Author: Kristian Berg Harpviken

Kristian Berg Harpviken is the Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) since 2009. A long time expert on Afghanistan and the surrounding region, Harpviken holds particular competence on wartime migration, transnational movements and mobilization, regional security and the dynamics of civil war.

Transactional Engagements: Middle Eastern Responses to the Ukrainian War

Russia’s war in Ukraine has been met with global condemnation drawing NATO and the EU closer together in coordinating collective responses. In contrast to this coordinated front among US, French and German responses, it is worth drawing attention to the mixed regional responses among states in the Middle East for whom the war can have… Read more »

The Taliban, International Law and the Rest of the World

The population of Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. Twenty-three million Afghans, more than half of the population, are starving. The UN warns of a risk that a million Afghan children will die. In this situation, there is no way of avoiding cooperation with those in control of the country, namely the Taliban, in order to… Read more »

What happened to Afghanistan’s Security Forces?

The Taliban have asserted control over large parts of Afghanistan within the course of a few weeks. The last international troops are departing. US President Biden and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg have both emphasized the strength of Afghanistan’s security forces. But, encountering the Taliban, those very forces seem in many places to have evaporated. How… Read more »

Will the Taliban Gain From Negotiations?

In the summer of 2001, a Taliban delegation came to Oslo in the hope of holding talks with Norway’s government. The terrorist attacks in the United States that autumn put a stop to such talks, but the Taliban’s attempt at that time to break out of the “steel ring” of international isolation may give some… Read more »

What a Biden Presidency Could Mean for the Middle East

With a winner finally announced in the US election, researchers at the PRIO Middle East Centre present a few thoughts on what a Biden presidency could mean for the Middle East. What are likely to be the guiding foreign policy principles of a Biden administration and how will regional and international actors’ positions be impacted?… Read more »