Author Archives: Anand Gopal

About Anand Gopal

The Taleban in Qatar (1): Head of office Tayyeb Agha

The opening of the Taleban’s political office in Doha brought the slither of a clandestine insurgent movement into the public eye. But just who is in the office, about to negotiate with the US and the Afghan government – if, that is, all sides can sort out protocols and procedures? The first of three pieces […]

Guest Blog: Who is Tayyeb Agha? (amended)

After years of rumors of talks with the Taleban, the US is finally meeting a senior Taleban representative face-to-face. In a series of encounters this spring in Germany and Doha, it has been leaked to the press that US officials have met with Tayyeb Agha, a leading Taleban figure. But the world of the Taleban […]

Flash to the Past: Missed Opportunities for Reconciliation

Our guest author Anand Gopal (*) looks back how chances for integrating Taleban into Afghanistan’s past-2001 political system were squandered and how the alienation of leading former commanders in Kandahar became a key motivating factor in sparking the insurgency. Therefore, the original article had the following sub-line: ‘The Victor’s Hubris and the Failure of Reconciliation’. […]

Talking to the Taleban: Who’s under pressure now?

The last US plan – to have a more broad-based reconciliation process only after its military would regain the upper hand on the battlefield – has not worked. The surge has not shifted the momentum. Not the Taleban but in reality the US are under pressure, and fundamental questions open about how and where a […]