Archive of Alec Metz

Alec Metz is an independent policy analyst focusing on security and development in South and Central Asia.

Alec has written 18 articles at Registan.


Robber Barons of Ghazni

by Alec Metz

Even with a drastically reduced international presence after this year, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will continue to exist. As long as enough aid money comes in, with arguably somewhere around 350,000 in the security forces, if the government can continue to pay and equip its security forces (granted, not a sure thing), [...]

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Afghan Candidates for President in 2014

by Alec Metz

The registration of candidates in Afghanistan finished yesterday, and this morning Tolo News announced the complete list. Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Qayum Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Sayed Ishaq Gailani, and Abdul Rahim Wardak are all running for the top spot, and Ismail Khan, Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Habiba Surabi are among others running for VP [...]

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Karzai Points to Sayyaf for President in 2014

by Alec Metz

It was reported last week that Karzai held a meeting with the Warlord Abdul Rasul Sayyaf,  Minister Ismail Khan, Vice President Fahim, and Governor Mohammad Atta (who has presidential ambitions of his own) to press quorum to accept Sayyaf as candidate for president in 2014. The article points out that Atta did not commit, and suggests the matter is still under consideration by the [...]

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Taliban Eid Message 2013

by Alec Metz

As they’ve done every year since before the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban released an Eid message yesterday (see here for reports on 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). This year’s message dealt with civilian casualties, urging Taliban to avoid them, and placing the blame for past mistakes on the Afghan government and Coalition [...]

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From the Desk of the Taliban Leadership…

by Alec Metz

The Pakistani Express Tribune published an open letter today from Adnan Rashid (Tehrek-i Taliban Pakistan) to Malala Yousufzai. He wrote, in English, to convey three points: first, that she was not shot for educating herself. Second, that her propagandizing is a smear campaign, stretching back to Macauley’s Minute on Indian Education of 1835, supported by America and Jews, and their slaves [...]

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Readjusting in Afghanistan

by Alec Metz

Three big Afghan-related news items came out of not Afghanistan today: Pakistan’s official view of the U.S. raid that killed Bin Laden, the U.S.’s reconsideration of its withdrawal timelines and endstate, and the closure (probably temporarily) of the Taliban office in Qatar. All three are strong indicators of serious problems Afghanistan will face post-2014. The [...]

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Mongolia Votes

by Alec Metz

Polls in Mongolia will close in a few hours, in all likelihood reelecting President Ts. Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party (DP). His opponents, the former-wrestler-turned-MP B. Bat-Erdene of Hentii from the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and former health minister N. Udval of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), failed to make much of a showing [...]

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Pakistani Terrorists in Mongolia?

by Alec Metz

Last week it was announced in the Mongolian press that three Pakistani terror suspects had been arrested at Chinggis Khaan International in Ulaan Baatar by the police and intelligence agency of Mongolia as they were trying to enter the country (news.mn/english). This is unusual for Mongolia; it is the only country I’m aware of in mainland [...]

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Book Reviews: William Dalrymple’s Return of a King and Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Little America

by Alec Metz

This is a review of two books, one early (Return of a King doesn’t come out in the U.S. until April) and one woefully late (Little America was released in June of 2012). I’ve put them together given their prognostications, stated or otherwise, for the NATO/ISAF campaign in Afghanistan, because both authors are not traditional historians, [...]

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The U.S. plays a dangerous sanctuary game

by Alec Metz

The Washington Post reported yesterday that not only does the U.S. know Maulana Fazlullah (“Radio Mullah”), the Pakistani Taliban allied TNSM leader accused of killing Pakistani government forces and figures (including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto), overrunning Swat in 2007, and ordering the execution of Malala Yousufzai, is hiding in Eastern Afghanistan, but that ISAF doesn’t plan on [...]

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