Sunday, January 28, 2018
Commentary on Afghanistan
Peace Talks? No Progress. Thomas Ruttig and Obaid Ali of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) provide an update on the lack of progress in government / Taliban peace talks. Read "Words, No Deeds: 2017, another lost year for peace (talks) in Afghanistan", January 24, 2018.
Peace Talks Likely to Fail. Farooq Yousaf, a writer associated with the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), tells us why peace talks with the Taliban are likely to fail in Complications Surrounding Negotiations With The Taliban / Haqqani Network, Afghan Studies Center, January 26, 2018.
Taliban Far from Being on the Ropes. The Taliban currently controls or contests about 40 to 50& of Afghanistan's nearly 400 districts - the highest amount of territory controlled since the start of the 2001 war. Fatality rates for Afghan security forces are soaring while civilian casualties have reached record highs. Meanwhile the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (IS-KP) located in eastern Afghanistan is still strong despite constant pressure from U.S. drones, U.S. SOF, and Afghan SOF. Michael Kugelman, the deputy director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. provides his perspective in "The Taliban and ISIS are still powerful forces in Afghanistan", The Hill, January 26, 2018.
An Indian Perspective. The Narendra Modi government has been in touch with the Trump administration on Afghanistan. See "Mess in Afghanistan: Taliban's hold rising", The Asian, January 23, 2018.
Improving Connectivity in South and Central Asia. Improving regional connectivity across the 'Heart of Asia' region will help all nations. Coupled with an easing of tensions with Pakistan (and Pakistan doing the right thing) . . . all nations could benefit. M. Ashraf Haidari provides his perspective in "A Peaceful Afghanistan Key to Regional Connectivity in South and Central Asia", The Diplomat, January 26, 2018.
Why are we in Afghanistan? Steve Coll, book author and observer of the Afghan conflict, offers his perspective on the long-running Afghan war in "We Can't Win in Afghanistan Because We Don't Know Why We're There", The New York Times, January 26, 2018.
A Distracted and Factional Taliban? One writer, Matthew Dupee, thinks that the Taliban are ". . . distracted by sustained internal divisions and threats from rival factions . . ." Read his long report - "Afghanistan's Intra-Insurgency Violence" - posted in the January 2018 issue of Sentinel published by the Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point.
"Afghanistan, Continued". Thomas Neely, a U.S. Army veteran, writes about the continuing war in Afghanistan. He worries that we haven't learned from the history of past conflicts. Posted in Small Wars Journal, January 6, 2018.
Engaging China and Pakistan. Ehsan M. Ahari, an adjunct research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College, writes that the U.S. can only solve the Afghan conflict if it engages China and Pakistan. "US Strategy in Afghanistan Requires Diplomacy and Military Power - Analysis", Eurasia Review, January 24, 2018.