April 24, 2017

Afghan Reconciliation Moving Forward?

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier renders a salute to Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, ANA Chief of Staff, as Mohammadi address ANA soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 4, 2010. Gen. Mohammadi invited Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, Commander, NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan (NTM-A) to meet with ANA and coalition forces at various ANA posts throughout the region. Both generals received mission updates and feedback from ANA and coalition forces on training, quality of life and combating terrorism.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released, Creative Commons License)

Will a failure of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan lead to fresh international fighting? Clearly, 15 years of insurgency has led the international community to conclude that force offers no solution. The vibes emerging out of the process appear to be positive and underscore that pragmatism is guiding the process. Read More »

A New Hotbed of Terror in Eastern Afghanistan

(Courtesy Google maps)

The ideological synergy among the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani terrorists in eastern Afghanistan represents a formidable threat, and demands extraordinary action by both Afghanistan and Pakistan to confront it. Read More »

Afghanistan Waste Exhibit A: Kajaki Dam

A U.S. solider, center, poses for the camera at the Kajaki dam in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, March 9, 2013. (Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/U.S. State Department, Creative Commons License)

A Senate subcommittee is looking at waste by a Pentagon task force. It would do well to review the reasons why a major hydroelectric power plant sits unfinished even after spending of more than 300 million dollars. Read More »

Untying the Afghan Knot

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As 2016 begins, leaders in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan should bury the hatchet, give up proxy wars, and give way to confidence instead of suspicion. They must share responsibilities and together defeat the enemies of peace and progress. Read More »

Fear and Hope in Kabul

Afghan National Army Soldier Monitors Outpost in Konar Province. (Photo by DVIDSHUB, Creative Commons License)

The relentless Taliban attacks and advances in Kunduz, Helmand, Ningarhar and the suicide bombing on a Nato base near Bagram on December 21 are making majority of Afghans uncertain about the future of the current National Unity Government. Read More »

‘Heart of Asia’ Heart Attack

Relations between President Ashraf Ghani and the NDS have remaied strained for a while. (Photo by U.S. Institute of Peace)

It is yet to be seen who wins out in the power struggle in Afghanistan after the resignation of the resignation of its powerful spy chief, which may make life difficult for the already beleaguered Ashraf Ghani Presidency. Read More »

Afghanistan: A Perilous State of Denial

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inspects a military guard of honor on arrival in the Pakistan capital city of Islamabad to attend the Heart of Asia Conference on November 8. (Photo via video stream)

It seems a vested interest in Kabul is united against the rest of the world, which would want all Afghans to join forces for ending the state of war. Scapegoating or externalizing problems never leads to solutions. Pakistan did so and suffered. Our Afghan friends should learn from this. Read More »

Nexus Between Corrupt Practices and Infidelity

(Photo by Chris Potter, Creative Commons License)

High level patronage networks in developing countries have allowed corruption to thrive and become pervasive.  This fosters criminal networks, waste, fraud, etc and has a debilitating effect on security. What is really dangerous is how corruption facilitates penetration of security screens. Read More »

What Ails Afghanistan?

Many Afghan observers believe that President Ashraf Ghani's authority is being challenged by former president Hamid Karzai and his cohorts. (Photo by UNAMA News, Creative Commons License)

Rather than blaming Pakistan for its every problem, Afghanistan needs to realize that its challenges originate from within the country. Read More »

Detoxification of Pak-Afghan Narratives

Will Pakistan and Afghanistan ever get to their ‘Good Friday Agreement’?

The Islamabad Declaration has emerged as a document of convergence for Pakistan and Afghanistan on many issues of mutual concern. The big challenge, however, is to ensure that these vows actually help in detoxing narratives and trumping geopolitics. Read More »