U.S. sanctions and the freezing of Afghan assets following the

Afghanistan: Taliban Deprive Women of Livelihoods, Identity (HRW)

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH 01/20/2022 Severe Restrictions, Harassment, Fear in Ghazni Province Human Rights Watch – (New York) – Taliban rule has had a devastating impact on Afghan women and girls, new research shows, Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Institute at San Jose State University (SJSU) said today. The organizations looked at the conditions for women since

How to help Afghans without aiding the Taliban

By Anthony Faiola with Sammy Westfall The Washington Post 19 Jan 2022 Afghans receive food aid distributed by UNICEF in Kabul on Jan. 18. (Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) In Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, aid groups are overwhelmed by the starving. More than half the population, the United Nations has warned, won’t get enough to eat this winter. The biggest problem isn’t a

A Community Under Attack: How successive governments failed west Kabul and the Hazaras who live there

Ali Yawar Adili Afghanistan Analysts Network 17 Jan 2022  How successive governments failed west Kabul and the Hazaras who live there The Hazara-Shia community in west Kabul city, particularly its sprawling neighbourhood Dasht-e Barchi, has been the target of some of the city’s deadliest attacks, especially since 2016. The community has particularly been hit hard

Let Innocent Afghans Have Their Money

By The Editorial Board The New York Times Jan. 15, 2022 Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photographs by Dorling Kindersley and LawrenceSawyer, via Getty Images The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstandingvalues. It is separate from the newsroom. Malnourished children with withered arms have

How U.S. sanctions are driving Afghanistan to famine

RYAN COOPER The Week JANUARY 12, 2022 American sanctions almost never achieve their stated goals, but they do harm innocent civilians Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock Afghanistan is starving. The country’s economy has collapsed, a bitter winter has taken hold, and half the population doesn’t have enough to eat. Already many have died — and it

Afghanistan in Freefall: Deadly U.S. Sanctions Blamed for Shocking Humanitarian Crisis

DEMOCRACY NOW! JANUARY 14, 2022 Amy Goodman GUESTS Paul Spiegel, director of the Center for Humanitarian Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. As Afghanistan faces a dire humanitarian crisis, we look at how more Afghans may die from U.S. sanctions

The people of Afghanistan are starving; to turn our backs on them is morally wrong

Gordon Brown The Guardian Wed 12 Jan 2022 08.00 EST A liberal world order that puts military and economic sanctions before food is neither liberal nor orderly  Illustration: Sebastien Thibault How can it be that, in these first weeks of 2022, the world is allowing millions of Afghan children to face death from starvation? And this

Afghanistan Is in Meltdown, and the U.S. Is Helping to Speed It Up

By Laurel Miller Ms. Miller is the director of the Asia program at the International Crisis Group. The New York Times Jan. 11, 2022 Credit…David Guttenfelder for The New York Times When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan last summer, it was left with a critical choice: allow the collapse of a state that had mostly

Afghanistan: The Humanitarian Catastrophe is the Security Threat

by Fionnuala Ní Aoláin Just Security January 3, 2022 At the end of last month, after much haggling, the Security Council adopted resolution 2615 on Afghanistan, which some saw as a breakthrough for humanitarian aid to the country, but from the ground it really does not look much like success. The resolution establishes that “humanitarian assistance

Afghanistan’s conflict in 2021 (2): Republic collapse and Taleban victory in the long-view of history

Kate Clark  30 Dec 2021 Afghanistan Analysts Network For the first time in the long decades of conflict endured by Afghans since the 1978 communist coup sparked armed rebellion, Afghanistan is largely at peace. And for only the second time in that period, the country is under one unitary authority. This then is a historic

Afghanistan’s Conflict in 2021 (1): The Taleban’s sweeping offensive as told by people on the ground

Martine van Bijlert • AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network 28 Dec 2021 As Afghanistan’s former leaders publicly reflect and comment on the events that led to the fall of the Republic, it has been easy to lose sight of what those months in the summer of 2021 were like for the people who lived through them. In

5 Desperate Days: Escaping Kabul

By Mujib Mashal and Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Dec. 23, 2021 Baggage lost, bodies battered, more than 120 Times employees and family members barely made it to a plane out of Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. It required an unsettling collaboration. KABUL, Afghanistan — This was as far as they would go, a dozen Marines

What Afghanistan Teaches Us About Evidence-Based Policy

 Corinne Graff, Ph.D. United States Institute of Peace December 2, 2021 The big lesson is that in an increasingly turbulent world, the U.S. must enhance its understanding of the conflict environments in which it operates. Even as the debate over the lessons learned by the U.S. government in Afghanistan continues, several clear conclusions have emerged.

Aiding Afghan Local Governance: What Went Wrong?

Frances Z. Brown United States Institute of Peace November 18, 2021 One major pillar of the international community’s engagement over the past two decades centered on strengthening subnational governance. After 20 years of an ambitious, costly international state-building effort, the government of Afghanistan collapsed in the summer of 2021 in a matter of weeks. The

Living in a Collapsed Economy (2): Even the people who still have money are struggling

Martine van Bijlert  Afghanistan Analysts Network Team 23 Dec 2021 In this second instalment of ‘Living in a Collapsed Economy,’ we seek to map what Afghanistan’s economic collapse means, at the household level, for the relatively fortunate – those who were wealthy to start with or had a diverse set of income streams, as well

Realpolitik and the 2021 National Budget: The toxic struggle for money and power that undermined Afghanistan’s Republic

Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network 21 Dec 2021  The toxic struggle for money and power that undermined Afghanistan’s Republic The 2021 new year did not get off to a promising start in Afghanistan. The conflict was raging, violence was at an all-time high for winter and the so-called peace talks were hobbling along in Doha.

The Afghans America Left Behind

By Eliza Griswold December 20, 2021 The New Yorker December 27, 2021 Issue The U.S. promised protection to the locals it relied on during the war. When it withdrew, it abandoned thousands to the Taliban. After Zarmina Faqeer worked with the author, the Taliban told her, “If you are seen outside your house, you will be

Opinion: In Afghanistan, the U.S. struggles to be generous in defeat

By David Ignatius Washington Post Columnist 18 Dec 2021 A man distributes bread to Afghan women outside a bakery in Kabul on Dec. 2. (Petros Giannakouris/AP) Americans have been generous after military victories. Just look at the postwar economic miracles in Germany and Japan. But it’s harder to be generous in defeat — as we

International institutions must help Afghanistan cope with its economic and humanitarian crisis

Adnan Mazarei (PIIE) Peterson Institute for International Economics December 7, 2021  The author, a nonresident senior fellow at PIIE, served as consultant to the United Nations Development Program during September to November 2021. Afghanistan faces an economic and humanitarian crisis, deepened by the international community’s refusal to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

Living in a Collapsed Economy

Martine van Bijlert • AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network  7 Dec 2021 A cook, a labourer, a migrant worker, a small trader and a factory owner tell us what their lives look like now In the summer of 2021 AAN started a new research project for ‘Living under the Taleban’ that looked into how life had changed in

The Secret History of the U.S. Diplomatic Failure in Afghanistan

By Steve Coll and Adam Entous The New Yorker December 10, 2021 A trove of unreleased documents reveals the dispiriting record of misjudgment, hubris and delusion that led to the fall of the Western-backed government On April 14th, President Joe Biden ended the longest war in United States history, announcing that the last remaining American troops

Afghanistan has become a test for US humanitarianism

BY J. BRIAN ATWOOD AND ANDREW NATSIOS OPINION CONTRIBUTORS  THE HILL 12/08/21  As winter quickly approaches in Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis deepens. Some 23 million people face acute food insecurity according to the United Nations World Food Program and 9 million — the most vulnerable — face death by starvation in coming months. Because our erstwhile enemy,

What the Resurgence of the Taliban Means for Politics of the GCC

By Wafa Alamm  Wilson Center MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM October 15, 2021 The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from the country have alarmed many Arab states of the Gulf, none of which have recognized the new regime. A principal concern is the impact of the Taliban’s rise to power on Islamist

Yalda Hakim: My return to Afghanistan

Yalda Hakim BBC News 27 Nov 2021 BBC presenter Yalda Hakim was born in Afghanistan. Her family fled in the 1980s, during the Soviet occupation, but she has regularly reported from the country since. Now she has returned for the first time since the Taliban seized power 100 days ago. I knew that my first

Music Censorship in 2021: The silencing of a nation and its cultural identity

Fabrizio Foschini Afghanistan Analysts Network 17 Nov 2021  Music Censorship in 2021: The silencing of a nation and its cultural identity Music and musicians once again face serious threats following Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taleban in August this year. Over the past two decades, the theory and practice of traditional Afghan instruments, as well as

Winter is coming in Afghanistan. Are the Taliban ready?

Adam Gallagher United States Institute of Peace November 11, 2021 A historic humanitarian crisis descends on Afghanistan, as the international community awaits the Taliban’s next move Nearly three months after the Taliban’s rapid takeover, Afghanistan is descending toward one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises with an economy in freefall. As the harsh winter season

Opinion | The Taliban Is Vulnerable. Here’s How to Seize the Moment

Opinion by SARAH CHAYES Sarah Chayes lived and worked in Afghanistan from 2001-2011 and is the author, most recently, of On Corruption in America—And What Is at Stake. Politico 11/13/2021 07:01 AM EST The Taliban is tottering; Afghanistan is in chaos. This offers the West unprecedented leverage over a foe it couldn’t beat on the battlefield.

Global Warming and Afghanistan

mohammad assem mayar Afghanistan Analysts Network 6 Nov 2021  Drought, hunger and thirst expected to worsen While the nations of the world come together at the COP26 to seek solutions to climate change, Afghanistan is already suffering from global warming. One of the worst droughts in recent years has caused rainfed wheat crops to fail,

Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 11 Nov 2021   Afghanistan’s economic distress post-15 August Even as the Taleban celebrated their unprecedented victory on 15 August 2021, Afghanistan was transformed. It was poorer, more isolated and extremely fragile, economically. Most aid stopped, sanctions came into effect against the Taleban government and foreign reserves were frozen. Economic disaster

What can the UN do for Afghanistan now?

Sultan Barakat Al Jazeera Published On 10 Nov 2021 Given the international reluctance to recognise the Taliban government, the UN can play a central role in mitigating the Afghan crisis. As Afghanistan continues to slip into a devastating economic and humanitarian crisis, there is one global actor that can help the country pull through: the United

The Last Days of Intervention

By Rory Stewart Foreign Affairs November/December 2021 Afghanistan and the Delusions of Maximalism Leaving Kunduz, Afghanistan, March 2011 Damon Winter / The New York Times / Redux The extravagant lurches of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan—from a $1 trillion surge to total withdrawal, culminating in the reestablishment of a Taliban government 20 years after the

New Afghanistan, Same Old Taliban

By Rina Amiri Foreign Affairs November 9, 2021 A Profoundly Changed Country Will Challenge the Hard-liners Afghan women gather for a protest march in central Kabul, October 2021 Zohra Bensemra / Reuters The international community reacted to the Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15 by freezing $9 billion of Afghan central bank assets and

When the Taliban Are in Your Bedroom

TIMES INSIDER By Thomas Gibbons-Neff The New York Times Nov. 8, 2021 As armed Taliban inspected the New York Times bureau in Kabul, they were escorted by a journalist who used to be a U.S. Marine. The photo of him in uniform was plain for all to see, and ponder. There is a thin layer of

It’s Getting Dire in Afghanistan. Biden Can’t Walk Away.

Opinion by SAAD MOHSENI Politico 11/05/2021 04:14 PM EDT The United States doesn’t have to recognize the Taliban to help avert humanitarian disaster. Men wait in a line to receive cash at a money distribution organized by the World Food Program in Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2021. | AP Photo/Bram Janssen In Afghanistan, young babies

After a Taliban takeover, the world must prevent starvation in Afghanistan

By Editorial Board The Washington Post 3 November 2021 Afghan internally displaced persons wait to receive food distributed by a German aid organization in Kabul on Oct. 27. (EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) (Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Afghanistan is no longer in the headlines — after dominating them during a harrowing August in which the Taliban seized power, triggering a fearful mass

What now for the Taleban and Narcotics? A case study on cannabis

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Afghanistan Analysts Network  27 Oct 2021 It has been more than a year since the Taleban banned the cultivation of cannabis and the production and trafficking of cannabis resin, known as hashish, in areas of Afghanistan under their control. The Taleban put a great deal of effort into formulating the ban, consulting

Why the Hazara people fear genocide in Afghanistan

Sitarah Mohammadi and Sajjad Askary Al Jazeera 27 Oct 2021 In the aftermath of the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, violence against the Hazara population has escalated. With a long history of persecution, including by the Taliban, the Hazaras are right to fear a genocide. While the Taliban and other armed groups are targeting and committing

A Remote Corner of Afghanistan Offers a Peek Into the Future of the Country

By Franz J. Marty The Diplomat October 19, 2021 In Kamdesh, Nuristan, where U.S. forces withdrew more than a decade ago, the American presence is a distant – and negative – memory for many locals. KAMDESH, NURISTAN — In the dead of night on August 30, 2021, the last U.S. forces stepped off the tarmac of

Opinion: Afghanistan needs aid, but that won’t fix our broken nation. Uplifting girls will.

