On December 16, 2016, President Obama, speaking at his last White House press conference, suggested to Donald Trump that, “Since there's only one president at a time,” the president-elect should wait “before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments other than the usual courtesy calls.”
Dr. Barnett Rubin recently gave a keynote speech entitled "Afghanistan's Road to Self Reliance" to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Stockholm, Sweden on 9 December 2016. A video and summary of the speech is available below.
Fifteen years have passed since the international community’s intervention in Afghanistan in 2001. Since the drawdown of international forces, Afghanistan has not been able to secure peace and stability. What are the principal domestic and regional factors that deter and enable achieving these objectives? How can the country move forward?
On September 29th, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic Party) of Afghanistan, signed a peace agreement with the Afghan government, by prerecorded video, from an undisclosed location. In the nineteen-eighties, Hezb-e-Islami was the most extreme of the seven mujahideen parties recognized by Pakistan, and Hekmatyar’s unblinking black eyes were framed by a black turban and full black beard. Three decades later, Hekmatyar, now sixty-nine, has a different look.
This article examines the main cooperation fields between China and the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the post-NATO period. In doing so, this study looks at the initiation of various bilateral joint projects as a distinctive turning point in China-US relations. It argues that existence of such bilateral projects and cooperation in this region does not only produce added value for the countries in question but also have the potential to enhance the mutual relations between China and US.
The 71st UN general assembly (UNGA) session, unlike the somnolent affairs of the past, literally began with a bang. A couple of explosions and the discovery of crude bombs in New York and New Jersey, barely a week after the 15th anniversary of 9/11, revived the spectre of terrorism. The swift arrest of Ahmad Khan Rahami just two days later and his reported trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan focused attention on the region as a base of transnational terrorism.
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.”
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.
Over the past decade the United States and the international community have funded an unprecedented private security industry in Afghanistan. As a result, this industry has become entangled with the Afghan political economy, as international spending has been implicated in funding informal armed groups and commanders. Considerable uncertainty remains as Afghanistan approaches the 2014 deadline for assuming national security responsibilities.
Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn are researchers and writers based in Kandahar. They have worked in Afghanistan since 2006, focusing on the Taliban insurgency and the history of southern Afghanistan over the past four decades. This paper published by CIC, expands on the following key findings: