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Taleban in Transition 2: Who is in charge now?

The new Taleban leader, Mullah Haibatullah, is being closely scrutinised to see if he will try to shape the goals and methods of the insurgency. The question is not just whether he wants to, but if he can. Gone are the days when the amir of the Taleban, by mere virtue of his position, had […]

Toward Fragmentation? Mapping the post-Omar Taleban

The Taleban movement has entered its third decade with infighting threatening its – up till now ­– remarkable unity. The killing of Mansur Dadullah during clashes between Taleban factions in Zabul on 12 November 2015 highlighted the scope of this unprecedented discord. Dadullah had been deputy leader of a newly-formed, breakaway faction of the Taleban. […]

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 […]

Book Excerpt: Scenes of Afghan History – Hamed Karzai before 2001

As many influential Pashtuns, in the country and the diaspora, the Karzai family – and Hamed Karzai himself – offered support to the Taleban after they emerged in 1994 but were rejected by the movement’s leadership. They turned against them and – after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 – made overtures to the ‘Northern Alliance’ […]

With a Little Help From His Friends: A new biography of Hamed Karzai

With only a few days left in the last of Karzai’s two 5-year tenures as head of state (the inauguration of his – still unknown – successor has just been postponed again), Dutch journalist Bette Dam presents the reviewed and updated English version of her biography of the politician who has shaped Afghanistan’s last 14 […]

Transition in Uruzgan (2): Power at the centre

“Only the dead see the end of war”. The encryption on the monument for fallen foreign soldiers in Camp Holland, the main international military base in Uruzgan, might end up a sad prediction for many inhabitants of this southern province. As foreign forces prepare to leave, Uruzganis are ever more worried about the future. Deedee […]