Opinion by Shabana Basij-Rasikh Global Opinions contributing columnist The Washington Post 20 Oct 2021 People exchange money in Kabul on Oct. 7. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) Furniture being sold on the streets of Kabul by desperate, cash-strapped families. Farmers in Afghan provinces walking a T.S. Eliot-esque wasteland of withered crops and soil turned to dust. Afghanistan, my

Joe Biden’s Afghanistan Problem

By David Rohde The New Yorker October 16, 2021 If the Administration fails to help stabilize the beleaguered country, a withdrawal that appeared politically deft could prove damaging. Analysts say that the botched withdrawal contributed to doubts about the central premise of Biden’s Presidency: that he can govern effectively.Photograph by Drew Angerer / Getty When

The Khalid Payenda Interview (2): Reforms, regrets and the final bid to save a collapsing Republic

Kate Clark and Roxanna Shapoir Afghanistan Analysts Network 9 October 2021 In this second part of this interview, former Minister of Finance Khalid Payenda talks to AAN’s Kate Clark and Roxanna Shapour about the reaction of the Republic’s leadership to his plans to get the economy back on track and fight corruption and whether it

Will Afghanistan’s powerful neighbours engage the Taliban?

Zahir Sherazi Editor in chief of Nawa-e-Pakistan Al Jazeera 16 Oct 2021 Pakistan, China, and Iran are yet to recognise the Taliban government, but they all have an interest in doing so. The withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan is inevitably leaving a political vacuum in South and Central Asia. The question that

Afghanistan Is Facing a Total Economic Meltdown

By Jan Egeland Mr. Egeland is secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council and has 30 years experience working as a humanitarian. The New York Times Oct. 12, 2021 Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times When I was traveling around Kabul a few weeks ago, the city felt worlds apart from my last visit

The Last Days of Intervention

Afghanistan and the Delusions of Maximalism By Rory Stewart Foreign Affairs magazine November/December 2021 Leaving Kunduz, Afghanistan, March 2011 Damon Winter / The New York Times / Redux The extravagant lurches of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan—from a $1 trillion surge to total withdrawal, culminating in the reestablishment of a Taliban government 20 years after the

The West and the Taliban can find common ground on aid

Sultan Barakat Director of the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute. Al Jazeera 7 Oct 2021 While Afghans have finally seen a glimpse of stability for the first time in decades, they now face a major humanitarian and developmental catastrophe. In order to prevent this outcome, it is essential that all


By John Sifton Foreign Policy in Focus October 6, 2021 The Taliban’s cruelties are horrendous, but withholding international support and maintaining blanket sanctions will only hurt the long-suffering Afghan people. Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation is spiraling into catastrophe. Millions of Afghans are now facing severe economic stress and food insecurity in the wake of the Taliban’s August

Why the Taliban’s Repression of Women May Be More Tactical Than Ideological

By Amanda Taub The New York Times October 4, 2021 For Afghanistan’s new rulers, keeping the clamps on women is a kind of marketing. But it may still cost them dearly. The defaced windows of a beauty shop in Kabul in August.Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times Why are the Taliban stripping away so

 Imran Khan: Don’t blame Pakistan for the outcome of the war in Afghanistan

Opinion by Imran Khan The Washington Post September 27, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EDT Imran Khan is the prime minister of Pakistan. A man surveys the site of the blast targeting the government girls school in Tank, Pakistan, on Sept. 22. (Saood Rehman/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Watching the recent Congressional hearings on Afghanistan, I was surprised to see

The Khalid Payenda Interview (1): An insider’s view of politicking, graft and the fall of the Republic

Kate Clark • Roxanna Shapour Afghanistan Analysts Network  27 Sep 2021 What was it like to be a reformer at the heart of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan? The Republic’s last finance minister, Khalid Payenda, has given AAN an insider’s perspective. It is a sobering account of the obstacles that prevented him and other reformers ending government

The Guardian view on Afghanistan: the dilemma for donors

The Guardian Editorial 28 September 2021 The Taliban are showing their true colours. The people face a desperate struggle for basic rights – and for survival ‘Supporting Afghans while doing the utmost to avoid bolstering the Taliban will be an extraordinarily difficult and painful process.’ A Taliban patrol in Kabul, 28 September. Photograph: EPA Even

Zahra Joya: the Afghan reporter who fled the Taliban – and kept telling the truth about women

by Annie Kelly The Guardian Wed 22 Sep 2021 05.00 EDT Zahra Joya: ‘It just seemed impossible that the Taliban could come to power so quickly, wipe away 20 years and drag us all back to the past.’ Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian As a child in Afghanistan, she pretended to be a boy in order to

Why the Taliban Won And What Washington Can Do About It Now

By Vanda Felbab-Brown Foreign Afffairs August 17, 2021 At a Taliban checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2021 Stringer / Reuters In the end, it took astoundingly little time after U.S. forces left Afghanistan for the Taliban to bring down its government: ten days. On Friday and Saturday, hour by hour, some of Afghanistan’s biggest provinces

The Focus of the Taleban’s New Government: Internal cohesion, external dominance

Martine van Bijlert  12 Sep 2021  Afghanistan Analysts Network As the twentieth anniversary of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks that brought the US to Afghanistan to topple the Taleban’s emirate came round, it was the Taleban who were back in power. This week, they announced their new interim administration. It is all-male, almost all-Pashtun, almost all clerical and

Afghanistan’s looming economic catastrophe: What next for the Taleban and the donors?

Hannah Duncan • Kate Clark  6 Sep 2021  Afghanistan Analysts Network When the Taleban captured Kabul, it ruptured Afghanistan’s relationship with the international community. The problems now facing its aid-dependent economy and new Taleban rulers are rapidly piling up. Adding to the damage already wrought by conflict, pandemic and drought, foreign aid is now suspended and in doubt,

Analysis: From Doha, EU limits diplomacy with Taliban to Afghan aid

By Robin Emmott and John Chalmers Reuters September 20, 2021 10:50 AM  Kabul residents hope for international help BRUSSELS, Sept 20 (Reuters) – The European Union will focus on humanitarian aid as it figures out how to deal with the Taliban, aiming on an informal arrangement with Afghanistan’s new rulers to ensure safe aid corridors, four diplomats and

Anand Gopal on the Future of the Taliban

By David Remnick The New Yorker September 14, 2021 The New Yorker contributor discusses whether the group might rule Afghanistan differently this time, and its long-term prospects for staying in power. There’s a sense among rank-and-file Taliban members that the group should govern “without making any concessions towards women’s rights,” the writer Anand Gopal says.Photograph

Opinion: The U.S. might cut funding for organizations like mine in Afghanistan. That would be another disaster.

Opinion by Taylor Smith Taylor Smith is executive director of Free to Run. The Washington Post Yesterday at 11:51 a.m. EDT Girls gather after arriving at a gender-segregated school in Kabul on Sept. 15. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images) As the crisis in Afghanistan continues to unfold, many are unaware that we potentially have another disastrous evacuation on

The world should not yet engage with the new Taliban government

Zarifa Ghafari Afghan activist, politician and former mayor of Maidan Shahr, capital city of the Wardak Province, Afghanistan Al Jazeera 16 Sep 2021 The international community should not legitimise the Taliban government before it demonstrates that it will respect the human rights of all Afghans. I left Afghanistan, my beloved country, just a few days

The international community should support Afghanistan

Abdul Rahim Saqib Writer, analyst and member of the Taliban’s political office Al Jazeera 16 Sep 2021 The fighting is over and it is time for the Afghans to rebuild their devastated country. But they need help. The Taliban has complete control over Afghanistan right now. The US and its allies fought against the movement

Where did the $5tn spent on Afghanistan and Iraq go? Here’s where

Linda J Bilmes The Guardian 11 Sept 2021 Private military contractors outnumbered US troops on the ground during most of both conflicts. And defense industry stocks soared Defense industry professionals look at a military vehicle on display at an arms fair in the Netherlands. Photograph: Robin Utrecht/EPA While Washington bickers about what, if anything, has been

As they did on the battlefield, the Taliban outlasted the U.S. at the negotiating table

Karen DeYoung The Washington Post September 5, 2021  U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group’s top political leader, shake hands after signing a peace agreement between Taliban and the Trump administration in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29, 2020. (Hussein Sayed/AP) On the day he was to begin peace talks with the

What to make of the Taliban’s ‘exclusive’ caretaker government

Obaidullah Baheer Lecturer of Transitional Justice at the American University in Afghanistan Al Jazeera 8 Sep 2021 The Taliban, further widening the gap between its rhetoric and actions, announced a Taliban-exclusive “caretaker” government on September 7. No woman from any ethnic group or political fraction has been given a post in the new administration. The

Afghanistan: The ones we leave behind

BY ANNIE PFORZHEIMER, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill  08/25/21 © Getty Images The eyes and hopes of the world are appropriately fixed right now on tens of thousands of Afghans scrambling to flee their country in the wake of the Taliban takeover. Most who are trying to get outplayed essential — in many cases, lifesaving —

Afghanistan and the Sham of Democracy Promotion

by Jim Bovard | Libertarian Institute August 27, 2021 Americans finally recognize the military lies that pervaded the success claims of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.  But democracy promotion was an even bigger sham. Afghanistan was Exhibit A for the triumphal crusade to spread freedom and democracy. After the U.S. invasion in 2001, the U.S. government

After Afghanistan, War’s Idealists Must Accept Defeat

By Ben Phillips and Jonathan Glennie InterPress 30 August 2021 ROME, Aug 30 2021 (IPS) – As the Western occupation of Afghanistan has come to an end, TV news is broadcasting harrowing scenes of death and destruction, citizens in fear, allies abandoned, and dreams dashed. While the cynicism of key leaders has been exposed – exemplified by Afghan President

Afghanistan collapsed because corruption had hollowed out the state

Zack Kopplin The Guardian 30 August 2021 The Afghan state was held together by theft, extortion and nepotism – at the highest levels ‘One reason the Afghan military collapsed so quickly was because, in part, it did not actually exist.’ Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers at a military base in Herat province. Photograph: Hoshang When the

The Moment in Between: After the Americans, before the new regime

Martine van Bijlert Afghanistan Analysts Network  1 Sep 2021  Monday night, Centcom Commander General Kenneth McKenzie announced the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan as complete, while the Taleban declared the country once again a “free and sovereign nation.” After the last American soldier left Afghan soil, Taleban forces giddily moved into the last

Afghanistan’s collapse exposes the truth about U.S. military invasions in the region

By Suzanne Enzerink Suzanne Enzerink is an assistant professor of American Studies and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Her work investigates how cultural producers have seized anxiety over the U.S. role in the world to challenge structures of inequality at home. She is currently completing her first book. The Washington Post

Engaging the Afghanistan We Leave Behind

Aug. 25, 2021 The New York Times By Farah Stockman Ms. Stockman is a member of the editorial board. The heartbreaking scenes at the Kabul airport should make one thing painfully clear: We can’t airlift the whole country to some safe haven. Although the United States has a moral responsibility to evacuate the Afghans we put

Afghanistan is facing a vast humanitarian disaster — and not only at the airport

Opinion by Barnett R. Rubin The Washington Post August 25, 2021 Barnett R. Rubin is a former senior adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the State Department, and a nonresident fellow of the Center for International Cooperation of New York University and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Media coverage of Afghanistan is

Opinion: Can the Taliban become a reliable partner to the U.S.? Only time will tell.

Opinion by David Ignatius Columnist The Washington Post 25 August 2021 In a moment of black humor amid the Afghanistan crisis, senior administration officials were discussing U.S. contacts with the Taliban regarding operations at the embattled airport. “Thank goodness we finally have a security partner in Kabul,” one senior official is said to have cracked. That’s

Washington’s War in Afghanistan Is Over. What Happens Now?

By Phyllis Bennis The Nation AUGUST 16, 2021 President Biden was right to withdraw US troops. But we should have no illusion that this will end the war for Afghans. A Taliban fighter is seen on a street in Kabul. The Taliban took over the capital city on August 15, as President Ashraf Ghani resigned


By Lynsey Addario The Atlantic AUGUST 16, 2021 GLOBAL As a photojournalist covering Afghanistan for two decades, I’ve seen how hard the country’s women have fought for their freedom, and how much they have gained. Now they stand to lose everything. One morning in the summer of 1999, Shukriya Barakzai woke up feeling dizzy and feverish.

Afghanistan Has a New Government: The country wonders what the new normal will look like

Martine van Bijlert Afghanistan Analysts Network 17 Aug 2021 Afghanistan has a new government. Its exact shape is not yet clear, but its contours can be discerned from a combination of messaging, how the Taleban entered and then took control of Kabul and reports from areas that had come under their control over the last

The grand illusion: Hiding the truth about the Afghanistan war’s ‘conclusion’

Craig Whitlock The Washington Post 13 August 2021 (Washington Post illustration. Photos, clockwise from top left: Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post; Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post; Mark Makela/Getty Images; Anja Niedringhaus/AP) Part two of an excerpt from “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War.” Part one can be found here. Whitlock will discuss the book during a Washington

What Went Wrong With Afghanistan’s Defense Forces?

