To the Editor:

A Former Taliban Minister Senses a Growing Demand for Afghan Peace” (The Saturday Profile, Sept. 10), about Agha Jan Motasim, a former Taliban leader, reports that “an early attempt to seek reconciliation” between the Taliban and the Afghan government “through the governor of Kandahar was rejected, so the Taliban had no other choice but to fight.”

Sep 19, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan, Pakistan

PRAGUE, For more than two decades, Pakistan has been accused of creating and sustaining the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan as one of the biggest and most ruthless surrogate forces in modern times.

A leading Western expert of the region, however, says the reality of this opaque relationship is much more complex.

Sep 08, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan, Pakistan

Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin speaks with Qadir Habib about the outlook for Central Asia.

Watch the full interview.

Sep 08, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan

Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.That is the conclusion drawn in this report by Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes from interviews with members of the Taliban’s political wing and analysis of the movement’s official publications.

Jul 13, 2016
Borhan Osman, Anand Gopal
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

During German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to China, the two countries agreed to jointly fund a disaster response centre in Afghanistan. It was just the latest sign of China’s increasingly prominent role in that country, which also includes trying to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban.

Jul 06, 2016
Joanna Chiu, Jared Ferrie, Barnett Rubin
China, South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan

A diminished England, sans nuclear weapons, coupled with a fragmenting Europe, is unlikely to play its traditional role of shaping norms

Jul 04, 2016
WPS Sidhu
China, South Asia, India, Pakistan

At a press conference in Hanoi on May 23, President Obama announced that he would lift the decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam, which he called “a lingering vestige of the Cold War.” He also confirmed that, two days earlier, a missile launched from a U.S. Special Operations Forces drone had killed the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur in a taxi about a hundred miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan. (The strike also killed the driver, Muhammad Azam, whose family the U.S.

Jun 04, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan

Experts say reports of an Iran-backed Taliban buffer zone in Afghanistan against the Islamic State are overstated but that Iran has had links with Taliban commanders for over a decade. 

Jun 01, 2016
Barnett Rubin

On Saturday May 22, a U.S. drone strike killed Mullah Mansour, the leader of the Taliban and architect of the group’s bloody reconquest of Afghanistan this past year. Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports on the killing, and Hari Sreenivasan talks to former Pakistani diplomat Riaz Mohammad Khan and former State Department official Barnett Rubin about what lies ahead for the Taliban.

May 23, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

As the Taliban collected the body of its slain leader on Monday, the insurgent group also began discussing his replacement, insiders say — a choice that could spark furious infighting and signal whether there's any chance of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

Two senior members of the Afghan Taliban told NBC News that they'd received the burned remains of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who was killed Saturday in a U.S. airstrike in southwest Pakistan — the first time since the beginning of the Afghan war that the United States had directly targeted a Taliban leader.

May 23, 2016
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

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