Can Kabul Carry Two Melons in One Hand? Afghanistan and Iran sign strategic cooperation document

Almost unnoticed by the international media, Afghanistan and Iran have signed a “Strategic Cooperation Agreement” during President Karzai’s recent trip to Tehran. The document includes provisions on bilateral military, intelligence and economic cooperation. The sequence indicates importance; the agreement is mainly a security agreement. However, it also contains ideas for a number of trilateral extensions […]

Guest Blog: Andkhoi between Drought and Insurgency

The sale of government jobs, unexplained killings, abductions by the Taleban and a severe drought that has resulted in a nearly complete crop failure this year. It is difficult to say what is worse for the people in Andkhoi, the security situation or economic crisis, our guest blogger Marga Flader who works for a German […]

Splitting the Haqqanis with NATO Reconciliation Air?

The initial big wave of reports about talks with the Taleban gathering speed and of a possible short-term ‘reconciliation’ have given way for a slower but steady trickle of spicy detail. A detail dropped here, some names there, mixed with half-denials like Richard Holbrooke’s ‘There is less than meets the eye’ line keep the shurwa(*) […]