By Lynne O’Donnell Foreign Policy magazine AUGUST 11, 2021, 4:25 PM Ten provincial capitals have fallen in a week, and Kabul is teetering. Newly graduated Afghan National Army cadets march during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul on Dec. 30, 2014. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES KABUL—Fighting forces dissolve in hot battle.

Afghans Need a Humanitarian Intervention Right Now

By Charli Carpenter Foreign Policy magazine AUGUST 12, 2021, 10:28 AM The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan should continue. But a new military engagement should begin. American soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division deploy to fight Taliban fighters as part of Operation Mountain Thrust to a U.S. base near the village of Deh Afghan on June 22,

The Taliban in Afghanistan

Lindsay Maizland Foreign Affairs Last updated August 3, 2021 12:00 pm (EST) Since its ouster in 2001, the Taliban has maintained its insurgency against the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan government. As U.S. troops have withdrawn in 2021, the group has rapidly expanded its control, positioning itself for a return to power. Taliban

Who are Taliban’s key leaders in Afghanistan?

Al Jazeera 12 August 2021 Six important figures lead the Taliban movement that has been fighting the Western-backed government since 2001. The Taliban has been fighting the Western-backed Afghan government in Kabul since it was removed from power in 2001. It originally drew members from so-called “mujahideen” fighters who, with support from the United States,

‘Please pray for me’: female reporter being hunted by the Taliban tells her story

By Anonymous, as told to Hikmat Noori The Guardian Tue 10 Aug 2021 09.22 EDT A young female journalist describes the panic and fear of being forced into hiding as cities across Afghanistan fall ‘Most of the women and girls I know have fled the city and are trying to find somewhere safe.’ Photograph: Mohammad

The West’s Best Allies for 20 Years Are in Grave Danger

By Jeanne Bourgault and Ahmed Rashid The New York Times Ms. Bourgault is the president of Internews, an organization that supports independent media around the world, including in Afghanistan. Mr. Rashid is the author of “Taliban” and an expert on the country. Aug. 11, 2021 A journalist working at Radio Killid in Herat, Afghanistan, in April.Credit…Jalil Rezayee/EPA, via

Afghanistan: Peace demands sacrifice

Taj Ayubi Senior member of the Peace Mediation Team Al Jazeera 10 Aug 2021 The deadlock in peace talks cannot be overcome unless the two sides are ready to sacrifice their narrow interests. As the Afghan government and the Taliban continue their struggle over who will control Kabul, they ignore the fact that they will

Deceptions and lies: What really happened in Afghanistan

Craig Whitlock The Washington Post Today at 7:30 a.m. EDT The Afghanistan Papers Part one of an excerpt from “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War.”  (Washington Post illustration. Photos, clockwise from top left: Chris Hondros/Getty Images; David Guttenfelder/AP; Brooks Kraft/Corbis/Getty Images; David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)6k (Simon & Schuster) The suicide bomber arrived at Bagram

Afghanistan’s future path to be determined by a corridor of power

Paul Rogers OpenDemocracy 1 August 2021 The expanding Taliban’s new bond with China across a narrow border is set to greatly impact the region, and further diminish human rights Wakhan Corridor lies between China and Taliban-controlled land | Theodore Kaye / Alamy Stock Photo. All rights reserved Two apparently separate developments in the past few days

Taleban Victory or Government Failure? A security update on Laghman province 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Afghanistan Analysts Network  4 Aug 2021 Laghman province saw four of its six districts fall to the Taleban between late May and early July, at the start of the countrywide territorial advance by the Taleban since the final phase of the US withdrawal from 1 May. Laghman has long been contested, with

Afghanistan may be a bellwether for Saudi-Iranian rivalry

James M. Dorsey 3 Aug 2021 Boasting an almost 1,000-kilometer border with Iran and a history of troubled relations between the Iranians and Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban, Afghanistan could become a bellwether for the future of the rivalry between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia. Had the United States withdrawn from Afghanistan several

We Cannot Stand By and Watch Afghanistan Collapse

By Kai Eide and Tadamichi Yamamoto The authors served as United Nations envoys to Afghanistan, Mr. Eide from 2008 to 2010 and Mr. Yamamoto from 2016 to 2020. The New York Times Aug. 3, 2021 Credit…Kiana Hayeri for The New York Times The past few months in Afghanistan, even by the standards set by two decades of war,

Afghanistan 2021 Is Not Afghanistan 1996. That Offers Hope for Peace.

By Mirwais Wakil and Anthony Pahnke The Diplomat July 30, 2021 The reality in Afghanistan and the region provides a lot for peacemakers to work with — if we can look past gloomy predictions. Credit: Depositphotos Many pundits, in their commentary on Afghanistan, are not doing their homework. While it is true that the Taliban have advanced in the country as

Opinion: The Taliban is playing a double game

Opinion by Hamid Mir The Washington Post 29 July 2021 Hamid Mir is a Pakistani journalist and author. Suhail Shaheen, Afghan Taliban spokesman and a member of the negotiation team gestures while speaking during a joint news conference in Moscow on July 22. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP) The Taliban is playing a shrewd diplomatic game. Even as

Central Asia Prepares for Taliban Takeover

Gavin Helf, Ph.D.; Barmak Pazhwak United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, July 20, 2021 The region’s autocrats may be content to live with a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan as long as the war remains within Afghan borders. Last week’s conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan was originally supposed to focus on regional connectivity in South and Central Asia. But the

Afghan forces that supposedly ‘have the capacity’ to defend their country still rely on US airstrikes

BY JEFF SCHOGOL Task and Purpose PUBLISHED JUL 24, 2021 9:00 AM The Pentagon is a magical place where reality and fantasy often collide. This is especially true when it comes to all things related to Afghanistan. Top defense officials are continuing to claim that Afghan troops and police will be able to stand on their

Afghan resistance to the Taliban needs U.S. support — and a big morale boost

Opinion by Ronald E. Neumann Ronald E. Neumann was the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007. The Washington Post 27 July 2021 Afghan army soldiers unload a helicopter in Helmand province in March. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images) Reeling from Taliban victories and the United States’ withdrawal, Afghanistan is in danger of losing the gains in women’s

Afghanistan’s neighbours need to step in if they want stability

Najib Sharifi Kabul-based political analyst and President of Afghan Journalist Safety Committee Al Jazeera 26 July 2021 If the Taliban take over Kabul or another civil war starts, chaos would spread across the region. The withdrawal of the United States and NATO forces from Afghanistan has put a crucial choice before the country’s neighbours. As

Why Afghanistan Is America’s Greatest Strategic Disaster

By Michael Hirsh, Foreign Policy FEBRUARY 21, 2020, 3:41 PM Pompeo’s plan to make peace with the resurgent Taliban is a sad reminder of all that went wrong in Afghanistan—and how it could have been otherwise. Soldiers lift a coffin into a van during the dignified transfer of two U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan at Dover

Menace, Negotiation, Attack: The Taleban take more District Centres across Afghanistan

Kate Clark • AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network 16 Jul 2021 The Afghan government has continued to lose district centres to the Taleban. By our reckoning, the insurgents have gained control of almost 200 district centres since 1 May, most of them since mid-June. Added to the ones they already controlled, that puts the insurgents in charge

Pakistan’s Pyrrhic Victory in Afghanistan

By Husain Haqqani Foreign Affairs July 22, 2021 Islamabad Will Come to Regret Aiding the Taliban’s Resurgence Pakistan’s security establishment is cheering the Taliban’s recent military gains in Afghanistan. The country’s hard-liners have funneled support to the Taliban for decades, and they can now envision their allies firmly ensconced in Kabul. Pakistan got what it wished

A Taliban Victory Is Not Inevitable

By Seth G. Jones Foreign Affairs July 21, 2021 How to Prevent Catastrophe in a Post-American Afghanistan Afghan National Army soldier at Bagram U.S. air base on the day of troop departure, Afghanistan, July 2021. Mohammad Ismail / Reuters The withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan has unleashed a fresh wave of violence. Taliban forces

Letting go with a win and moving on from Afghanistan

BY MICHAEL MIKLAUCIC, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR   THE HILL 20 July 2021 © Getty Images As American forces leave Afghanistan after 20 years, there is no point in lamenting, whining, blamestorming or proposing alternative endings. Every American president since George W. Bush has wanted to leave Afghanistan and the American people want the troops to come home. Critics

Life or death for Hazaras: Australia has a moral obligation to act, now

Sitarah Mohammadi and Sajjad Askary The Guardian Mon 19 Jul 2021 02.09 EDT The Taliban killings have ramped up again in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, refugees wait in limbo in Australia and other western countries ‘The danger to Hazara lives is not distant. It is now’: Afghan Hazaras attend the funeral of a bombing victim in Kabul

What happens if the Taliban wins in Afghanistan?

By Jen Kirby   Jul 11, 2021, 9:00am EDT An expert on an unpredictable, uncertain future. The Afghan National Army keeps watch after the US forces left Bagram Airfield in the north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 5, 2021. Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images “Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan inevitable?” That’s the question a reporter put to President Joe

History shows us that outsiders can never bring peace to Afghanistan

Tamim Ansary The Guardian Mon 12 Jul 2021 04.00 EDT The US and British withdrawal has set off panic, but the truth is they were exacerbating the problem they were trying to solve ‘What Afghans really need help with is getting everyone else to leave them alone.’ A British army flag-lowering ceremony. Photograph: Ministry of

The People We Leave Behind in Afghanistan

FARAH STOCKMAN Ms. Stockman is a member of the editorial board. The New York Times July 9, 2021 Credit…Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times The message popped up on my cellphone last week, just as I was about to drive my daughter to a play date: “The situation here in Afghanistan is getting

If the Taliban Wins the War, Can They Still Lose the Peace?

By Robbie Gramer, a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy, and Jack Detsch, Foreign Policy’s Pentagon and national security reporter. Foreign Policy Magazine 8 July 2021 The United States vowed to destroy the Taliban. Today, they are stronger than ever. But will that last? In early October 2001, then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sent a cable

There’s a wrong way to withdraw from war. We’re on the verge in Afghanistan.

David Von Drehle Columnist, The Washington Post July 6, 2021 An Afghan soldier plays a guitar that was left behind after the U.S. military departed Bagram air base in Afghanistan on Monday. (Rahmat Gul/AP) Presidents, Cabinet secretaries, generals, special envoys, congressional delegations and other assorted VIPs know the Bagram air base near Kabul, the capital

What America Didn’t Understand About Its Longest War

By CARTER MALKASIAN Politico Magazine 07/06/2021  That the war went on so long may be tragic, but it is hardly surprising. An Afghan militiaman raises his rifle in Afghanistan’s Bajur tribal region, March 2010. | AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen Carter Malkasian is the author of The American War in Afghanistan: A History. He served as a civilian advisor

Why did India open a backchannel to the Taliban?

Abdul Basit Abdul Basit is a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore. Al Jazeera 7 Jul 2021 Recent developments in the region forced India to rethink its approach to the armed group. In a crucial policy shift, India recently acknowledged that it entered into backchannel communications with the Taliban

Explainer: When is the US war in Afghanistan really over?

Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor The Associated Press 2 July 2021 U.S. soldiers board an Army Chinook transport helicopter after it brought fresh soldiers and supplies to the Korengal Outpost on Oct. 27, 2008, in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. (John Moore/Getty Images) WASHINGTON (AP) — As the last U.S. combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, the

The Guardian view on Afghanistan withdrawal: a retreat into uncertainty

Editorial The Guardian Mon 5 Jul 2021 14.20 EDT Joe Biden’s actions will be felt most keenly in Kabul, but they pose a broader question for an army-dominated Pakistan ‘Mr Biden knows that Afghanistan is known as a “graveyard of empires” for good reason.’ Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock By bringing home US troops from Afghanistan, and leading Nato

New special report: ‘Between Hope and Fear. Rural Afghan women talk about peace and war’

Martine van Bijlert  and the AAN Team Afghanistan Analysts Network  6 Jul 2021 As the United States pushes ahead with the rapid and unconditional withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, an unrelenting Taleban offensive has driven the Afghan government out of scores of districts across the country. Many Afghans are seeing their fears about the

A Quarter of Afghanistan’s Districts Fall to the Taleban amid Calls for a ‘Second Resistance’

Kate Clark and Obaid Ali Afghanistan Analysts Network 2 Jul 2021 In the last few weeks, the Taleban have captured scores of district centres across Afghanistan. In this report, we look at the general reasons for the success of the Taleban onslaught, before focusing on the north, which has seen a collapse of the Afghan

Biden’s cold response to Afghanistan’s collapse will have far-reaching consequences

Opinion by the Editorial Board The Washington Post July 3, 2021 Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint near Bagram air base, north of Kabul, on April 2, 2020. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters) When President Biden chose in April to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by September, we were among those who judged that the result

Chronicle of a Defeat Foretold

By Christina Lamb Foreign Affairs July/August 2021 Why America Failed in Afghanistan In 2008, I interviewed the United Kingdom’s then outgoing military commander in Afghanistan, Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, in a dusty firebase in Helmand Province, where international troops had been battling the Taliban on a daily basis for territory that kept slipping away. The war in

