War & Peace

Afghanistan, the United States and the BSA: Who blinks first?

Since the consultative loya jirga that ended in confusion on Sunday (27 November 2013), United States’ and Afghan positions on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) have hardened. President Karzai has added to the conditions he says must be met before he will sign the BSA, while President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, has said […]

A Yes, a Maybe and a Threat of Migration: The BSA loya jirga’s last day

Whoever expected clarity and a swift signing of the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) following the consultative loya jirga will be disappointed. The heads of the 50 committees duly reported back on this final day with a unanimity of views which strongly suggested prior coordination; all supported and almost all urged President Karzai to sign […]

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 […]

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