Analytical articles

Francesc Vendrell obituary

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

Afghanistan’s Hunger Crisis Is a Human-Made Catastrophe

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

The Daily Hustle: Going to the bank

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

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

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

Is Peacebuilding Possible in Afghanistan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afghans Adapting to Economic Decline, Social Restrictions

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

Obituary for Francesc Vendrell (1940-2022)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Unwinnable War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Afghanistan, Was a Loss Better than Peace?

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

Biden, Democrats’ downward spiral began with Afghanistan

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

No Justice in Afghanistan for Slain Journalist 2 Years On

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

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

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

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

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

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress October 30, 2022 https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2022-10-30qr.pdf

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

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

Missteps and Missed Opportunities for Peace in Afghanistan

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

Taliban Escalate New Abuses Against Afghan Women, Girls

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

The Kabul Bank Crash

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

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

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

STABILIZING AFGHANISTAN

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT AFGHANS WANT THE REST OF THE WORLD TO KNOW

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

Iran’s Protests … and the Afghan Sisters Next Door

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

How Western Errors Let the Taliban Win in Afghanistan

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

Afghan Resistance Leaders See ‘No Option’ but War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Hope for Afghans in Need

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

Is Afghanistan’s Long Civil War Really Over?

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

UN Human Rights warns of Afghanistan’s descent into authoritarianism

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

Afghanistan withdrawal remains the correct choice one year later

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

Afghanistan’s Women Are on Their Own

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

How America Sealed Afghanistan’s Fate—Again

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

Americans Must Face the Hard Truth on Afghanistan

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

The Evacuation of Afghanistan Never Ended

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belquis Ahmadi on Afghanistan a Year After the Taliban Takeover

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

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

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

The Afghan Women Left Behind

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

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

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

A Year After the Fall of Kabul

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

Strategic Patience: Sustainable Engagement with a Changed Afghanistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan’s crisis started well before August 2021

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

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

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

The Taliban’s year-one report card

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

The Afghanistan Deal that Never Happened

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

The Taliban’s Dangerous Collision Course With the West

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

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

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

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

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

Petraeus: Doha Deal ‘Among the Worst Diplomatic Agreements’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the Taliban, a New Era of Isolation Has Arrived

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A New Platform for Afghan Women and Civil Society

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

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

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

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

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

Arbitrary Power and a Loss of Fundamental Freedoms

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

Afghanistan: Taliban Execute, ‘Disappear’ Alleged Militants

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

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isolated Afghanistan may face struggle for aid after earthquake

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

THE FIGHT FOR AFGHANISTAN RAGES ON

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan is not ours to fix

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

What are the prospects for Afghan-US relations?

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

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

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

Women across Afghanistan navigate the Taleban’s hijab ruling

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

RAND Offers Three Options for US Policy on Afghanistan

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

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

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

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

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

How the Taliban’s Hijab Decree Defies Islam

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

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

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

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

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

The Taliban drapes Afghan women in repression

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

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

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

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

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

China’s Embrace of the Taliban Complicates US Afghanistan Strategy

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

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

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

I am now one of millions of Afghan refugees

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

The Taliban Promised Them Amnesty. Then They Executed Them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some lawmakers worry Afghan refugees will be forgotten

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

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

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

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

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

Remember Afghanistan

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

It is hardly surprising Empire stole Afghan money

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

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

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

Why cancellation of Fulbright Program in Afghanistan matters

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

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

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

The Taliban Confront the Realities of Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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