The People We’re Leaving Behind in Afghanistan

By Steve Coll The New Yorker June 29, 202 Young Afghans defied the Taliban and signed on to reconstruction efforts, only to learn that U.S. and NATO forces would be abruptly withdrawn. A generation of Afghans sought to build a revived society and forged careers that would have been unimaginable during the years of Taliban

Biden’s lose-lose game in Afghanistan

By Ishaan Tharoor with Claire Parker The Washington Post June 28, 2021 at 4:00 a.m. UTC A girl who polishes shoes waits for customers under graffiti on a wall in Kabul on June 24, 2021. (Reuters) President Biden hosted his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani, at the White House at the end of last week. The

Don’t Listen to the Pundits: Withdrawing from Afghanistan Is Incredibly Popular

RAHNA EPTING AND STEPHEN MILES Newsweek 6/16/21  When President Joe Biden announced that the United States will withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the decision was met by immediate pushback from the usual roster of politicians and foreign policy analysts. “Rushed,” “hasty,” “precipitous“—all buzzwords were invoked to describe why it was somehow too soon

Former Afghan president says U.S. leaving country ‘in total disgrace and disaster’

By KATHY GANNON  ASSOCIATED PRESS/ Los Angeles Times JUNE 20, 2021  Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai is interviewed Sunday. (Rahmat Gul / Associated Press) KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s former president said Sunday the United States came to his country to fight extremism and bring stability to his war-tortured nation and was leaving nearly 20 years later

Afghanistan: The Fog at the End of the Tunnel*

Carl Conetta Project on Defense Alternatives 19 June 2021   When will US troops leave Afghanistan? Why the uncertainty? And how the logistics of withdrawal has little to do with it.   (Note: Reference numbers in text link directly to relevant documents) The date for US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is subject to change once

Catastrophe stalks Afghanistan as the US and UK dash for the exit

Simon Tisdall The Guardian Sun 20 Jun 2021 01.15 EDT Little has been achieved in 20 years of war, and as the Taliban regroup, ordinary Afghans brace for an uncertain future A makeshift sign reminds US Marines, who with other forces are in the process of pulling out of Afghanistan, that the Taliban could be

Preparing for a Post-Departure Afghanistan: Changing political dynamics in the wake of the US troop withdrawal announcement

Ali Yawar Adili Afghanistan Analysts Network  4 Jun 2021  It is six weeks since US President Joe Biden announced that all international troops would be withdrawn by September and the reverberations of that announcement are still being felt in Afghan political and security circles. The government has been bullish in public, claiming the country is

America Shall Be Judged By How We Leave Afghanistan — By Allies, Foes, and History

By: Angus King 22 June 2021 With the help of an interpreter, Cpl. Devon Sanderfield, a squad leader with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, speaks with a villager in the town of Changwalok, Afghanistan. (Cpl. Zachary Nola, Marine Corps). In less than three months, the United States will withdraw all American troops

We Cannot Afford to Turn Our Backs on Afghanistan

By Robert M. Gates Mr. Gates served as secretary of defense for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama from 2006 to 2011. The New York Times June 13, 2021 An Afghan man prayed near the grave of a relative killed in a bombing at a school in May. Credit…Rahmat Gul/Associated Press Within a few weeks, the last

What the Biden administration’s narrative on Afghanistan gets wrong

Madiha Afzal The Washington Post June 1, 2021 Madiha Afzal is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of “Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State.” A U.S. soldier walks along a road under construction near Bagram, Afghanistan, on Jan. 11, 2010. (Joel Saget/AFP, Getty Images) It appears that

The confusion of a rushed U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to disaster

      Ronald E. Neumann The Washington Post June 4, 2021 Ronald E. Neumann was the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007. Afghan security personnel search a car at a checkpoint near the Green Zone, which houses embassies, in Kabul on May 25. (Rahmat Gul/AP) Mishandling of the U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan

The Key Reason the U.S. Lost in Afghanistan

Mark Thompson Center for Defense Information/POGO  MAY 25, 2021 U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division launch a 2006 patrol in Helmand province along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo) After 9/11, the most shocking day of the nearly 20-year-long war in Afghanistan was May 2, 2011, when U.S. Navy SEALs swooped down into


Huma Saeed Inkstick Media May 24, 2021 As the US leaves Afghanistan, it must put victims’ rights at the center of its diplomatic strategy. The Biden administration’s announcement that it plans to fully withdraw US forces from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year is a welcome step toward peace. It’s only one part of

Much about US withdrawal from Afghanistan is unclear

Robert Burns The Associated Press 23 May 2021 In this April 2014 file photo, U.S. forces and Afghan commando patrol Pandola village near the site of a U.S. bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Rahmat Gul/AP) WASHINGTON — When he pulled the plug on the American war in Afghanistan, President

Afghanistan’s president: ‘People don’t want the Taliban’

Lally Weymouth The Washington Post Outlook May 22, 2021 President Ashraf Ghani and onetime rival Abdullah Abdullah on the U.S. withdrawal Afghanistan faces a challenging future, as President Biden has ordered the small number of U.S. troops remaining to leave the country by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that initially provoked the American

Why Biden Is Right to Leave Afghanistan

By Jeremy Scahill Mr. Scahill is an investigative journalist who has extensively reported on the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” The New York Times May 21, 2021 A mural in Kabul, Afghanistan, depicting Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and

What critics of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan get wrong

Opinion by Matthew Hoh CNN Tue May 18, 2021 Matthew Hoh is a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy and a member of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). He is a 100% disabled Marine combat veteran and, in 2009, he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation

The Guardian view on Afghanistan’s future: withdrawal should not mean abandonment

The Guardian Editorial 13 May 2021 Last week’s massacre of schoolgirls showed just how grim the years ahead could be. The US and its allies cannot disclaim responsibility Afghan children by a grave of a victim of the recent attack on Sayyid al-Shuhada school in west Kabul. Photograph: Hedayatullah Amid/EPA The three-day Eid ceasefire announced by the

Here’s how to ensure Afghan women are protected after the U.S. withdrawal

Opinion by Jeanne Shaheen and Angelina Jolie The Washington Post   May 13, 2021 A beauty salon in Kabul on April 25. (Rahmat Gul/AP) Fatima Khalil was an Afghan girl, born in Pakistan. After the U.S. intervention in 2001, she returned to Afghanistan, went to school in Kabul and ultimately graduated with a double major in

Opinion: A slaughter at a girls’ school may foretell Afghanistan’s future

Editorial Board The Washington Post May 10, 2021 at 5:27 p.m. EDT Ruqia Bakhshi, 14, one of the students who were injured in a car bomb blast outside a school, receives treatment at a hospital in Kabul on Saturday. (Stringer/Reuters) THE HORRIFIC bombing of a school for girls in Kabul on Saturday was a grim

The U.S. Still Has Leverage In Afghanistan. Here’s How to Keep It

By ANNIE PFORZHEIMER Politico 05/08/2021  Annie Pforzheimer is former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Afghanistan, former Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and a member of the steering committee of Alliance for Support of the Afghan People. After two postings in Kabul, I worry what comes after our September

Afghanistan’s Moment of Risk and Opportunity

By Ashraf Ghani Foreign Affiars May 4, 2021 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in London, December 2014 Dan Kitwood / Pool / Reuters President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September represents a turning point for the country and our neighbors. The Afghan government respects the decision and views it

Peace is possible in Afghanistan

Mirwais Wakil and Anthony Pahnke Mirwais Wakil has worked as a foreign policy analyst at the Austrian parliament specialising in Afghanistan and central Asian security and is now a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Vienna. Anthony Pahnke is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at San Francisco State University. Al Jazeera 5

The Afghanistan War Will End as It Began: In Blood

By Elliot Ackerman The New York Times Mr. Ackerman, a former Marine and intelligence officer who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a contributing Opinion writer. May 5, 2021 Members of a Taliban Red Unit in the Alingar District of Laghman, Afghanistan, last year.Credit…Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times This past

Here’s What Biden Must Do Before We Leave Afghanistan

By Michael McCaul and Ryan C. Crocker Mr. McCaul is a U.S. representative and the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Crocker served as ambassador to Afghanistan under President Barack Obama. The New York Times May 4, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET United States troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan. A complete withdrawal, based on an arbitrary deadline

Even After Withdrawal, U.S. Retains Leverage Over Taliban

Karen Decker United States Institute of Peace 29 April 2021 The Taliban want international recognition and assistance. Washington should use its sway on these issues to push for peace. President Biden’s announcement that U.S. troops would withdraw by September 11 has many Afghans and observers warning of a quick collapse of the Afghan state and a

How American Politics Got Troops Stuck—and Killed—in Afghanistan

By ERIK EDSTROM Erik Edstrom graduated from West Point and deployed to combat in Afghanistan as an infantry officer. He is the author of Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of our Longest War and a senior fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network, an organization of independent military and national security veteran experts. He holds an MBA and MSc from the

The U.S. is pulling out of Afghanistan. Don’t expect an al-Qaeda reboot.

By Daniel Byman The New York Times May 2, 2021 Here’s why the country won’t necessarily become a base for international terrorist attacks An Afghan soldier at a road checkpoint near a U.S. military base in Bagram on Thursday. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images) U.S. troops are beginning the process of leaving Afghanistan, after almost 20 years

As US troops withdraw, what next for war and peace in Afghanistan?

Kate Clark  Afghanistan Analysts Network  1 May 2021 The United States’ decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan unconditionally, and the apparent dead end of its efforts to broker peace in Afghanistan, will have profound ramifications for the conflict. The likely outcomes can already be seen, including, ominously, in how civilian casualties are back

Afghanistan: time for a more representative peace with Swiss mediation

Edward Girardet and Peter Jouvenal Global Geneva April 25, 2021 Now well into five decades of war, ordinary Afghans have found themselves manipulated if not betrayed by self-centred politicians, power-mongering warlords and abusive insurgents. They also have been undermined by outside powers with their own geopolitical agendas or, even if well-meaning, with policies that have

Has The Taliban Changed? Afghans Living Under Militant Group Say It Still Rules Using Fear, Brutality

By Radio Free Afghanistan Frud Bezhan 13 April 2021 A Taliban militant attacks a civilian in Kabul in 1996. (file photo) The Taliban claims it is not the same brutal group that first ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s, when its regime was an international pariah notorious for oppressing women and massacring ethnic and religious minorities. The

The Strategic Importance of Leaving Afghanistan

BY MELVIN GOODMAN Counterpunch April 20, 2021 Photograph Source: Gustavo Montes de Oca – CC BY 2.0 Sixty years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower articulated his concern about the ability of his presidential successors to control the military.  Several weeks before his Farewell Address, he gathered his senior advisers in the Oval Office of the White House

I Met a Taliban Leader and Lost Hope for My Country

By Farahnaz Forotan Ms. Forotan is an Afghan journalist who fled her country after her life was threatened. April 21, 2021 Afghan women know the cost of the wars started by men, and we will continue to suffer after American forces withdraw. As men continue to bicker over the future and control of Afghanistan, I have

Is America’s longest forever war really coming to an end?

Adam Weinstein and Stephen Wertheim The Guardian Mon 19 Apr 2021 09.02 EDT Finally, Americans appear willing to bring the troops home. Will they stay there? ‘Biden will have to stand fast to the rigorous logic he employed last week, putting long-term consequences ahead of immediate fears’ Photograph: Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images Last Wednesday, President Joe

Biden Made the Right Decision on Afghanistan

P. Michael McKinley Foreign Affairs April 19, 2021 The United States Can Withdraw Without Walking Away A Chinook helicopter flies over Zabul Province, Afghanistan, August 2004 Teun Voeten/Panos Pictures/Red​ux The decision to withdraw the U.S. military from Afghanistan could have been made years ago or years hence: there was never going to be a perfect time, but

From exit strategy to exit timetable in Afghanistan

BY JOSEPH J. COLLINS, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 04/20/21 02:30 PM EDT     Many experts were shocked by President Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021. NATO and partner forces, which now outnumber U.S. forces, also will depart. Citing changes in the spread of terrorism and the need to redeploy

Abandoning Afghanistan Is a Historic Mistake

By Bret Stephens Opinion Columnist The New York Times April 20, 2021 Leaving proves Osama bin Laden right: Eventually, America cuts and runs. Credit…Moises Saman/Magnum Photos I once boarded a flight from Dubai to Kabul alongside a team of Afghan soccer players — teenage girls in red uniforms, chatting and laughing much as they might

Opinion: Withdrawing from Afghanistan is a courageous step. Here’s what must come next.

Opinion by Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna The Washington Post April 15, 2021 at 1:13 p.m. EDT U.S. soldiers sit beneath an American flag raised to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Forward Operating Base Bostick in Konar province, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11, 2011. (David Goldman/AP) President Biden’s announcement of a full withdrawal of U.S.

