War & Peace

“The Eid ceasefire helped our efforts well”: Helmand peace marchers keep up the pressure

Although the Eid ceasefires have been and gone, they have rekindled hopes across Afghanistan that peace is possible. Helmand’s peace movement is keeping up the pressure. It has staged sit-ins in front of embassies in Kabul and sent letters to countries participating in or supporting the war effort. The movement has also reached other parts […]

The Insecure Spring of Ghazni: Results of third-grade treatment by the centre?

Ghazni is one province where the Taleban have long-established significant influence. Actually, they dominate it militarily, with the exception of the provincial capital, all but one of the 18 district centres and some larger areas in three districts. Over the spring of 2018, the Taleban – although not capturing more territory –, have significantly expanded […]

Enemy Number One: How the Taleban deal with the ALP and uprising groups

It is one of the few ‘truths’ of the Afghan insurgency that the Taleban hate arbaki– their term for locally-recruited defence forces, primarily the Afghan Local Police and uprising groups.These forces have always been a mixed bag, with some abusing the local population or captured by ethnic, factional or criminal interests. However, especially where they […]

The Eid Ceasefire: Allowing Afghans to imagine their country at peace

Ceasefires by the government, the Taleban and the United States over the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr has partially ended with the Taleban ordering their fighters back to “normal operations.” However, the three-day truce resulted in an unprecedented peaceful movement of fighters and soldiers into territories controlled by the other. The media was full of […]

Why Farah?  A short history of the local insurgency (II)

The Taleban have been a persistent and growing force in Farah since 2001, rebuilding their strength quietly after the US invasion and then seizing territory in remote districts. Insurgents now challenge pro-government figures for control of valuable trade and smuggling routes, assisted by the disarray among their opponents as the provincial government is hobbled by […]

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