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As we move towards the draw-down of foreign forces in Afghanistan, openSecurity asks Afghan, Pakistani and international experts what needs to happen in the region to establish peace.

Erdoğan, Syria and the Kurds: be careful what you wish for

A complex political triangulation links the Turkish president with the Syrian imbroglio and the Kurdish question, but his political target is receding.

With Ghani in Kabul, will relations with Pakistan change?

There are signs that the long-fraught relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan could improve, following the change of leadership in Kabul. Reciprocation from Islamabad will, however, be needed.

Tensions rise between India and Pakistan

International constraint and mutual nuclear deterrence may have prevented all-out war with Pakistan in the past over contested Kashmir. With thousands fleeing their homes amid escalating violence, that may not remain a secure wager.

Pakistan school attack: years of inaction led to this atrocity

The Peshawar atrocity did not come out of a clear blue skythe foreboding context an inert, corrupt state ambivalent towards violence, hardly functioning public institutions and unregulated madrasas.

Between Scylla and Charybdis: life in Pakistan’s tribal frontier

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas touching Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan suffer a toxic mix of state and non-state violence and neglect. The consequences are unlikely to be good.

The missing women of Afghanistan

After 13 years of war, 'democracy' is based on the rule of men, not law. 

Drones in Afghanistan—under the radar

Drones in Afghanistan have been responsible for countless civilian casualties. That’s the problem—they’re countless.

The devastating truth of women’s rights in Afghanistan

The looming withdrawal of western forces from Afghanistan highlights the apparent dispensability of the modest gains Afghan women have seen since 2001—and the deep-seated forces which sustain a viciously patriarchal order.

How the US created the Afghan war - and lost it

The unreported story of how the Haqqani network became America's greatest enemy.

Afghan media face an uncertain future

The presidential election has shown Afghanistan’s increasingly mature media scene at its best – hopefully not for the last time.

Left behind: the rural youth in Afghanistan’s election

Despite the success of Afghanistan’s transparent, peaceful election, engagement with rural populations remained low. Failure to address the growing disaffection resulting from the urban-rural gap threatens the country's fragile progress. 

India: jostling for geopolitical control in Afghanistan

Forecasts past the withdrawal of US and British forces in Afghanistan tend to prize fears of violence and instability spilling over into Pakistan, obscuring the country's vital importance to both India and China. 

India and Pakistan: time to call time on proxy wars

India and Pakistan’s zero-sum game is hindering development and the proxy wars in which the two states have indulged need to come to an end. If they do, big dividends would follow.

China and the Great Game

Almost all discussion of Afghanistan after 2014 hinges on the withdrawal of western forces. Yet into that gap a major power is stepping—China. China’s involvement in turn poses major questions, vis-à-vis Pakistan, India and their own point of friction—Kashmir.

A way out of the Afghanistan conundrum

%22Bordering"A comprehensive peace will clearly not be achieved militarily, but how can the warring factions engaged with the complex conflict in Afghanistan be brought into negotiations? Engagement with Alternative Dispute Resolution practices at the regional level offers potential.

Will courage be enough?

%22Bordering"Faced with rising violence in the run-up to the withdrawal of foreign troops, Afghan women’s rights activists fear for the future, Lynne O’Donnell reports from Kabul.

Why the solution to Afghan state building post-2014 lies in regional diplomacy

Until 2012, there was no comprehensive U.S. strategy on Afghanistan. Additionally, a number of systemic issues hampered the development of the Afghan state and economic gains. After the withdrawal of most U.S. troops in 2014, the only viable option for Afghanistan's development lies in consolidating regional diplomacy.

Mission Afghanistan

%22Bordering"India must take on a global leadership role, providing both economic and military aid together with regional/global partners, in support of the Afghan government.

جنگ بر سر واژه ها: آزادی بیان بعد از خروج نیروهای آمریکایی از افغانستان


نویسندگان و خبرنگاران افغان با وخیم تر شدن وضعیت روبرو هستند. بعضی بر این باوراند که ممکن است دستآورد های آزادی بیان بعد از خروج نیروهای خارجی ناپدید شوند


War for words: freedom of speech after America leaves

%22Bordering"Afghan writers and reporters face a worsening situation. Some fear that the gains made for freedom of speech will disappear with the drawdown of foreign forces. فارسی

The root cause of green on blue attacks

%22Bordering"The draw down of international troops in Afghanistan was predicated on ISAF building a relationship with Afghan forces to 'hand over' security. 'Green on blue attacks' signal an opposite trend, and one that may intensify as troops leave.

Talking to the other side: humanitarian engagement with the Taliban in Afghanistan

%22Bordering"Aid agency engagement with the Taliban will be critical to ensuring they can still operate after 2014.  Research published by ODI explores Taliban attitudes toward aid work and the approaches used by aid agencies to gain access to Taliban-held areas.

The geopolitics of drug trafficking in Afghanistan

%22Bordering"In Afghanistan, opium is not clandestinely traded on some back alley black market. Opium is the market.

Military, Militants and Mandarins: prospects for trade and peace between two nuclear powers

%22Bordering"Small but promising steps towards normalisation between India and Pakistan have implications beyond their bilateral relations, given the challenging neighbourhood the two states inhabit.

The future of Afghan refugees in Pakistan

%22Bordering"Pakistan’s decision to speed up the return of the three million Afghan refugees living across the border places strain on a bilateral relationship already suffering from a massive trust deficit.

US's last chance in Afghanistan: reconciliation with the Pashtuns

%22Bordering"The west's campaign in Afghanistan is simply out of date. If there is any hope in a positive outcome, then a paradigm shift from conflict to dialogue is required.

Afghanistan Post-2014: power will be shared between the CIA, the Pentagon and the current elite

%22Bordering"A power-sharing political system already exists, but not the one Farhad Arian envisions. The system proposed is unrealistic, and looking to the 'International Community' to bring it into being is misguided, at best.

Threatened in the bud: the fragile existence of policy research and advocacy in Pakistan

%22Bordering"The international focus on Pakistan has affected how knowledge is produced within Pakistan, and who for. Looking ahead, Pakistani research faces a multiplicity of threats, even as non-governmental voices proliferate.

'We think of Zakir as Nick Clegg': Taliban perspectives on reconciliation

%22Bordering"This summer, former leading figures in the Afghan Taliban and former mediators met the authors to discuss Taliban ideas for a peace settlement. This RUSI briefing paper affords rare insights into currents of opinion within the Taliban.

Could power-sharing build the consensus necessary for peace in Afghanistan?

%22Bordering"For there to be stability in Afghanistan, all major ethnic groups must be guaranteed a share of power. The support of the international community is needed now, to make this a reality post-2014.

Cautious Allies: regional powers in Afghanistan

%22Bordering"India, China, Russia and Iran have a surprising confluence of interests in a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, but so far the regional powers have been cautious not to give away too much. Their role may be path-setting as foreign forces leave.

Bordering on Peace?

%22Bordering"As we move towards the draw-down of foreign forces in Afghanistan, openSecurity asks Afghan, Pakistani and international experts what needs to happen in the region to establish peace.

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