Peace can still be achieved in Afghanistan

Sultan Barakat Al Jazeera 17 Apr 2021 It is time for Afghans to take the initiative in the peace process. On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden announced the complete withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington that resulted in the US-led military

What did 20 years of western intervention in Afghanistan achieve? Ruination

Simon Jenkins The Guardian 16 April 2021 Britain’s justifications for invading were having influence and deterring terror. They are just neo-imperialist platitudes ‘Tony Blair sent Clare Short to eliminate the poppy crop. Whatever she did, it increased production from six provinces to 28.’ Poppy growing in Helmand, 22 March 2021. Photograph: Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA The longest, most

Leaving Afghanistan, and the Lessons of America’s Longest War

By Steve Coll The New Yorker April 15, 2021 It is the Afghan people, of course, who have paid the highest price for America’s failed ambitions. American soldiers gather near a destroyed vehicle in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, Joe Biden announced that all U.S. and nato troops there will withdraw by September 11th.Photograph by Johannes Eisele / AFP

The Taliban Are Ready to Exploit America’s Exit

By Carter Malkasian Foreign Affairs April 14, 2021 What a U.S. Withdrawal Means for Afghanistan A U.S. military bas​e in Gardez, Afghanistan, Ap​ril 2003 Ed Kashi / VII / Redux In September of last year, peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government finally opened in Doha, only to immediately stall. Negotiators have been

Biden’s Expensive New Problem in Afghanistan

By ASFANDYAR MIR and COLIN P. CLARKE Politico Magazine 04/15/2021 04:26 PM EDT When troops leave, that doesn’t mean America can ignore the country. The next steps will be expensive and complex. Afghan National Army soldiers on patrol in Logar province, east Afghanistan, Thursday, May 17, 2012. | AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus President Joe Biden’s decision this week to

Afghanistan and Vietnam: How did the US lose two wars?

In the end, our clients could never shake the impression that they were puppets fighting for foreigners. By H.D.S. Greenway The Boston Globe April 15, 2021 When the United States withdrew its last soldier from Vietnam in March of 1973, I watched the top North Vietnamese representative in Saigon present him with a little picture of

Biden Can Redeem His Mistake

George Packer Staff writer for The Atlantic April 13, 2021 In 1975, he failed to see what America owed the Vietnamese who had bet their lives on American promises. NGUYEN NGOC LUONG / THE NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX / EVAN VUCCI / AP / THE ATLANTIC If the purpose of the Afghan War was to

Exit Strategy

Eliot A. Cohen The Atlantic 13 April 2021 There will be no power-sharing, no reconciliation, no peace of the brave. SEAMUS MURPHY / VII / REDUX In important aspects of foreign and national-security policy, the Biden administration is really the Trump administration but with civilized manners. In no respect is that more true than in

Pakistan Seen As Repeating ‘Pyrrhic Victory’ In Afghanistan

April 01, 2021 By Abubakar Siddique Gandhara/RFE/RL Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (center) receives members of the Taliban delegation at the Foreign Office in Islamabad in October 2019. Pakistani leaders have spent decades touting their role in shaping the various phases of war in Afghanistan that saw Islamabad gain influence in Afghan politics despite its

The Role of the Afghan Women Towards Peace Mediation and Reconciliation

By Dr. Matin Royeen  Afghanistan Times April 3, 2021             Introduction:  Almost fifty percent of the Afghan population is females.  The Afghan culture is primarily a patriarchal society where males play a dominant role in decision making, leadership positions and enjoy a higher status and opportunities in the country. Sadly, during


By John Feffer Foreign Policy in Focus March 31, 2021 Withdrawing several thousand U.S. troops from Afghanistan is just the tip of the iceberg. In October 1944, with the end of World War II in sight, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin passed a note back and forth to each other at a conference in Moscow. On

“No Going Backward”: Afghanistan’s Post–Peace Accord Security Sector

BY: Annie Pforzheimer; Andrew Hyde; Jason Criss Howk United States Institute of Peace Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Failure to plan realistically for needed changes in Afghanistan’s security sector following a peace settlement—and failure to start phasing in changes now—will lead to post-settlement instability. This report examines the particular challenges Afghanistan will face, with examples from the

America’s Longest War Winds Down

BY ANDREW BACEVICH March 28, 2021 No Bang, No Whimper, No Victory “Ours is the cause of freedom. We’ve defeated freedom’s enemies before, and we will defeat them again… [W]e know our cause is just and our ultimate victory is assured… My fellow Americans, let’s roll.” — George W. Bush, November 8, 2001 In the immediate

The many pitfalls of the new US proposal for Afghan peace

Mohsin Dawar Al Jazeera 31 Mar 2021 Biden administration’s new draft proposal fails to address many fundamental issues stalling the Afghan peace process. As violence continues to escalate in Afghanistan, a new draft peace plan proposed by the United States – calling for an interim administration to replace the current government, ceasefire, and a UN-sponsored

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

William Byrd United States Institute of Peace Wednesday, March 24, 2021 An essential but battered agency shows signs of recovery — a must for effective government, aid and possibly peace. Revitalizing Afghanistan’s badly damaged Ministry of Finance is critical for the state’s survival today and will be equally important during a peace process or under

Assessing Implementation of the 2020 US-Taliban Peace Accord

Assessing Implementation of the 2020 US-Taliban Peace Accord The US-Taliban peace accord, signed in 2020, marked an important step in bringing peace to war-torn Afghanistan. But what comes next? And how can negotiators continue their crucial work to build a lasting peace in a country where peace has long proved elusive? Assessing Implementation of the

Biden’s stated rationale for extending America’s war in Afghanistan is weak

By Alex Ward Vox March 26, 2021 Biden said logistics were a key reason US troops might remain in Afghanistan beyond a May 1 deadline. Experts say that’s not the full story. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during the first news conference of his presidency on March 25 at the White House. His statements seemed

U.S. Joins “Rules-Based World” on Afghanistan

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J.S. Davies Common Dreams Thursday, March 25, 2021 It is a sign of hope that Biden and Blinken are turning to legitimate, multilateral diplomacy in the case of Afghanistan, even if only because, after 20 years of war, they finally see diplomacy as a last resort. Children in Afghanistan. (Photo: On March 18,

Editorial: Afghanistan situation has taken alarming turn

Afghanistan Times Editorial March 27, 2021 After almost 20 years of presence in Afghanistan, the U.S. is seeking a political solution for the longest war in its history, driven from the attacks of 9/11, carried out by the al-Qaeda terrorist network there. The U.S. special envoy succeeded a preliminary peace deal on February 29th of

There are dreadful and deceitful scenarios staring at Afghanistan. India will have to step up

Afghanistan Times March 25, 2021  In today’s India-friendly Afghanistan, the Taliban are a reality. Any meaningful peace process will need the direct participation of New Delhi. Afghanistan’s foreign minister, Mohammed Haneef Atmar, was in New Delhi on a three-day official visit to discuss the ‘Afghan peace process’ with Indian officials. The trip comes as the

 Lack of Political Unity, Good Governance & Endemic Corruption Peter out Afghan Government Stance in Future Political Set-up in the Country

By Mohammed Gul SAHIBBZADA Afghanistan Times March 23, 2021 It has been two decades in the making since the US and allied forces toppled Taliban regime and installed Hamid Karzai as head of transitional Government of Afghanistan in 2001, who continued to rule the country for thirteen years, followed by Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, who took

Why Is It So Tough to Leave Afghanistan?

By Mark Hannah Mr. Hannah is a senior fellow at the Eurasia Group Foundation, where he studies U.S. foreign policy. The New York Times March 19, 2021 The foreign policy establishment just can’t admit when it got things wrong. Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photographs by Erin Scott for The New York Times and

Peace is not possible without justice

Afghanistan Times AT News  March 19, 2021  MyRedLine Movement Strongly Opposed AWN’s Stance on U.S. Proposal for Peace KABUL: The MyRedLine Movement has expressed criticism on the Afghan Women Network’s (AWN) stance regarding the U.S. new proposal for Afghanistan reconciliation, calling it “legitimately recognition of illegal and political inference of foreigners” on forging destination for

Afghanistan Times Editorial: Heart-Wrenching Incident

Afghanistan Times Editorial March 16, 2021 While the Afghan peace process has been sluggish, increased violence and unclaimed IEDs attacks and targeted-killings have agonized the ordinary Afghan people every day. As many as 5,041 civilian casualties have been recorded since February 22 last year until the end of February this year. This is heart-wrenching –

What Biden Can Learn From The Soviet Union’s Afghanistan Exit

Daniel Davis 19fortyfive 11 March 2021 A Soviet soldier waits in the shadows, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Everyone makes mistakes. While it’s always useful to learn from our errors, it’s always better to learn from the mistakes of others – or to benefit from observing what they did right. As President Joe Biden

Opinion: Biden has an admirable Hail Mary for Afghanistan. He also needs a Plan B.

Opinion by Editorial Board The Washington Post March 10, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EST Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks about the Biden administration’s priorities at the State Department in Washington on March 3. (Pool/Reuters) PRESIDENT BIDEN inherited a particularly daunting challenge in Afghanistan, where a deal struck by the Trump administration committed the

Afghanistan: Will America’s ‘moonshot’ peace plan work?

By Lyse Doucet & Mahfouz Zubaide BBC News, Kabul 9 March 2021 IMAGE COPYRIGHTEPAimage captionBoys play in front of a mural of Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the leader of the Taliban delegation US President Joe Biden’s team calls it a “moonshot”; critics question if it’s a “quick fix”; and

“Another Bonn-style conference”: A new plan to ‘fix’ the war and enable US troops to leave

Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Campaign  7 Mar 2021   “Another Bonn-style conference”: A new plan to ‘fix’ the war and enable US troops to leave The United States envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has floated the possibility of a ‘new Bonn’ conference that could cancel or sideline the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha. ‘Bonn 2’ appears

Biden Has a Plan to Not Break Afghanistan

BY JAMES TRAUB Foreign Policy Magazine  MARCH 5, 2021 New details are trickling out about how the United States is preparing to withdraw its troops without leaving chaos behind. One of the many problems with the perpetually reiterated cry to “end the forever wars” is that it only tells you what the United States should stop

Identifying and Neutralizing Afghan Peace Spoilers

Annie Pforzheimer, Andrew Hyde, and Jason Criss Howk The Global Observatory March 5, 2021 Women judges and media workers have been killed by gunmen in Afghanistan in alarming attacks over the past two months. Civil society leaders are also being targeted, and some are leaving their jobs or fleeing the country. These devastating attacks send a chilling message to others, especially

Khalilzad Shares ‘Participatory Govt.’ Plan with Taliban; A New Idea Floats to End War

Afghanistan Times AT News March 5, 2021 KABUL: The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is in Doha, where he met with Afghan negotiating team from the republic side and will also carry the message of “participatory government” with the Taliban, a group the US had signed a deal last year to find

Hit from Many Sides (2): The demise of ISKP in Kunar

Obaid Ali • Khalid Gharanai Afghanistan Analysts Network  2 Mar 2021 The demise of ISKP in Kunar One year ago, the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State – called Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) – lost its last territorial base in Afghanistan in Kunar province. This followed a first severe defeat in their major stronghold in the

Last Exit from Afghanistan

Dexter Filkins The New Yorker 1 March 2021 March 8, 2021 Issue Will peace talks with the Taliban and the prospect of an American withdrawal create a breakthrough or a collapse? As American troops depart, winding down a twenty-year intervention, Afghans are forced to reckon with the question of whether their government can stand on

What Happens To Afghanistan If U.S. Troops Leave?

Daniel Davis 19FortyFive,com Published 27 Feb 2021 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division sends the first round downrange with the U.S. Army’s new M1A2 SEPV3 Abrams Main Battle Tank, Fort Hood, Texas, August 18, 2020. After the GREYWOLF brigade conducts a test fire on every tank they will

Taliban falsely claims: ‘There are no Al Qaeda operatives present in Afghanistan’

BY BILL ROGGIO January 27, 2021 Long War Journal The Taliban has once again attempted to falsely claim “there are no Al Qaeda operatives present in Afghanistan,” despite that fact that U.S. and Afghan forces have killed several senior Al Qaeda leaders in the country over the past year. Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied today that Al

Why President Biden Must Withdraw From Afghanistan

Breaking our agreement with the Taliban to pull out by May will endanger American troops and entrench them in an unwinnable war. By William Ruger Mr. Ruger was former President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Afghanistan. The New York Times Feb. 26, 2021 President Joe Biden faces a defining foreign policy decision: The United States

How much of the US-Taleban Doha agreement has been implemented?

A Deal in the Mist: How much of the US-Taleban Doha agreement has been implemented? Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Network 25 Feb 2021 One year ago, on 29 February 2020, the then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mullah Baradar, Taleban Deputy Leader for Political Affairs, signed the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” in

The Blob circles the wagons around failing Afghanistan strategy

Daniel Larison Quincy Institute FEBRUARY 23, 2021 Nothing alarms hawks in the foreign policy establishment more than the prospect of an end to U.S. involvement in a foreign war. U.S. wars can drag on for years or decades without any protest from hawkish pundits and former officials, but the moment that U.S. troops might be

In Afghanistan, exit is only ‘responsible’ option

BY MARK HANNAH OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 02/25/21 © Getty Images Pentagon officials recently questioned whether they would follow through on America’s commitment to withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan by the May deadline set by the recent U.S.-Taliban agreement. A week later, a bipartisan group of experts urged President Biden to postpone the exit. But failure to stay the course

Civilian Casualties Worsened as Intra-Afghan Talks Began

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  23 Feb 2021  Civilian Casualties Worsened as Intra-Afghan Talks Began, says UNAMA’s 2020 report on the Protection of Civilians UNAMA’s 2020 report civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict published today shows the overall number of civilians killed and injured fell by 15 per cent compared to 2019. Yet, for the

NATO’s Exit From Afghanistan: ‘a brutal dilemma’

Posted February 19, 2021 by Kristian Berg Harpviken & filed under Peacebuilding, Regions and Powers, Violent Organizations Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) NATO is facing ‘a brutal dilemma, NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said to the press ahead of NATO meeting of defense ministers on 17-18 February. Photo: NATO The goal, said Stoltenberg, is that Afghanistan shall never again become a haven for terrorists

Biden should honor what looks like the best deal we’re ever going to get in that country.

