Tag: Afghanistan

Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan: a Manifesto

Author’s Note: Royalist and republican, Khalqi and Parchami, Soviet Union and the West, communist and Islamist, mujahid and Talib, Hanafi and takfiri, al Qaeda and America, warlord and technocrat, Pashtun and non-Pashtun, Islamic Emirate and Islamic State, KGB, ISI, and CIA – all have for decades carried on an uninterrupted struggle in Afghanistan. Attempts to… Read more »

Afghanistan – a new chapter in the Great Game?

May the shifting superpower dynamics bring hope for Afghanistan? Both Moscow and Beijing are displaying increasing interest in Afghanistan, after a decade and a half of domination by Washington. This shift is having effects in both Afghanistan and among its neighbours. the international power play surrounding Afghanistan is changing Recent news from Afghanistan has been… Read more »

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 »