South Asia News & Analysis Archive

Since the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC in 2001, significant international effort has been poured into creating a stable and secure Afghanistan. Critical questions about what the future holds for Afghanistan and its neighbors linger, especially with the looming deadline for ISAF to turn over responsibility for security to the government of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s religious, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and political identities are far from monolithic, and this makes it challenging to predict emerging social, political, and economic trends and a difficult environment to navigate. And even though Pakistan’s relations with major stakeholders in Afghanistan’s stability and security have dramatically deteriorated over the past several years, the country will remain an absolutely critical component of securing peace and stability in South and Central Asia.

Several of our contributors have worked for government, business, and development organizations providing analytic support on culture, society, geography, and security in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Coupled with our strong expertise and experience in Central Asia, Registan is uniquely poised to helping organizations navigate the challenges and identify the opportunities that will rise in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the decade to come.

Let Registan puts its Afghanistan & Pakistan expertise and experience to work with research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Afghanistan and the other countries of South Asia, visit our services page.

Photo credit: US Air Force Sergeant Bradley Lail via ISAF Media

There is No Wild Blue Yonder for the AAF

by Sunny in Kabul

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I will always have a warm place in my wonky heart for Registan. So here’s the first of a repost or two that’ll be inbound from Sunny in Kabul, my usual blogging home on the web. The following is a slightly edited version of what I [...]

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Central Asia and the Syria Crisis: Assessing the Value of Strategic Partnership with the U.S

by Nathan Barrick

With world attention justifiably focused on the potential for U.S.-led punitive strikes against Syria for President Asad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, it is worth a momentary glance to survey Central Asia’s equities in the issue.  For many world governments, including in Central Asia, the issue is less about Syrian civilians dying by [...]

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Review: Great Games, Local Rules

by Kendrick Kuo
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Alex Cooley has positioned himself as a leading expert on the “new great game” in Central Asia and so it is fitting that his newest book Great Games, Local Rules (GGLR) has itself become an often-cited treatment on the topic. GGLR offers a broad perspective of competing and complementary interests that intersect in Central Asia, while simultaneously [...]

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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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Missed Opportunities Along the Silk Road: China and Russia Neglected

by Kendrick Kuo
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A prediction: in 2014-2015, the US media will begin churning out op-eds about the failures of US plans to stabilize Afghanistan after military withdrawal. A good number will acknowledge, in passing, the New Silk Road (NSR) as one of many small failures, but not give full consideration to the opportunity the NSR represented and hence [...]

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Why Central Asia Matters

by Nathan Barrick

The “Great Game” is the term commonly used to describe the competition by the great 19th Century Empires for influence and control of Central Asia, especially Afghanistan.  There are many observers who would prefer to leave the “Great Game” in the annals of 19th Century history and interpret current events in Central Asia and Afghanistan [...]

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China’s Geopolitical Fallout Not a Win

by Kendrick Kuo
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Robert Kaplan, a contemporary popularizer of geopolitical thinking, has a new article on RealClearWorld titled “China’s Geopolitical Fallout,” wherein he maps out the potential consequences of a Chinese economic slowdown leading to political and social crisis. The winners in Kaplan’s mind are “the United States and its allies — both de facto like India and [...]

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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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The Three Evils of Narco-Policy in Central Asia

by Reid Standish
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On July 3, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (RSKN), Viktor Ivanov announced plans to create an anti-drug operations center through the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The proposed plan to fight drug trafficking in Afghanistan and Central Asia called for the establishment of national headquarters in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan [...]

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