By Stephen Kinzer The Boston Globe February 18, 2021 A truly historic moment is fast approaching. Under an accord signed last year, our two-decade war in Afghanistan will finally conclude in May. Afghans will be left to shape their own future, and American blood and treasure will no longer flow in Central Asia. It is

NATO Faces Conundrum as it Mulls Afghan Pullout

Kathy Gannon The Associated Press 16 Feb 2021 In this Sept. 11, 2011 file photo, U.S. soldiers sit beneath an American flag just raised to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Forward Operating Base Bostick in Kunar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman) ISLAMABAD — After 20 years of military engagement and billions

If America leaves Afghanistan there will be trouble

Banyan The Economist, Feb 13th 2021 edition When he came to office last month President Joe Biden inherited, in Afghanistan, America’s longest war. He also inherited a deal that his predecessor struck a year ago with the Taliban, who have fought a bloody insurgency ever since American-led forces ousted them from power in late 2001. Under the


Adam Weinstein Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft February 11th, 2021 Why the Biden administration should not adopt the study group’s recommendations. Last week, the Congressionally-mandated Afghanistan Study Group issued its recommendation that the Biden administration abandon the US-Taliban agreement signed last February in favor of a conditions-based withdrawal without a deadline. But any unilateral decision to ignore the May

After 20 Years, The Establishment Is Still In Denial About Afghanistan

ANDREW J. BACEVICH The American Conservative February 10, 2021 The Afghanistan Study Group has a new report out and its recommendation remains ever the same: more troops. With the 20th anniversary of the Afghanistan war now just around the corner, Americans might reasonably wonder whether the nation’s longest war is ever going to end. After

Give peace a chance in Afghanistan

BY JAMES DOBBINS, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR The Hill 02/09/21 © Getty Images Among President Trump‘s few foreign policy achievements was brokering the opening of face-to-face peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, a goal that  had eluded the Obama administration. The price for this success, however, was U.S. agreement to an accelerated timetable for a full military withdrawal

Biden must make a tough decision on Afghanistan — and quickly

Opinion by Editorial Board The Washington Post Feb. 9, 2021 at 1:27 p.m. EST President Biden outside the White House on Jan. 29. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post) OF THE multiple foreign policy problems inherited by President Biden, that with the shortest fuse may be Afghanistan. A deal struck a year ago between the Trump administration and

How War Brings Peace

Editorial Afghanistan Times February 9, 2021 Giving a great number of casualties in the longest conflict of 40 years across the country, the Afghans have always hoped nothing but an end to this relentless war. Thousands of people, including children, women and elderly were killed or maimed in the war that is still looming around

Afghanistan Study Group Final Report

A Pathway for Peace in Afghanistan Wednesday, February 3, 2021  BY: Afghanistan Study Group United States Institute of Peace/USIP In December 2019, Congress established the Afghanistan Study Group and tasked it with identifying policy recommendations that “consider the implications of a peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan.”

Q&A: What do Afghans see as the main impediments to peace?

Written by Adam Weinstein Quincy Institute JANUARY 26, 2021 Intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan government resumed on January 5 following a 20-day recess. The war in Afghanistan is a regional one with strong international backers and thus much focus is rightfully placed on the role of outside powers in shaping Afghanistan’s destiny. Responsible

Afghanistan’s ambassador: The U.S. must help us build peace for generations to come

Opinion by Roya Rahmani Jan. 27, 2021 The Washington Post Roya Rahmani is the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States. An Afghan girl at a camp for internally displaced people on the outskirts of Kabul on Jan. 19. (Hedayatullah Amid/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) The beauty of democracy is that it works even when people do not agree. In

Living with the Taleban (3): Local experiences in Dasht-e Archi district, Kunduz province

Bilal Sediqi Afghanistan Analysts Network 25 Jan 2021   In our third study exploring Taleban rule in territories under their control, AAN looks at Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province. The intra-Afghan talks in Doha may presage an Afghan state with key positions held by the Taleban. At the very least, the pattern of the Taleban

Joe Biden Will Have to Address the War in Afghanistan—Again

By Steve Coll The New Yorker January 20, 2021 This time around, for President Biden, the war in Afghanistan is not as consequential for the U.S., yet American troops remain in the country as the fight grinds on.  When Joe Biden became Vice-President, in 2009, tens of thousands of American troops were fighting a spreading Taliban insurgency in

As Taliban attacks spike in Afghanistan, a test for withdrawal, and peace

Written by Adam Weinstein Responsible Statecraft The Quincy Institute January 12, 2021 Intra-Afghan talks have resumed after a 20-day recess amid increased attacks and assassinations in Kabul along with trepidation over what comes next. On one hand, the Afghan government must accept that calling the U.S.-Afghan relationship an “alliance” does not change the reality that

How Biden can bring U.S troops home from Afghanistan

Written by Barnett R. Rubin Responsible Statecraft The Quincy Institute January 11, 2021 When President-Elect Biden enters the Oval Office, only 100 days will remain before May 1, which last year’s Doha Agreement with the Taliban sets as the deadline for the United States to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. That withdrawal, with its accompanying

What Future for Afghan Peace Talks under a Biden Administration?

International Crisis Group 13 January 2021 Peace talks in Afghanistan have only inched forward even as the pace of conflict has picked up. As the Afghan government and Taliban await clearer policy signals from the incoming U.S. administration, their primary goal should be to keep the vital negotiations going. What’s new? Afghan peace talks have stalled

The way forward in Afghanistan: How Biden can achieve sustainable peace and US security

The Atlantic Council James B. Cunningham, Hugo Llorens, Ronald E. Neumann, Richard Olson, and Earl Anthony Wayne January 13, 2021 Men holding Afghan flags stand at a hilltop in Kabul, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani Among the most pressing issues on the US president-elect’s to-do list on foreign policy is the war in Afghanistan, which offers only

Intra-Afghan Talks (1): Rules of procedure agreed, but still no agenda as talks resume

Ali Yawar Adili Afghanistan Analysts Network 3 Jan 2021   Intra-Afghan Talks: Rules of procedure agreed, but still no agenda as talks resume The second round of intra-Afghan negotiations – as they are officially called – is scheduled to begin in two days time, on 5 January 2021, in Doha. The first round ended on 14

The Afghan War Is Over. Did Anyone Notice?

By Elliot Ackerman Mr. Ackerman is a former Marine and intelligence officer who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Times Dec. 18, 2020 The troops are staying, but we can declare an end to our forever war.I fi Credit…John Moore/Getty Images I first read “The Iliad” in high school. The translation my teacher

There Is Only One Way Out of Afghanistan

And It Requires Cooperating With Regional Powers By Barnett R. Rubin Foreign Affairs December 9, 2020 For more than a decade, every debate about U.S. policy in Afghanistan has focused narrowly on the number of troops to send or withdraw. U.S. policymakers freely admit there can be no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems. Yet they continue

Gridlocked Afghan Peace Talks Overcome Another Hurdle

Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace December 10, 2020 With procedural rules finally settled, both sides are waiting to see how a change in the U.S. administration could affect talks. Afghan peace negotiations began in mid-September, bringing together the Afghan government and Taliban for the first time to negotiate an end to four decades of

Corruption in Afghanistan

Integrity Watch report: The Afghan anti-corruption strategy was poorly designed and led to very few tangible results Press release 9 December 2020   December 9, 2020, Kabul, Afghanistan—On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, Integrity Watch launched its Progress Review of the National Strategy for Combatting Corruption (2017–2019). Integrity Watch’s research has found that the Afghan anti-corruption strategy was poorly designed and faced weak political

Afghanistan Aid Conference Yields Mixed Results

William Byrd United States Institute of Peace December 2, 2020 A meeting shadowed by donor fatigue, the U.S. troop drawdown and increased fighting still left room for hope. The quadrennial international donor conference for Afghanistan, held virtually late last month from Geneva, was largely shaped by the pitfalls and roadblocks forecast months ago when the event

How to End a Forever War

New York Times Editorial 1 December 2020 The Biden administration should support a regional effort to stabilize Afghanistan. Credit…Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images For years, the stalemate in Afghanistan has left American officials torn between two bad options: Prop up a corrupt, hopelessly divided Afghan government indefinitely or admit defeat and go home, leaving the country

A review of the 2020 Geneva donor conference on Afghanistan

Janus-Faced Pledges Thomas Ruttig Afghanistan Analysts Network 30 Nov 2020 The 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva (which took place virtually) has produced pledges of 12 to 13 billion US dollars for the period 2021-24. The result represents a drop of up to 20 per cent compared to the 15.2 billion pledged four years ago in

An abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan undermines the fragile peace

Opinion by Kelly Ayotte, Joseph Dunford and Nancy Lindborg The Washington Post November 25, 2020 at 8:06 p.m. EST Kelly Ayotte is a former Republican U.S. senator from New Hampshire. Joseph Dunford is a retired U.S. Marine Corps general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Nancy Lindborg is the former president and CEO of the U.S.

Yes, It’s Time to Come Home

Andrew Bacevich TomDispatch November 24, 2020 There’s a history still to be written of how key officials in the Trump administration and the Pentagon stiffed the commander-in-chief when it came to America’s forever wars. How, for instance, did the generals with whom Donald Trump initially surrounded himself convince the man who had, in part, won

It’s time to withdraw from Afghanistan

Opinion by William Ruger and Rajan Menon November 18, 2020 William Ruger is vice president for research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute and is the nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. Rajan Menon is Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York and senior research scholar at the Saltzman Institute at Columbia University. An

Less Money, More Conditionality? Stalled peace, Covid-19 and corruption foretell a sombre Afghanistan donor conference

Christine Roehrs • Afghanistan Analysts Network Team • Ali Yawar Adili  17 Nov 2020  Afghanistan donor conference On 23 and 24 November, the 2020 donor conference for Afghanistan takes place, which for the country matters more than ever. Rumours abound about cuts to foreign assistance, at a time when Afghanistan faces a stalled peace process and intensifying poverty and

Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy

Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy Congressional Research Service Clayton Thomas Analyst in Middle Eastern Affairs Report number R45122 November 10, 2020 Full report can be found at this web address:

Biden Presidency Expected To Hone, Not Radically Alter, Washington’s Approach To Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Abubakar Siddique Ganahara RFE/RL November 09, 2020 Joe Biden speaks to supporters after the media announced that he had won the U.S. presidential election over Donald Trump, in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7. As a former chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and vice president, Joe Biden has been closely involved in

The Biden Presidency: What choices for Afghan policy remain?

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network  12 Nov 2020   As of 20 January, the United States should have a new president, as Joe Biden takes over from Donald Trump. Decisions taken in Washington have, for the last 20 years, been fundamental to what happens in Afghanistan, and that is especially the case now. Biden takes

A peace deal alone cannot solve Afghanistan’s myriad problems

Sultan Barakat Sultan Barakat is Director of the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute. Al Jazeera – Opinions 6 Nov 2020 There is a need for a clear plan to address systemic problems such as corruption that undermine reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan. While the international community’s attention is focused

Living with the Taleban (1): Local experiences in Andar district, Ghazni province

Sahil Afghan  Afghanistan Analysts Network  19 Oct 2020 The ‘Living with the Taleban’ mini-series is a joint research project by the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The AAN series editor is Reza Kazemi. Today, we publish the first of three studies exploring how the Taleban rule, and the

Behind the Statistics: Drop in civilian casualties masks increased Taleban violence

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 27 Oct 2020 Six weeks after intra-Afghan talks began in Doha, the Taleban and government teams are still arguing about protocol and what should be on the agenda. Meanwhile, UNAMA’s third quarterly report in 2020 on the protection of civilians in the conflict, published today, shows that, since the talks

The false inclusivity of the Taliban’s emirate

OPINION Mehdi J Hakimi Executive director of the Rule of Law Program and lecturer at Stanford Law School Al Jazeera 26 Oct 2020 The hypocrisy of the Taliban’s mantra of inclusion has been exposed during the intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha. The Afghan peace process entered a pivotal phase with the start of the long-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations in

Our secret Taliban air force

Wesley Morgan The Washington Post 22 October 2020 Wesley Morgan has reported on the U.S. military and its wars since 2007. He is the author of the forthcoming book “The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley.” Inside the clandestine U.S. campaign to help our longtime enemy defeat ISIS Tyler Comrie photo illustration

McMaster says Trump’s Taliban deal is Munich-like appeasement

Opinion by Josh Rogin Columnist, The Washington Post Oct. 20, 2020 National security adviser H.R. McMaster at the White House in October 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) President Trump’s Afghanistan policy is confusing and unclear, even for his own officials. His top general and his national security adviser are publicly battling over U.S. troop withdrawals

The Intra-Afghan Peace Talks: Warring parties negotiate, victims of war are excluded

Ehsan Qaane Afghanistan Analysts Network  16 Oct 2020 A clear divide has emerged in the Afghan government on the role of war victims in the peace process. In a surprising move, President Ashraf Ghani recently suggested that Afghanistan should follow the Spanish model – better known as the ‘pact of forgetting’. Meanwhile, the Ministry of

Afghanistan Donor Conference 2020: Pitfalls and Possibilities

William Byrd  USIP/United States Institute of Peace October 7, 2020 This year, planning international aid must navigate donor differences, a fractured government and fragile Taliban peace talks. When Afghan officials and international donors meet next month to consider future aid commitments to Afghanistan, they will face a changed situation from their last gathering four years

Whose Islam? The New Battle for Afghanistan

By Borhan Osman Mr. Osman is a senior consultant on Afghanistan for the International Crisis Group. The New York Times Oct. 3, 2020 Finding common ground on the role of Islam is the most decisive task in the peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The Taliban need to spell out their ideas about

Clemency for the Taliban will not lead to peace in Afghanistan

Rustam Ali Seerat Research scholar at the Department of International Relations, South Asian University, New Delhi. 30 Sep 2020 OPINION Al Jazeera Impunity only encourages armed groups to continue with their violence against the civilian population. When given a choice between security and freedom, people always choose security. That is why so many dictators and

Afghan Talks: A Road Leading to Peace?

