Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Youtube

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

Taliban made further territorial gains and launched large-scale attacks on previously peaceful areas of Ghazni province, and govt forces suffered heavy casualties in Farah province. Major incidents included Taliban assaults 6-7 Nov and again from 20 Nov on Jaghori district (Ghazni province), overrunning govt positions and reportedly killing at least 30 soldiers; Taliban 28 Nov attacked British security firm, killing six including one Briton. Taliban roadside bomb 26 Nov killed three U.S. soldiers in Ghazni, worst loss of life for U.S. military so far in 2018 in Afghanistan. At least six killed in suicide attack on a demonstration in Kabul 12 Nov claimed by Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-KP). In Farah province, Taliban early Nov assaulted govt positions in Pusht-i Kuh, Khok-i Safed and Baka Bluk districts, killing dozens; and 26 Nov killed at least twenty police in ambush near Lash wa Juwayn district. Defence and interior ministers 14 Nov acknowledged serious threats in Ghazni, Ghor, Farah, Uruzgan and Kunduz provinces. Arrest of Hazara militia commander 25 Nov prompted further violent protests in Kabul, forcing govt to release him two days later. Suicide attacker 20 Nov killed at least 50 at gathering of religious scholars near Kabul Airport; Taliban condemned attack. IS-KP claimed responsibility for 23 Nov explosion in mosque in Afghan army base in eastern Khost province, killing at least 26. U.S. airstrike 27 Nov reportedly killed at least 23 civilians in Garmsir district (Helmland province). Delegations from Taliban and Afghanistan’s High Peace Council participated in international peace conference in Moscow 9 Nov, but reported no progress; Afghan delegation restated offer for unconditional direct peace talks with Taliban, while Taliban called intra-Afghan talks premature as long as Taliban are negotiating withdrawal of U.S. forces. U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with Taliban representatives in Doha 14-16 Nov; Taliban described meetings as “preliminary talks”, said “no agreement was reached on any issue”. President Ghani 28 Nov announced roadmap to peace with Taliban that he said would take at least five years. Complaints about alleged fraud and disenfranchisement during Oct parliamentary elections continued; full preliminary results delayed until 1 Dec.

Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

In The News

1 Aug 2018
Attacking lightly defended targets has been part of [the Islamic State's] modus operandi from the outset. AFP

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
11 Jun 2018
This mutual [Afghan] ceasefire, if successful, can possibly inspire or encourage future, more substantial steps towards peacemaking. Fighting has been the integral feature that has characterized the Taliban since the movement was born. A break from it, although very brief, represents an important departure from its modus operandi. AFP

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
8 Feb 2018
The U.S. and Afghan governments are unleashing more violence based on the same rationale that it would tilt this stalemate to favor their conditions at the table. Reuters

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
6 Feb 2018
U.S. allies in Afghanistan should push for a greater diplomatic political component to the U.S. strategy. As it stands, [it] sets the stage for more violence while closing avenues for de-escalation. The Conversation

Robert Malley

President & CEO
30 Jan 2018
Increasing pressure on [Kabul's] battlefield may lead [the Taliban and IS] to hit back in an area where they can publicly disprove the rhetoric of the U.S. military or Afghan government. AFP

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
30 Jan 2018
[High-profile Taliban attacks in Kabul are] an attempt to disprove statements by U.S. and Afghan officials that the Taliban are weakened. NBC

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Report / Asia

Building on Afghanistan’s Fleeting Ceasefire

The end-of-Ramadan truce in Afghanistan was brief but encouraging, demonstrating that both Afghan government soldiers and the Taliban rank and file will respect ceasefire orders from above. Both sides, alongside the U.S., should now seize the opportunity to edge closer to meaningful talks about peace.

Also available in دری, پښتو
Commentary / Asia

A Dangerous Escalation in Afghanistan

The Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is likely to continue unabated in 2018, despite the U.S. effort to step up its military campaign. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to utilise its influence with Afghan political actors to help rebuild trust and increase prospects for mediation.

Commentary / Asia

U.S. Bombing of Afghan Drug Labs Won't Crush the Taliban

U.S. aerial bombing of drug laboratories in Afghanistan will solve neither the country’s Taliban insurgency nor its drugs problem.

Op-Ed / Global

The International Criminal Court’s Case Against the United States in Afghanistan

In recent years, a confrontation between the U.S. government and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been looming over the alleged actions of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Crisis Group's U.S. Program Director Stephen Pomper unpicks the unique U.S.-ICC relationship and outlines the choices left open to Washington.

Originally published in Just Security

Our People

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan