Dispatches

The Second Fall of Musa Qala: How the Taleban are expanding territorial control

While Afghanistan’s northern provinces – mainly Kunduz, Faryab and Sar-e Pul – have been in the media’s focus on this year’s Taleban offensive, fighting in their southern Afghan strongholds has geared up too. Within one month the Taleban were able to capture two district centres in Helmand, Musa Qala (still contested) and Nawzad. This combines […]

Trouble in Khas Uruzgan: Insults, assaults, a siege and an airlift

After three months of near non-stop fighting in Khas Uruzgan, a mixed Pashtun-Hazara district in northeast Uruzgan, the Taleban decimated the district’s Afghan Local Police (ALP) and forced most of the other security forces back into the district centre. The attack was not just part of a wider, concerted effort by the Taleban to put […]

Economic Management in Afghanistan: Thoughts on what worked, what didn’t and why

The Afghan government and its international partners will meet in Kabul next month at the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) to review progress since last December’s London Conference and to discuss specific reform programs for the future. Discussions are complicated by the fact that Afghanistan’s economy remains weak and its fiscal situation dire. In the deliberations on […]

Too Few, Badly Paid And Unmotivated: The teacher crisis and the quality of education in Afghanistan

The progress in the education sector has been reported widely as one of the success stories of the national international efforts in Afghanistan since 2002. However, this narrative omits severe problems – one is that the teachers who are supposed to facilitate the rapid growth of the sector are still often ill-trained, ill-equipped, badly paid, […]

The Triple Attack in Kabul: A message? If so, to whom?

Kabul is facing the aftermath of yet another suicide attack, this time at the entrance to the airport where early reports suggested 21 people were killed or injured. People in the capital were already in shock from the bloody events of 7 August: three attacks in 24 hours that killed more than 50 people and […]

From Mullah Omar to Mansur: Change at the Taleban’s top leadership

After almost two days of silence, the Taleban have finally admitted that their supreme leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed, as they call him, has died. On 31 July 2015, they also announced the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, previously Omar’s deputy, as their new leader. Reportedly, this also includes the key title of amir […]

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