Afghanistan

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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Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that [...]

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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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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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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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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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How do Post-2014 Spillover Fears and Russian Foreign Policy Goals Align?

by Reid Standish
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“Thousands of terrorists and fundamentalists will seek refuge in Afghanistan as well as the region around the country,” said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on a visit to India back in October 2012. “It [Afghanistan] may change the situation drastically around the region and for countries like Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia.” In response [...]

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ISAF Explains Security Using Schools and Cellphones…and It’s Adorable

by Sunny in Kabul

ISAF‘s stopped releasing it’s monthly numbers, so for the duration of Operation Ready or Not we’re going to be stuck with whatever press releases they deign to unleash upon us huddled masses. Which is what we had here last week. It was yet another plethora of misguided metrics and an apparent misunderstanding of what’s really [...]

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