By Mohammad Reza Bahrami, 26 SEPTEMBER 2020 Mohammad Reza Bahrami, Iran’s former ambassador to Afghanistan, writes that the US’s vision for peace in Afghanistan oversimplifies the situation. The preliminary preparations for the intra-Afghan talks are taking shape in Qatar, aiming to set the stage for the official negotiations that were called for in the US-Taliban agreement

Imran Khan: Peace is within reach in Afghanistan. A hasty international withdrawal would be unwise.

Opinion by Imran Khan September 27, 2020 Imran Khan is prime minister of Pakistan. An Afghan Army soldier flashes the peace sign from an armored vehicle during a training excercise in Herat on Sept. 24. (Jalil Rezayee/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) We have arrived at a rare moment of hope for Afghanistan and for our region. On Sept. 12, delegations

Editorial: Is Afghanistan being dragged to square one?

Afghanistan Times Editorial September 26, 2020 A game is being played on the fate of Afghanistan once again, primarily at the hands of key stakeholders and influencers in the country. The US is seemingly backtracking on everything that it purported to uphold and stand for. The history is going to repeat itself because Afghans are

Taliban assaults Helmand capital as U.S. officials plead for a ‘reduction in violence’

BY BILL ROGGIO Long War Journal October 15, 2020 The Taliban launched an all-out assault on Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, as U.S. officials continue to wrongly claim that those attacks are in violation of the U.S.-Taliban withdrawal deal. The Taliban launched its offensive on Lashkar Gah last weekend and shut down the road

Afghan Talks Are Historic Chance for Peace, Says Top U.S. Negotiator

Adam Gallagher United States Institute of Peace Thursday, September 24, 2020 Intra-Afghan talks must address a number of thorny issues, but represent a major milestone to ending four decades of conflict. Afghan peace talks that began in Doha on September 12 are a “historic opportunity” that could bring a close to four decades of conflict

Five Things to Know About the Afghan Peace Talks

BY: Vikram J. Singh; Scott Smith; Scott Worden; Belquis Ahmadi; Johnny Walsh United States Institute of Peace Monday, September 14, 2020 After decades of conflict, the Taliban and Afghan government will seek to negotiate a political settlement that could end the United States’ longest war. The intra-Afghan negotiations that began on Saturday represent a watershed moment in the war: the

To Get to Afghan Talks, Lots of Last-Minute Deals — and Nose Swabs

By Mujib Mashal The New York Times Sept. 16, 2020 Months of delays over issues as big as prisoner swaps and as small as haircuts, with extra coronavirus complications, made the Afghan flight to meet the Taliban no sure bet. Peace negotiations between the Afghan governement and the Taliban began, after many false starts, on Saturday.Credit…Mujib

Two Parties Too Wary for Peace? Central questions for talks with the Taleban in Doha

Christine Roehrs • Ali Yawar Adili • Sayed Asadullah Sadat Afghanistan Analysts Network  11 Sep 2020 For the first time, representatives of the Afghan government and the Taleban are coming together, officially, and in person, to negotiate power sharing and peace.  While the start of the talks was somewhat delayed by disagreements on the last prisoners to be released, the

Peace Leadership: Power struggles, division and an incomplete council

Ali Yawar Adili Afghanistan Analysts Network  6 Sep 2020  Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, has approved a 46-member Leadership Committee for the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), but criticisms have come in hard and fast from all quarters. The most significant rejection has come from Dr Abdullah Abdullah, who asserts his right under the power-sharing

Afghanistan’s future: the core issues at stake as Taliban sits down to negotiate ending 19-year war

September 7, 2020  Kaweh Kerami, PhD Researcher in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London SOAS, University of London provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK. Paving way for talks: Taliban members stand in front of a poster of President Ashraf Ghani after their release from prison in May 2020. Jalil Rezayee/EPA A delegation from

Taliban refuses to negotiate with ‘Kabul administration’ it does not recognize as legitimate

BY BILL ROGGIO Long War Journal August 17, 2020 Even after the Afghan government released nearly 5,000 Taliban prisoners to grease the skids ahead of negotiations with the jihadist group, the Taliban explicitly stated that it will not conduct talks directly with the Afghan government because it “does not recognize the Kabul administration as a government.”

War in Afghanistan in 2020: Just as much violence, but no one wants to talk about  it

Kate Clark Afghanistan Analysts Network 16 Aug 2020  As memories of the relative peace of the Eid ul-Adha ceasefire fade and direct talks between the government and the Taleban should be about to begin, it seems a good time to look again at what has been happening in the conflict since the United States and

Doors Opened for Direct Talks with the Taleban: The results of the Loya Jirga on prisoners and peace

Thomas Ruttig • Ali Yawar Adili • Obaid Ali  12 Aug 2020 Afghanistan Analysts Network The three-day Consultative Peace Loya Jirga held in Kabul from 17-19 Asad 1399 (7-9 August 2020) has opened the way for the Afghan government to release a final 400 Taleban prisoners from government jails, thereby removing the last obstacle blocking direct peace talks with the Taleban. The

Ashraf Ghani: Afghans and their international partners have paid the costs. Now we’re taking a risk for peace.

Opinion by Ashraf Ghani The Washington Post August 14, 2020 at 12:24 p.m. EDT Ashraf Ghani is president of Afghanistan. A newly freed Taliban prisoner, left, stands for processing at Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on Aug. 13. (National Security Council of Afghanistan via Reuters) The Afghan people want peace. This has been our constant demand and

Regardless of who wins in November, the US is likely to stay in Afghanistan

JULY 14, 2020 Written by Sara Bakhtiar Responsible Statecraft Quincy Institute After nearly two decades trapped in an endless war in Afghanistan, a key part of Congress voted once more to extend the U.S. military’s stay in the country, as the House Armed Services Committee’s passed an amendment to make it more difficult for the Trump administration

Coronavirus pushing millions of Afghans into poverty: SIGAR

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES 31 July 2020 New report says virus is overwhelming Afghanistan’s healthcare system, with one-third of the population in a crisis. More than 36,500 people have been infected with the new coronavirus in Afghanistan The coronavirus pandemic is pushing millions more Afghans into poverty, overwhelming the country’s basic healthcare system and

The U.S. must respond forcefully to Russia and the Taliban. Here’s how.

Opinion by John W. Nicholson The Washington Post July 14, 2020 John W. Nicholson, a retired Army general, commanded U.S. and NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan from March 2016 to September 2018. He was the longest-serving commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan. President Trump addresses U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, on Nov. 28, 2019.

U.S., Russian interests overlap in Afghanistan. So, why offer bounties to the Taliban?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 / BY: Andrew Wilder United States Institute of Peace Moscow’s support for the Taliban has been more tactical in nature than strategic, says Andrew Wilder. Recent intelligence reports indicating that Russian bounties paid to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops have bolstered American and Afghan officials’ long-held allegations that Moscow has been engaged in

Don’t Let Russian Meddling Derail Afghanistan Withdrawal Plans

Opinion Editorial Board The New York Times 7 July 2020 Allegations of bounties paid for the deaths of U.S. soldiers are serious. But the White House ought to stay the course toward a peace deal. The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.

Both Medicine and Poison: The Paradox of Support to Afghanistan

By Kate Clark, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network Tolo News 15 June 2020 Why, after almost two decades of massive international aid, are greater numbers of Afghans living in poverty than in the aftermath of the Taliban’s fall? Why has the vision of Afghanistan laid out in the 2001 Bonn Agreement and 2004 Constitution

The unfulfilled promise and limitations of China’s involvement in Afghanistan

A BRI(dge) too far: The unfulfilled promise and limitations of China’s involvement in Afghanistan Vanda Felbab-Brown Brookings Institution June 2020 DOWNLOAD  Download the full report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY China’s focus on and presence in Afghanistan has grown significantly over the past decade. However, the original emphasis on economic relations has been eclipsed by China’s security agenda

The Cost of Support to Afghanistan: New special report considers the causes of inequality, poverty and a failing democracy

The Cost of Support to Afghanistan: Considering inequality, poverty and lack of democracy through the ‘rentier state’ lens Kate Clark  Afghanistan Analysts Network 29 May 2020 A new AAN special report looks at why the political vision of the 2002 Bonn Agreement and 2004 constitution with its promises of a representative democracy has failed to

How the US and Afghanistan can jump-start talks with the Taliban

Reduction in violence is a key prerequisite for the Afghan government and the Taliban to sit at the negotiating table. by Michael Kugelman 31 May 2020 Al Jazeera US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is greeted by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 25, 2019 [File: Reuters/Jacquelyn Martin]

Peace in Afghanistan

Ending the Afghanistan War Responsibly May 18, 2020 n February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement paving a path for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan. A full military withdrawal is necessary and should proceed without delay. To end the war responsibly, however, the exit of troops

The U.S.–Taliban deal is not a military withdrawal; it should be

MARCH 6, 2020 Written by Adam Wunische Quincy Institute Summary • President Trump will likely sell the U.S.–Taliban deal as a peace agreement and a U.S. military withdrawal. It is neither. The deal only reduces troop strength to 8,600 from 13,000, and Trump has said even minor complications will serve as justification to halt or

Rival Afghan Leaders Agree to Share Power—Now Comes the Hard Part

Scott Worden; Johnny Walsh United States Institute of Peace 21 May 2020 The deal is key to moving intra-Afghan negotiations forward, but the devil lies in the details of implementation. Last weekend, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing deal to end a monthslong dispute over the 2019 presidential election. The deal

Will Trump pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan despite continued Taliban attacks?

By Editorial Board  The Washington Post 20 May 2020 An Afghan woman cries while looking for her relative at a hospital that came under attack in Kabul, on May 13. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters) IT’S HARD not to sympathize with Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran diplomat who has been attempting to broker peace in Afghanistan on behalf of the

Coronavirus can still be an opportunity for peace in Afghanistan

Abdul Basit Al Jazeera – opinion piece 14 May 2020 Despite the recent attacks, the Taliban and the Afghan government should continue their cooperation efforts. An Afghan man wearing a protective face mask walks past a painted wall amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Kabul, Afghanistan [File: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters] The coronavirus pandemic is swiftly rearranging global

What Is Missing From Afghan Peace Talks

By Ahmad Massoud Mr. Massoud is a politician in Panjshir, Afghanistan April 14, 2020 The New York Times A just political order in Afghanistan needs decentralization of power and an equitable distribution of resources among its people. A mural of Zalmay Khalilzad, the American diplomat, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader, who signed

Voices from the Districts, the Violence Mapped (2): Assessing the conflict a month after the US-Taleban agreement

Kate Clark  8 Apr 2020  Afghanistan Analysts Network It is now four weeks since Afghans enjoyed eight days of reduced violence in the lead up to the signing of the United States-Taleban agreement. The Taleban announced almost immediately afterwards that their fight would continue against the government, although not against foreign forces. US officials spoke of

Why Winning the War In Afghanistan Meant Losing to the Taliban

The Taliban will seek to run Afghanistan in line with their values and. America will have to stand back and watch. by Amitai Etzioni The National Interest March 31, 2020 Drawing lessons from the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan is important not only for determining the ways we may fight in the future, if

Can America Trust the Taliban to Prevent Another 9/11?

By David Petraeus and Vance Serchuk April 1, 2020 Foreign Affairs A Dangerous Asymmetry Lies at the Heart of the Afghan Peace Deal A U.S. Army crew chief in a CH-47F Chinook helicopter during a training flight in Afghanistan, March 2018 U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook / via Reuters For nearly 20 years, the U.S. intervention in

Afghanistan’s peace process is in danger of unravelling

OPINION The COVID-19 crisis and the Ghani-Abdullah dispute could bring down the fragile peace in the country. by Sultan Barakat Al Jazeera 31 March 2020 Afghanistan”s President Ashraf Ghani (R) and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pose for a photo during their meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 23, 2020 [Reuters] Those of us

An Appeal to Afghan Leaders: Unite to Fight the Pandemic!

