Region

Jihadi Commuters: How the Taleban cross the Durand Line

The Taleban use Pakistan as a sanctuary: most of the movement’s leaders are settled there and it is the movement’s preferred place for training, meeting and as a rear base. It is also the prime destination for ‘rest and recuperation’ (R&R) and the rehabilitation of wounded fighters. But how do the Taleban move between the […]

Chechens in Afghanistan 3 (Flash from the Past): Diplomats, yes, but fighters?

Following the authoritative account of Chechens – or rather lack of Chechens – in Afghanistan by Christian Bleuer, and how they have frequently been reported on, but rarely encountered, AAN’s Kate Clark here describes her own experiences with Chechens in 2000. In January of that year, she reported on the opening of a Chechen embassy […]

Chechens in Afghanistan 2: How to identify a Chechen

Researchers focusing on Chechen issues point to clear evidence that many Chechens are fighting in Syria, but roundly reject the notion of a Chechen presence in Afghanistan. In the first part of his special two-parter, Christian Bleuer looked at how Chechens became a battlefield myth for western soldiers and a tool for Afghan and US […]

Chechens in Afghanistan 1: A Battlefield Myth That Will Not Die

 In 2001, as the United States and other allied military forces attacked Taleban and al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, numerous soldiers, journalists and Afghans allied to the Americans relayed stories of a fearless and deadly opponent, incomparably worse than any other enemy: the Chechen. Such reports have never gone away, despite no Chechen having ever been […]

The Crowded-Out Conflict: Pakistan’s Balochistan in its fifth round of insurgency

In the international discussion on Pakistan´s many problems, the low-level conflict in its Balochistan province does not get much attention. The issue of nuclear arms, for instance, is considered more immediately frightening; Balochistan is just the area where these arms are tested. But the province is also the arena for a long-standing, complex and multi-faceted […]

Attack on the Opposition in Tajikistan: Afghan concerns and comparisons

Despite its 1300 kilometre-long border with Tajikistan, Afghanistan is rarely worried by the internal political strife and occasional violence to its north. The situation is, however, worsening. The Dushanbe government’s relentless attack on its domestic political (non-military) opposition, including the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), threatens to undo the relative peace and prosperity of […]

Copper and Peace: Afghanistan’s China dilemma

Facing what is now more than a two year delay in the opening of the Ainak copper mine, the Afghan government has indicated that it is considering re-advertising the contract for the project which had been won by a consortium of Chinese state-own companies. This turnaround has the potential to grow into a major foreign […]

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