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“Not nation-building,” but “killing terrorists”: Trump’s ‘new’ strategy for Afghanistan

The American president’s long-awaited announcement on United States policy in Afghanistan has finally been made: more troops (number unspecified) and no end-date to the US deployment; fighting “to win” (defined only as preventing a Taleban take-over), aiming at “killing terrorists” and not “nation-building”; new, unspecified threats against Pakistan to stop supporting the Taleban and a […]

Reforming the Afghan Ministry of Interior: A way to ‘tilt’ the war?

As part of their review of military strategy in Afghanistan, both President Ashraf Ghani and the Commander of United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, have honed in on the Ministry of Interior as a critical weakness in the government’s fight against the Taleban. The Afghan National Police, a paramilitary force, is […]

Afghanistan’s Record on Torture to Come under UN Scrutiny

On 25 and 26 April 2017, Afghanistan’s record on torture will be reviewed by a committee of experts under the auspices of the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The CAT Committee will hear from the government, United Nations human rights officials and NGOs before making recommendations. In the weeks leading up to the committee meeting, the government […]

Drone Warfare 2: Targeted Killings – a future model for Afghanistan?

Armed drones came of age, by chance, at the onset of the United State’s ‘war on terror’. Washington has used them ever since to provide close air support to troops on the ground and to carry out targeted killings. In Afghanistan, they have been relatively uncontroversial, but in other countries, their legality, effectiveness and potential […]