Dispatches

Taleban attacks on Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri: Symbolic operations

In the last week Taleban have attacked and entered three provincial centres, Kunduz city, Pul-e Khumri in Baghlan and Farah city, before being pushed back. This dispatch focusses on the offensives against Pul-e Khumri and Kunduz, considering them in the context of the regional security of northeastern Afghanistan. It finds that key lessons from earlier […]

Trump Ends Talks with the Taleban: What happens next?

United States president Donald Trump has called off talks with the Taleban and cancelled signing of an agreement with them. The trigger, he said, was a suicide bomb which killed one US soldier and “11 other people” carried out “seemingly [to] strengthen their bargaining position.” However, voices against the ‘agreement in principle’ deal had already […]

One Land, Two Rules (8): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected insurgent-controlled Zurmat district

The Taleban’s military dominance in Zurmat district of Paktia province has allowed them to assert their will over how government and NGO-provided public services are delivered. Their motivation varies from ideological control (education and media) to revenue generation (taxes on telecommunications and public infrastructure projects). In this district, the Taleban have expanded into tax collection […]

US-Taleban talks: An imminent agreement without peace?

News coming out of the latest round of US-Taleban negotiations suggest that an agreement is imminent, but that in the desire to meet the White House’s 1 September 2019 deadline, the US have made concessions that may well complicate an actual peace agreement in Afghanistan. It appears that the US have dropped the “nothing is […]

Past as Prologue? What the parliamentary election results tell us about the September presidential election

To better understand the influences that will shape the outcome of the upcoming presidential election, guest author Scott Worden (with input from Colin Cookman)* analyses recent voter registration patterns, as well as voting patterns from the last parliamentary election, in October 2018. He found large differences between provinces and regions – in security conditions, rates […]

“Murder Is Always”: The Kulalgo night raid killings

On the night of 11 and 12 August, what seems to have been a mixed US-Afghan commando raided several homes in Kulalgo, a large village in Zurmat district, Paktia. Eleven people were killed, civilians who had nothing to do with the insurgency, according to family members and local elders. They were ‘Taleban’ according to official […]

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