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Afghanistan

Amidst an intensifying Taliban insurgency and emerging Islamic State threat, Afghanistan's path to peace and stability looks ever more perilous. Taliban militants now control more territory than at any time since its ouster by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001. Crisis Group is one of the few analytical organisations with a presence in Afghanistan. We help local and international stakeholders to comprehend the context and drivers of conflict, militant extremism, political-economic fragility, and its implications for the world and the region. Crisis Group helps local authorities and the international community formulate effective policies to  improve governance and security in the country and stop violent extremism.

CrisisWatch Afghanistan

Unchanged Situation

U.S. and NATO 3 Sept pledged to invest $7bn in Afghan air force over next four years; UN Secretary-General Guterres 16 Sept claimed military victory in insurgency is not possible and highlighted need to invest in conditions for political solution. Reports emerged late Sept that U.S. President Trump pushing President Ghani to ask Qatar to shut down Taliban’s “political office” in Doha, a channel of communication since 2013; Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates reportedly support move. Following further concern over activities of Pakistan-based terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan PM Abbasi speaking at UN General Assembly 22 Sept defended his country’s commitment to regional war on extremism, said military had “cleared out tribal areas of almost all militant groups”. In Nuristan province (east), military 9 Sept reported 85 Taliban killed in airstrikes, 13 Sept said they had repelled major Taliban ground offensive 11 Sept killing over 70 militants, while Taliban reported killing twenty forces. Insecurity continued in Kabul, where unclaimed suicide bomb attack outside cricket stadium 13 Sept killed one policeman and two civilians; Taliban car bomber targeting NATO convoy 24 Sept reportedly injured five civilians; Taliban 27 Sept claimed mortar attack targeting visiting U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis at airport, no casualties reported; U.S. forces retaliated with airstrike, accidentally killing unreported number of civilians due to “missile malfunction”. In Kandahar province (south), suicide bomber 15 Sept struck NATO convoy in provincial capital, killing Romanian soldier; roadside bomb 18 Sept reportedly killed six civilians near capital. As electoral commission began assessment of polling stations in unstable areas, NGO Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan expressed doubts over prospect of credible and legitimate elections due to Taliban control over parts of country, security threats, lack of capacity and trust in electoral commission.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

19 Apr 2017
[The use of the "Mother of All Bombs" is about] sending a clear message to regional players [...] to say that the U.S. is ready to take action and utilize necessary force. Foreign Policy

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
14 Apr 2017
[The U.S. bombing] sounds more like a message to the international rivals [...] than actually a serious attempt by the Trump administration to get more deeply involved in the Afghan war. Los Angeles Times

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
25 Mar 2017
We don’t know whether the former commanders [of Hezb-i-Islami in Afghanistan] will unite around [Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar or work against him. This is his last attempt to reach power. The Washington Post

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
13 Feb 2017
[Afghan refugees] settle around urban centres, which may be relatively safe, but what essentially happens is it cuts them off from communities they belong to. The Guardian

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
28 Jan 2017
[The Taliban] is becoming more efficient in systematically taxing the areas they either control or have a lot of influence on. Efficiency of taxation [helps] to sustain the group for a long time. The New York Times

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
19 Jan 2017
Obama's hasty exit strategy along a set timeline had a negative impact on the dynamics of conflict in Afghanistan. Deutsche Welle

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Commentary / Asia

Afghanistan: Growing Challenges

Political fractures continue to weaken the Afghan National Unity Government as the Taliban insurgency expands and an Islamic State affiliate strengthens its foothold. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to continue to provide technical support to the negotiating process and take measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

Op-Ed / Asia

Dealing with disaster in Afghanistan

Originally published in Boston Globe

Op-Ed / Asia

Falsche Beschützer

Die Aufrüstung der Afghan Local Police wäre ein tragischer Fehler

Originally published in Internationale Politik

Our People

Timor Sharan

Former Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
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