Category: National Security

Published on June 28, 2017 in The Diplomat Magazine

On June 16, the New York Times published and op-ed titled “For Peace in Afghanistan, Talk to Pakistan.” The authors are right that Pakistan’s behavior must change if Afghanistan is to attain stability, but they’re naive in thinking that what they propose will produce such change.Continue reading

Published on December 28, 2017 in The Diplomat Magazine

Any assessment of where Afghanistan stands today needs to be put into its historical context. In doing so, it should be recalled that even before the advent of the present conflict, Afghanistan had been one of the least developed countries in the world. The country’s development was hindered by competing Russian and British empires for more than two centuries. The imperial tensions and rivalry effectively reduced Afghanistan to one of the most isolated buffer states in the world. But before the colonial era, Afghanistan had been the roundabout of the ancient Silk Road, indeed, its gateway to the north, south, east, and west for commercial and civilizational interactions.Continue reading

Published on June 20, 2013 in The Foreign Policy

In complex post-conflict environments such as Afghanistan, security and development needs are intertwined. Without addressing both at the same time, it would be hard to ensure an environment that enables sustainable economic growth. In other words, bullets alone cannot remedy Afghanistan’s current situation. In fact, as former U.S. President Bill Clinton once said, “it’s the economy stupid,” something that is even more relevant in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.Continue reading

Published on October 26, 2010 in Eurasianet

The topic of civilian casualties in military operations in Afghanistan is attracting lots of international attention these days. But a far more serious problem from the Afghan perspective is the matter of avoidable deaths connected to a lack of human security.

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Published on June 06, 2013 in The Foreign Policy

More than 7 million Afghans waited in long lines for hours, in rainy weather, to vote at over 6,200 polling centers across the country. They did so with a hardened determination to secure a future for Afghanistan where peace, pluralism, and prosperity will be institutionalized over time. They defied months of terrorist assaults that killed scores of innocent civilians, including suicide attacks launched on the offices of the Independent Election Commission in Kabul and targeted a number of Afghan police forces who had been preparing to protect the voters. These indiscriminate attacks, which were staged, and continue to be organized, outside of Afghanistan, aim to derail the country’s democratic state building process and to undo the hard-earned socio-economic gains that continue to empower Afghan girls and women.Continue reading

Published on May 07, 2010 in Eurasianet

Eighteen years ago in early May, Mujahedeen resistance fighters entered Kabul, laying claim to Afghanistan’s capital after the collapse of the Communist regime. At the time, the city had not been severely damaged by warfare and Soviet occupation. The 18 years since then have not been kind to Kabul, though.Continue reading

Published on June 06, 2013 in The Foreign Policy

When citizens of NATO allies look at the record of failure of military interventions in Afghanistan over the past century-and-a-half, they may be tempted to ask: “What chance of success does NATO have?” People should realize, however, that comparing the present-day stabilization mission to past military adventures is not appropriate.Continue reading

Published on October 14, 2009 in Eurasianet

It is true that Afghanistan and Pakistan are fighting a common enemy in the Taliban and al Qaeda. But the nature of insurgency and engagement is quite different in the two countries. The Pakistani military is fighting an insurgency mainly against its own people. It’s different in Afghanistan: government forces are fighting both local militants and terrorist mercenaries that primarily infiltrate from, and are trained and equipped by, elements from across the country’s southeastern border.Continue reading

Published on May 02, 2013 in The Foreign Policy

Almost twelve years have passed since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but peace remains elusive. Four interlocking challenges with internal, regional, transnational, and international dimensions impede Afghanistan’s stabilization and reconstruction. Each challenge facing Afghanistan feeds off the others, and together they have engendered a vicious circle that is destabilizing the country.

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