Tag: Afghanistan

Conflict Portrait: Afghanistan

The armed conflict between the Afghan government, along with its international allies, and armed radical Islamist insurgents intensified after 2014. At the end of that year, the mandate of the NATO-led ISAF combat mission expired, and the responsibility for security was officially handed over to the Afghan authorities. ISAF was replaced by a far smaller… Read more »

Women, Peace and Security?

The Norwegian government had lofty ambitions to implement UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in Faryab Province in Afghanistan. However, attempts to realise these ambitions were half-hearted. The role of the gender adviser became a political alibi for the Norwegian Provincial Reconstruction Team’s haphazard efforts to implement the resolution. The UN Security Council… Read more »

Rhetoric as Required

From “the pre-emptive defence of Norway”, to “conflict resolution and peace”, even in the event of “war-like actions”, Norwegian politicians have adapted their rhetoric on Afghanistan as required by circumstances and public opinion. From day one, the Norwegian government has been enthusiastic in its support of intervention in Afghanistan. But over the years many different… Read more »

Political Defeat – Military Inadequacy! The Swaddling Blanket of Intervention

The military interventions by the West in the Middle East, Afghanistan and North Africa in recent years are examples of bold and efficient use of force resulting in immediate achievement of goals. Saddam Hussein’s military forces were defeated, the Taliban were deprived of their havens and possible massacres in Libya were prevented. The attempts however… Read more »

Can Afghans Reintegrate after Assisted Return from Europe?

Governments present the assisted return of rejected asylum seekers and other ‘unwanted’ migrants as the cornerstone of an effective migration management policy. However, it is also a practice criticised by migrants’ rights advocates for being a form of coerced, rather than voluntary, return. One response to critiques is to highlight the potential such programmes have… Read more »

An Uncertain Future in Afghanistan

Under the tripartite agreement entered into between Afghanistan, Norway and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Afghans who are refused asylum in Norway have two choices: either to take advantage of the assisted repatriation programme; or to reject this offer and risk being forcibly deported and returned to Kabul almost empty handed. The two… Read more »

A Muted Voice? Religious Actors and Civil Society in Post-2001 Afghanistan

In general, religious actors are not perceived as possible contributors to civil society. In Afghanistan, where religion permeates society and politics, and where religious leaders and networks bear considerable influence, this is particularly problematic. There is a need for a thorough rethink of what civil society is, and the role of religion within it. While… Read more »

A Young and Fragile Time in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s “youth boom” means that the country has a large generation of young people with high expectations for a better future – and high levels of frustration. Such a situation provides fertile ground for radicalization. Afghanistan’s population is estimated to have grown by as much as 2.4 per cent in 2014, and around 68 per… Read more »

How can Norway best Support Afghanistan?

The current situation in Afghanistan is the subject of two opposing narratives: one is a success story about international support and involvement since 2001; the other is a story where much has gone wrong and everything can only get worse. Agreeing on a narrative that is closer to the truth is crucial when deciding what… Read more »

A New Afghan Spring?

Sitting in Kabul today, watching the Presidential inauguration on local television, it is difficult to say whether we are seeing a new Afghan spring or the onset of a disaster. After weeks and weeks of quarrelling, the two main presidential contenders settled on a power-sharing formula: Ashraf Ghani is the new president, while Abdullah Abdullah… Read more »