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Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Crisis Group Role

Borhan Osman is Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Afghanistan. He is a leading expert on the militant networks operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and has researched the Afghan conflict since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Borhan has written extensively about the Taliban insurgency and militant groups in Afghanistan, including Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K).

Areas of Expertise

  • The conflict in Afghanistan
  • Insurgency, terrorism and militant networks
  • Peace dialogue and reconciliation
  • Religious extremism and radicalisation
  • Salafi-jihadism

Professional Background

Before joining Crisis Group, Borhan worked as a researcher/analyst for over five years at the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Before that, he worked with different national and international media organisations in Kabul. His research and reporting has mostly been based on fieldwork across Afghanistan. He holds an MA degree from the Freie Universität of Berlin on Islamic intellectual history.

Languages

  • Pashto (native)
  • Dari (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Arabic (fluent)
  • Turkish (intermediate)
  • Urdu (basic)
  • French (basic)

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
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
16 Jan 2018
U.S. strategy [in Afghanistan] is so military-centric. Even 100,000 troops couldn’t finish the Taliban, and ever since those days, they have been zealously confident. The Washington Post

Borhan Osman

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Q&A / Asia

Afghanistan’s Low-turnout Election, Insecurity and Unsettled Prospects for Peace

Afghanistan’s fourth presidential election since 2001 brought perhaps 26 per cent of the electorate to the polls. In this Q&A, Crisis Group consultant Graeme Smith and Senior Analyst Borhan Osman explain the weak participation rate and explore the contest’s implications for the country’s stability.

Q&A / Asia

Afghanistan Diplomacy Gathers Steam Even as Attacks Increase

This week the Afghan government and Taliban met publicly for the first time – albeit informally – for a peace dialogue. Crisis Group’s Senior Afghanistan Analyst Borhan Osman explains what the talks mean and what may lie ahead.

Commentary / Asia

Intensifying Violence Dulls Afghans’ Hopes for Peace

A return visit to Taliban strongholds in rural Afghanistan reveals that hopes for peace last year’s brief ceasefire sparked have dimmed amid growing violence – despite progress in peace talks.

Q&A / Asia

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved.

Commentary / Asia

As New U.S. Envoy Appointed, Turbulent Afghanistan’s Hopes of Peace Persist

The new U.S. adviser on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has a tough assignment: fostering peace between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Crisis Group’s Borhan Osman says that recent violence has soured the public mood, but that leaders on all sides still appear committed – at least rhetorically – to peace talks.