Showing posts with label ethnic-minorities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ethnic-minorities. Show all posts

Friday, November 14, 2014

Multi-Ethnic Coalitions Key to Governing Afghanistan

Karzai was good at two things while he was president. 1) He knew how to maintain his multi-ethnic coalition (ensuring that his rivals enjoyed influence and power thus continuing their loyalty to him) and 2) he was extremely successful in reaping the vast wealth generated by the corruption machine that he so expertly administered. The new president (Ghani) is coming out against corruption - this will make new enemies and chip away at support bought through the patronage networks. Thus it is even more important that Ghani knows how to build and maintain a multi-ethnic coalition. Learn more in "Are Ethnic Politics Afghanistan's Great Hope?", The South Asia Channel - Foreign Policy, November 11, 2014.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Study of Afghan Ethnic Groups

There are a lot of studies and writings about the ethnic groups of Afghanistan and how these groups relate to the politics, insurgency, social structure and culture of Afghanistan. Christian Bleuer has provided us with information on this topic in "The Study and Understudy of Afghanistan's Ethnic Groups: What we know - and don't know", Afghanistan Analysts Network, September 10, 2014.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ethnic Divisions Lie Below the Surface in Afghanistan

Below the surface of Afghan society and politics lie the ever-present ethnic divisions that could fracture the Afghan government and security forces. The countries largest ethnic group - the Pashtuns - have been at odds with the other minority groups of Afghanistan - Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazara for many years. The Talibans' in-country support comes primarily from the Pashtun population in the east and south of the country. Read more on this topic in "Afghan Ethnic Tensions Rise in Media and Politics", The New York Times, February 18, 2014.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Afghan ID Cards Fueling Debate

Efforts to introduce a national identification card system in Afghanistan is meeting resistance. The $100 million project (paid for by foreign donor nations) is supposed to help eliminate fraud during the upcoming Afghan presidential election. However, the ID card project is generating lots of controversy primarily about the lack of an ethnic identity on the ID card. Some support this omission while others say it supports a Pashtun agenda. Read more in "Controversial ID Cards Expose Ethnic Divisions in Afghanistan", Radio Free Europe, December 18, 2013.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Civil War in Afghanistan is More Likely

The fact that the U.S. (and its allies) are leaving Afghanistan by 2014 - if not sooner- is clear to the Afghans.  Many in the U.S. will highlight a "mission accomplished, I brought the troops home" moment (just in time for the Presidential elections).  Others are concerned about what happens when the stabilizing presence of ISAF goes away. ISAF has struggled to keep the Afghan government in line - trying its best to foster good governance, encourage development, diminish corruption, and build capability and capacity in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). ISAF's combat troops have also done much of the fighting which has kept the Taliban at bay.

However, once the majority of ISAFs forces and the aid money dries up several things will likely happen.  The Taliban will move into areas vacated by ISAF forces and not held effectively by the ANSF - reestablishing their "shadow government".  The Afghan government will  become more corrupt, ineffective, irresponsible and inefficient without ISAF looking over its shoulder - losing more legitimacy and the support of the population. Once the money flow dries up many of the government leaders and officials (who have siphoned off money for their Dubai bank accounts) will quietly leave the country for their overseas villas. Warlords and power brokers on the national and regional level will try to reassert their authority - many times using private militias that are currently being built up.

Probably most important is the likelihood of ethnic division and an outbreak of civil war.  While Karzai seems intent (at least publicly) on holding peace talks with the Taliban (a Pastun-based insurgency) the major opposition political party - the National Front for Afghanistan (NFA) - is very opposed to negotiations.  The NFA is comprised mostly of Tajiks, Harara, and Uzbeks.  A combination of factors and events could easily push the country into civil war.

Read a detailed analysis of this in "The Coming Civil War in Afghanistan", Foreign Policy, February 3, 2012.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Analysis of the Afghan Election in Ghazni and Elsewhere in Afghanistan

A thoughtful analysis of the recent Afghan election and the troublesome situation in Ghazni where election results are being contested is provided by an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  The author, Vikash Yadav, works on issues of sovereignty, security and identity in South Asia. Read his blog post on the topic of elections, religion, and ethnicity in Afghanistan in "The Election Crisis and Ethnocracy", Afghan Notebook, December 30, 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Afghan Ethnic Minorities On Guard About Karzai Peace Initiatives

"PANJSHIR VALLEY, Afghanistan—President Hamid Karzai's moves to make peace with the Taliban are scaring Afghanistan's ethnic minorities into taking their weapons out of mothballs and preparing for a fight.  Mindful that Karzai's overtures come with NATO's blessing, and that U.S. and NATO forces will eventually leave, they worry that power will shift back into the hands of the forces they helped to overthrow in 2001. Such a peace deal won't be easy in a country with a complex ethnic makeup and a tradition of vendetta killings. With ethnic and tribal differences having sharpened during the violence of the last 30 years, there's little indication that Karzai's overtures are gaining much traction.  Still, some mujahedeen -- commanders of the Northern Alliance of minority groups that fought the Taliban -- are taking no chances. They speak openly of the weaponry they have kept despite a U.N. disarmament drive."
Read the rest of the article in "Wary of Taliban, Afghan mujahedeen ready for fight", The Boston Globe, November 13, 2010.