Governor Atta Noor Saga. The months-long stand-off continues in northern Afghanistan with the former governor issuing threats and a 'final warning'. Read "Noor's Signature Still Credible in Balkh", Tolo News, January 29, 2018.
Political Showdown. Scott DesMarais and Caitlin Forrest examine the power play between President Ghani and Governor (ex?) Atta Noor in Afghanistan Political Showdown Between Ashraf Ghani and Mohammad Atta Noor, Institute for the Study of War, February 1, 2018.
Corruption . . . "The Never Ending Afghan Story". Read a recent story that illustrates how money for development projects simply disappears in Afghanistan. An example of corruption at the sub-governance level. Now multiply it by 1,000 instances happening every year. "Afghanistan: The Town That Never Was", Institute for War & Peace Reporting, January 2018.
U.S. Dep Sec DoS Visits Afghanistan. Deputy Secretary John J. Sullivan Visits Afghanistan, U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, January 30, 2018. Held meetings with President Ghani, CEO Abdullah, Foreign Minister Rabbani, and other government leaders. Read his remarks made on his visit while in Kabul (U.S. Dept of State, Jan 30, 2018).
The Governance Problems. While Pakistan is a major headache for Afghanistan with its support of the Afghan Taliban - the Afghans themselves are now helping out. Afghanistan has a huge governance problem. Ahmad Mohibbi explains in "Beyond Pakistan, Afghanistan's Most Serious Problem is Governance", The Diplomat, February 2, 2018.
Vice President Dostum Under Fire. Afghanistan's First Vice President - General Abdul Rashid Dostum - will have his record of alleged criminal activity reviewed by the International Criminal Court. Dostum is currently living in Turkey (under some form of political exile). (Khama Press, Feb 3, 2018).
Ghani Gets Tough with Pakistan. Afghanistan's president recently called out Pakistan for its support of the Taliban. Read "Afghan President Calls Pakistan 'Center of the Taliban'", Gandhara, February 2, 2018.
Parliamentary Elections in 2018. Will Afghanistan be Ready? Afghanistan's method of registering voters to participate in elections is broken. In July 2018 the nation will conduct parliamentary elections; but the new voter registration process is not yet in place. An article by Staffan Darnolf explains the difficulties associated with voter registration and conducting a fair election in Afghanistan in "Afghan Elections: Will the Voter Registry Be Ready for 2018?", United States Institute for Peace (USIP), January 26, 2018.