War & Peace

The Lion Roars Again: BSA, Loya Jirga and a strong sense of déjà vu

Preparations are underway for the ‘consultative Loya Jirga’ which will meet in a month’s time, as the first step in deciding whether Afghanistan signs a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States. The Afghan parliament will then either approve or reject the agreement. All this pushes the decision way past the 31 October deadline […]

The Release of Mullah Baradar: What’s next for negotiations?

It has been reported that Pakistan has released the most senior Taleban it had in its custody, Mullah Abdul-Ghani Baradar. At the time of his arrest in Karachi in 2010, Baradar was the effective number two in the movement and de facto operational chief of the insurgency. Both the Pakistani and Afghan governments have said […]

Back to Bad: Chahrdara between Taleban and ALP – a district case study

Chahrdara, an embattled district in Kunduz province, is a miniature model for all of Afghanistan’s larger conflicts. Traditionally a hotbed of the insurgency, military interventions could never bring lasting change, so Chahrdara – under heavy foreign siege in 2010 (1) – is back to where it was: a Taleban stronghold in the north. At the same […]

What came out of the Peace Talks in Islamabad? An Afghan and a Pakistani take

Did the Afghan-Pakistani peace talks in Islamabad over the past two days yield results to speak of? There were surprisingly positive moments – moments that justified the hope pinned on this trip. Then again, listening in closer to the concluding statements of the Pakistani Prime Minister and the Afghan President, both leaders seemed to be […]

Opaque and Dilemma-Ridden: A look back at transition

At its Lisbon summit in November 2010 NATO made “transition” its official strategy for Afghanistan, setting mid-2013 as the time when responsibility for security throughout all of Afghanistan should have been handed over – or “transitioned” – from NATO to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in a process of five phases. This time has […]

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