By Kai Eide Tolo News (Op-ed) Kai Eide, former UN SRSG in Afghanistan, writes there is an urgent need for politicians to stand together. There are moments in the life of a nation that determine the legacy of their politicians – how they will be remembered in the history of their nation. This is such

An Ailing America Must Not Abandon Afghanistan

BY BARNETT R. RUBIN | MARCH 26, 2020, 4:17 PM     FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE Slashing aid, abandoning the peace process, or going it alone will imperil U.S. interests. A health services staff member wearing protective gear checks the body temperature of a passenger at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Feb. 2. WAKIL KOHSAR /

Coronavirus and the Afghan Peace Process

By Barnett R. Rubin  Op-ed Tolo News 12 MARCH 2020  A challenging peace plan is made even more difficult by the pandemic, Dr Barnett R. Rubin writes. The coronavirus greatly complicates efforts to overcome the already significant obstacles to the implementation of the Afghan peace process foreseen in the February 29 US-Taliban agreement. The prevalence

Trump Isn’t Telling Us Everything About His Deal With the Taliban

The administration is keeping two written annexes a secret from the American public. By The Editorial Board The New York Times March 11, 2020 The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom. An Afghan security guard standing watch

The Taliban deal is failing to take hold

The Washington Post Editorial 10 March 2020 President Trump walks from the Oval Office to board Marine One on Thursday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) PEACE TALKS between the Afghan Taliban and a delegation including the U.S.-backed government were to begin Tuesday under the accord signed by the Taliban and the Trump administration last month. They

Taliban religious decree calls for its emir to rule ‘Islamic government’ in Afghanistan

BY BILL ROGGIO Long War Journal Foundation for the Defense of Democracies March 8, 2020 Image from Voice of Jihad. The Taliban has issued a religious decree, or fatwa, calling for an “Islamic government” to be formed in Afghanistan. This Islamic government is to be led by Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, its current emir, and “lawful ruler” of Afghanistan.

Explainer: Why have two Afghans appointed themselves president?

Explainer: Why have two Afghans appointed themselves president? Charlotte Greenfield Reuters 9 March 2020 KABUL (Reuters) – Two rival Afghan politicians appointed themselves president on Monday following a disputed election, a stand-off that threatens political turbulence days after the United States and the Taliban signed a deal on the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces. Incumbent President

What’s in store after the US-Taliban deal

Vanda Felbab-Brown Brookings Institution Wednesday, March 4, 2020 The deal that the United States and the Taliban signed on Saturday allows the United States to extract itself from a stalled war. For years, the fighting showed no signs of battlefield breakthrough, while the United States held the Afghan security forces and Afghan government on life support. Since

U.S., Taliban Sign Historic Agreement—Now Comes the Hard Part

Can Afghans and the Taliban come together and forge a political settlement? Monday, March 2, 2020  Scott Worden United States Institute of Peace After more than a year and a half of negotiations, the U.S. and Taliban struck a deal on Saturday that paves a way to end America’s longest war. The agreement was signed

From Doha to Peace? Obstacles rising in the way of intra-Afghan talks

Thomas Ruttig  3 Mar 2020  Afghanistan Analysts Network Two key documents to get an Afghan peace process started have been signed: the Doha “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” and a simultaneous bilateral United States-Afghan declaration. The two documents together are supposed to open the door for intra-Afghan peace talks, ie between the Taleban and the

Withdrawal isn’t the same as peace in Afghanistan

Shukria Dellawar Special to Stars and Stripes Published: March 4, 2020 The recently signed agreement between the United States and Taliban offers a clear path for the full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Less clear, however, is the path to real lasting peace in the country. Nearly two decades into America’s longest war, the

An Afghan Bargain Likely to Fail

By Susan E. Rice Ms. Rice, a former national security adviser, is a contributing Opinion writer. The New York Times March 4, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET After 14 months, the United States would be left without any military or counterterrorism capacity in Afghanistan, effectively subcontracting America’s security to the Taliban Zalmay Khalilzad, left, an American negotiator, with

After 18 Years, Is This Afghan Peace, or Just a Way Out?

By David E. Sanger The New York Times Feb. 29, 2020 Afghanistan has gone from being the “good war” that the United States must win to the longstanding burden that, like the British, the Soviets and a series of others, it now seeks to unload. The chief American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar,

The war in Afghanistan America and the Taliban have struck a deal

Now for the hard part Leaders Feb 27th 2020 print edition The Economist Afghanistan has been at war for more than 40 years—longer than most of the world’s population has been alive. America and the insurgents of the Taliban have been battling for close to 19 years, making the conflict the longest America has ever fought.

How Afghans Can Work Together to End the War

By Aref Dostyar Mr. Dostyar is the former director general for international relations and regional cooperation at Afghanistan’s National Security Council. The New York Times Feb. 28, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET Negotiators from the Taliban and the Afghan government must build on the achievements of the past two decades. A bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday

After the US-Taliban deal, what might negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan side look like?

Vanda Felbab-Brown Brookings Institution February 19, 2020 Editor’s Note: The research reported here was funded in part by the Minerva Research Initiative (OUSD(R&E)) and the Army Research Office/Army Research Laboratory via grant #W911-NF-17-1-0569 to George Mason University.  Any errors and opinions are not those of the Department of Defense and are attributable solely to the author(s).

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USIP reports: Insurgent Bureaucracy: How the Taliban Makes Policy

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Can Afghanistan Reap a Peace Dividend if Taliban Talks Succeed?

Can Afghanistan Reap a Peace Dividend if Taliban Talks Succeed? Thursday, March 28, 2019 / BY: William Byrd United States Institute of Peace What the economics of building and sustaining peace look like in the war-torn country. In recent months there has been a flurry of movement in the Afghan peace process, leading to talk of a “peace

‘Women Here Are Very, Very Worried’

‘Women Here Are Very, Very Worried’ Afghan women used to be championed by almost everyone. Now they’re all but forgotten. By Susan Chira Ms. Chira is a senior correspondent and editor on gender issues for The New York Times. March 22, 2019 The New York Times It was once a prominent and bipartisan cause: the liberation

Why the Taliban should be required to renounce al Qaeda in any deal with US

Why the Taliban should be required to renounce al Qaeda in any deal with US BY THOMAS JOSCELYN & BILL ROGGIO March 19, 2019 Long War Journal (Foundation for the Defense of Democracies) Editor’s note: this article was originally published at Politico, with the title of Trump’s Bad Deal with the Taliban. Last week, Afghanistan’s national security

Mullah Omar and the art of hiding in plain sight

Mullah Omar and the art of hiding in plain sight – Q&A Al Jazeera spoke to journalist Bette Dam, whose book says Mullah Omar was in Afghanistan till his death, not Pakistan. by Shereena Qazi 21 March 2019 AL JAZEERA NEWS A new book on the elusive former leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, revealed that

The U.S. needs more from the Taliban than a cease-fire and talks

The U.S. needs more from the Taliban than a cease-fire and talks By Editorial Board The Washington Post March 16 at 7:22 PM THE TRUMP administration has now conducted five rounds of negotiations with the Taliban, including a grueling 16-day round that ended Tuesday in Qatar. Both sides are claiming progress, but details have been scant — including, it turns

Everyone Wants a Piece of Afghanistan

Everyone Wants a Piece of Afghanistan A U.S. withdrawal has opened the door to a possible political settlement, but success will depend on regional powers and the country’s neighbors. BY BARNETT R. RUBIN | MARCH 11, 2019 Foreign Policy Magazine President Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan has given new life to the quest

Commemoration in the Basement: Kabul’s hidden war victims’ museum (2)

Commemoration in the Basement: Kabul’s hidden war victims’ museum (2) Author: Thomas Ruttig Date: 11 March 2019 Afghanistan Analysts Network With the Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue, a new museum dedicated to the victims of the Afghan wars of the last four decades and their families has opened in Kabul in February this year. It was

End Washington’s stagnant Afghanistan war

End Washington’s stagnant Afghanistan war By BONNIE KRISTIAN MAR 07, 2019 Los Angeles Times “America would be more secure and stronger economically if we recognized that we have largely achieved our objectives in Afghanistan and moved aggressively to bring our troops and tax dollars home,” Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) write in an op-ed article.

Afghanistan Talks: No Women, No Peace

Afghanistan Talks: No Women, No Peace Negotiations with the Taliban must include Afghan women to protect their progress and build a sustainable peace. BY: Belquis Ahmadi United States Institute of Peace Friday, March 1, 2019 As talks between the U.S. and the Taliban raise hopes for peace in Afghanistan, the country’s women fear another—and related—possibility: That

Peace in The Air, But Where Is Justice? Efforts to get transitional justice on the table

Peace in The Air, But Where Is Justice? Efforts to get transitional justice on the table Author: Ehsan Qaane and Sari Kouvo Date: 28 February 2019 Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) A new museum, commemorating war crimes and their victims, has opened in Kabul. The Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue is dedicated to collecting the stories of survivors and

Moving Beyond Informality?The Process Toward Peace in Afghanistan.

Moving Beyond Informality? The Process Toward Peace in Afghanistan. Nilofar Sakhi Small Wars Journal February 2019 Peace making through intrastate and interstate diplomacy are central aspects of the process toward peace in Afghanistan. Beginning in early 2010, these dual diplomatic strategies have, however, been confined to discussing the logistical arrangements for various peace talks; initiating

Afghanistan’s Forgotten Half

Afghanistan’s Forgotten Half ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER , ASHLEY JACKSON Jan 18, 2019 Project Syndicate Many diplomats privately concede that women’s rights are not a high priority in peace talks with the Taliban. But a peace agreement without some guarantees for half the Afghan population is not worth having, and a deal that is not partly negotiated by women

Intra-Afghan Peace Negotiations:

Intra-Afghan Peace Negotiations: How Might They Work Friday, February 22, 2019 / BY: Sean Kane United States Institute of Peace Special Report Recent positive developments in the Afghan peace process have renewed hopes that the country’s 17-year-old conflict could come to a close. Direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, however, are likely to involve complex constitutional

Farewell, Afghanistan

Farewell, Afghanistan By Stephen Kinzer  Boston Globe FEBRUARY 20, 2019 LIKE A DISTANT light at the end of an excruciatingly long tunnel, the prospect of American withdrawal from Afghanistan now seems to glimmer ahead. Several rounds of negotiation in Russia, Qatar, and elsewhere have produced the outlines of an agreement. Details are unknown, but by

The Peace Process Should Not Be At The Cost Of Human Rights

The Peace Process Should Not Be At The Cost Of Human Rights By Zaman Sultani 19 JANUARY 2019 TOLO News (Afghanistan) There is suddenly a rush to establish a peace process in Afghanistan. The United States of America has installed Zalmay Khalilzad, a special envoy, who has been shuttling between various regional capitals, seeking to rally

What Is Wrong With Afghanistan’s Peace Process

What Is Wrong With Afghanistan’s Peace Process A hasty American withdrawal will jeopardize hard-won gains such as constitutional rights, citizens’ rights and democratic institutions. By Mariam Safi and Muqaddesa Yourish  Feb. 20, 2019 New York Times President Trump’s announcement of an impending withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s declaration that the Americans and

Afghanistan: Peace Prospects at the Abyss

MIDDLE EAST STRATEGY Afghanistan: Peace Prospects at the Abyss STEPHEN BIDDLE American Interest September 13, 2018 Seventeen years in, the war in Afghanistan presents a credible threat of disaster for all parties involved—or a settlement that could end the fighting on terms we can accept. America’s war in Afghanistan will soon enter its 17th year. Most

Afghanistan needs a dignified, inclusive peace process

BY LISA SCHIRCH, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 02/04/19 THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL What is the conflict in Afghanistan about? That is not a simple question. But there is a single word that sums it up: dignity. Recently I joined a group of 40 Afghan leaders in

Taliban continues to host foreign terrorist groups, despite assurances to the contrary

BY THOMAS JOSCELYN & BILL ROGGIO | February 7, 2019 | | Long War Journal In its latest statement on the summit in Moscow, the Taliban stated “we do not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against other countries including neighboring countries.” Although the Taliban has employed similar language for years, it is a demonstrably false claim. The Taliban

The Taliban’s Fight for Hearts and Minds

The militants’ new strategy is to out-govern the U.S.-backed administration in Kabul—and it’s working. BY ASHLEY JACKSON PHOTOS BY ANDREW QUILTY SEPTEMBER 12, 2018, 8:00 AM In many ways, Charkh seems like a typical rural Afghan district. With little development or industry to speak of, its population of 48,000 ekes out a living mostly from farming.

‘Tired’ Taliban fights on as US is desperate to leave Afghanistan

BY BILL ROGGIO | February 4th, 2019 | | @billroggio | Long War Journal | Over the weekend, President Donald Trump repeated the canard that the Taliban is tired of fighting, and that is what is driving it to the negotiating table. Political, military, and intelligence leaders, as well as analysts and experts on Afghanistan have been

Analytical articles