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

Iran is working with the Taliban to set up a buffer zone along its border with Afghanistan to keep out the Islamic State, the latest sign of how the rise of the Syrian-based terror group is turning longtime rivals into uneasy allies.

May 27, 2016
Barnett Rubin

CIC Senior Fellow and Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin spoke recently with Voice of America Pashto, please view the interview below.

The VoA commentator poses questions in Pashto and Dr. Rubin responds in English.  Below are the English translationss of the questions.

-President Obama stated that the death of Mansoor is an important milestone.  Is it?  Will the loss of this leader really effect the Taliban’s progress?

May 26, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan

In 1996, the Taliban movement, a majority of who were religious students from Deobandi madrasas (religious schools) in Pakistan and rural Afghanistan, established a short-lived Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. On arrival in Kabul, the Taliban barred women from working at public or private institutions and banned girls from schools. The Taliban regime said that the ban was because of a lack of facilities and security.

May 26, 2016
Barnett Rubin, Clancy Rudeforth
South Asia, Afghanistan

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

Early on Saturday, a middle-aged Pashtun man used forged documents to cross from Iran into Pakistan. A few hours later, on a lonely stretch of highway, he was incinerated by an American drone.

May 24, 2016
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

India might be better off building an international consortium with the likes of Japan and South Korea to invest in the project

May 23, 2016
WPS Sidhu
South Asia, India
South Asia

Dr. Barnett Rubin published "Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror" in hard cover in  April 2013, and a paper back version was published through Oxford University Press in May 2015. Amazon writes that Rubin distills his unmatched knowledge of Afghanistan in this invaluable book. He shows how the Taliban arose in resistance to warlords some of whom who were raping and plundering with impunity in the vacuum of authority left by the collapse of the Afghan state after the Soviet withdrawal.

May 19, 2015
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan
Afghanistan

Related Publications

Pages