Can President Trump Bring Peace to Afghanistan?

The negotiations between the United States and the Taliban may represent the most important turning point in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led intervention. But the path to an internal Afghan peace process is difficult, and only history will tell whether these negotiations marked the onset of a sustainable Afghan peace process or became just a… Read more »

The Taliban’s Choice

The Taliban have, for the first time, been presented with a comprehensive peace initiative. This is an invitation they can not turn down. President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal at the conclusion of the recent meeting of the Kabul Process on Peace and Security Cooperation was as bold as it was surprising. The package contains many new… 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 »

Renewed Violence in Pakistan

Last night, the Pakistani Taliban (otherwise known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP) allegedly staged a bloody attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Shahidullah Shahid, TTP’s spokesman, told Agence France-Press that the group launched the attack in revenge for the Pakistani government’s November 2013 killing of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud. He also claimed the group… Read more »

The Taliban are an Organized Fighting Force

A new UN report blames the Taliban for a sharp rise in violence against civilians. The Taliban are an organized fighting force. They combine a relatively strong central command with a networked structure in which each of the various factions operate with considerable independence. Establishing control over certain territories has been a main rationale for the… Read more »