Showing posts with label governance-news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label governance-news. Show all posts

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Government and Politics

Afghanistan election ballot

Call for Timely and Credible Elections. Donor nations from the international community are encouraged by the progress being made in implementing reforms in the election system of Afghanistan. However the Election Support Group of Ambassadors warned that any changes in the electoral system at this stage would delay parliamentary and district council elections beyond 2018. (Tolo News, Mar 20, 2018).

Security Key to Safe Elections. During a visit to Afghanistan General Dunford (Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff) said that securing key areas of the country during the election will be the key to a successful, secure, and credible election. (AP, Mar 22, 2018).

Ghani Meeting with IEC. President Ghani recently chaired a special meeting with the Independent Election Commission, government agencies, and members of the international community for a session on the upcoming 2018 parliamentary elections. He said he that transparent elections was a top priority after security.

Governor Atta Noor Drama Resolved? It appears a deal has been struck between the Afghan president and Balkh province governor that has resolved a months-long conflict that has deeply affected the standing of the central government in Kabul. A number of political concessions were granted to Atta Noor. Read "Powerful Afghan governor defying President Ghani agrees to go", Reuters, March 22, 2018.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Government and Politics

Political Crisis of NUG. Murid Partaw, an academic writer and researcher, writes about the continuing political crisis of the Afghan National Unity Government (NUG). He calls for the implementation of electoral reforms that can ensure free, fair, and transparent elections in 2019. Partaw served as the AFG senior National Representative (SNR) to the US Central Command for four years. Read "Afghanistan Braces for Its Next Political Crisis"The National Interest, March 1, 2018.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Government and Politics in Afghanistan

Ghani vs. the Strongmen. President Ghani has met obstacle after obstacle in his efforts to establish an efficient, corruption free Afghan government. He has tried to thwart the efforts of the power elite in Afghan society but is meeting fierce resistance. Read more in "Afghanistan's fragile government picks a dangerous fight", The Economist, March 1, 2018.

Recognizing the Realities of Afghan Society.  "It is time for Afghanistan to become politically sustainable by decentralizing democracy outside of Kabul to the provinces". Abdul Waheed Ahmad, an Afghan Fulbright scholar at the State University of New York - Binghamton, provides a new direction to improve sub-national governance in Afghanistan. He previously worked with the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) and the Ministry of Interior (MoI). Read "A Weak State, but a Strong Society in  Afghanistan", War on the Rocks, February 27, 2018.

Olson's Views on Pakistan. Richard G. Olson - a career diplomat, former ambassador to Pakistan, and special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the State Department - is interviewed about the U.S. - Pakistan relationship and the future of Pakistan's support for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Read "Former Envoy Offers a Candid Appraisal of U.S. - Pakistan Ties", Gandhara, February 27, 2018.

The Debate on Alternative Political Systems in Afghanistan. The Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) are publishing a series of papers on changing aspects of the Afghan political system.

Gov Noor's Big Rally Cancelled. The former governor of the northern Balkh province had planned a huge rally for Kabul but now it appears that is on hold. Noor contends that the rally would interfere with the upcoming Kabul Process meeting. Read more in "Ata Mohammad Noor suspends major rally plan for Kabul city", Khaama Press, February 25, 2018.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Governance and Politics in Afghanistan

Corruption in Afghanistan. Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Afghanistan as the 4th most corrupt country in the world, trailing only Syria, South Sudan, and Somalia. See "Afghanistan Ranked 4th Most Corrupt Country For this Year", Tolo News, February 22, 2018.

2nd Provincial Governor Refused to Leave. President Ghani's office approved and announced the appointment of new heads for five provinces - including Samangan in the north. Samangan is just south of Balkh province. The current governor, Abdul Karim Khedam, refused to leave his post - becoming the second governor to resist removal. See "Another Provincial Governor Defies Dismissal Orders from Afghan President", Voice of America, February 18, 2018. But . . . eventually he stepped aside. (Khaama Press, Feb 20, 2018).

Dostum Speaks from "Abroad". First Vice President Dostum is still in Turkey (going on six months). He recently weighed in on current events in Afghanistan. "Dostum Makes Suggestions To Govt Despite Being in Exile", Tolo News, February 22, 2018.

E-Tazkera Crisis. Afghanistan is dividing along ethnic and political lines over the issuing of an electronic identity card. The main debate centers on ethnicity. Members of the Tajic, Hazara, Uzbec and other ethnic groups are opposing the use of the world "Afghan" on the ID card. They contend that "Afghan" denotes "Pashtun". The Pashtun ethnic group says that it refers to all the people of Afghanistan. Read an excellent examination of the issue in "The E=Tazkera Rift: Yet another political crisis looming?", Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN),  February 22, 2018.

ACJC Criticized. The Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center is coming under fire. While it has arrived at a number of court decisions - the implementation of those decisions are ignored. In addition, it has failed to tackle major cases of corruption. "ACJC Critized As It Struggles to Fight Corruption", Tolo News, February 21, 2018.

2018 Elections in Peril? There are doubts about whether Afghanistan will be able to conduct its parliamentary elections in the summer of 2018. The Japanese are giving $13 million USD in aid to help in the conduct of the elections. While the Afghan government says it will run the elections for parliament and district councils there are many observers that say it won't happen. Read "UNAMA Chief Says Elections Must Be Held As Scheduled", Tolo News, February 21, 2018.

President Ghani Profiled. Ihsanullah Omarkhail (a writer on foreign policy, peace, state building, terrorism, etc.) provides a glowing assessment of President Ashraf Ghani in "Afghanistan: President Ghani's Concept of National Issues", Eurasia Review, February 18, 2018.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Politics and Governance in Afghanistan

National ID Debate. President Ashraf Ghani is ready to roll out implementation of the national identification card for all Afghans. However, the Chief Executive Officer - Abdullah Abdullah is resisting. The controversy is all about the word "Afghan" on the identity card - sometimes referred to as "E-ID" or "E-NIC". Some ethnic groups don't want to be called "Afghan". Unfortunately, use of the electronic ID is considered instrumental for the upcoming 2018 parliamentary elections - which may or may not happen.

Supporting Warlords. Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the head of the Afghan National Police in Kandahar province. That is his official role . . . but he is much more. A valuable ally of the U.S. that has a handle on the insurgency in his province - but also a 'strongman', 'warlord', "political leader", and much more. However, he comes with some baggage and is a favorite target of the international human rights crowd. Read "Impunity for U.S.-Funded Warlords in Afghanistan", by Katherine Hawkins (investigator for the Project on Government Oversight), Just Security, February 16, 2018.

Feud between Ghani and Noor. President Ghani has fired Governor Noor (Balkh province) but Noor refuses to leave office. Many observers believe Noor is setting himself up for a run at the Presidency in 2019. There are many perspectives to this political fight - Governor Noor gives us his in "The View From Balkh: how to fix the dysfunctional system in Afghanistan", TRT World, February 15, 2018.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Afghan Governance and Politics

Governor Atta Mohammad Noor

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.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Afghan Governance and Politics

Governor Atta Mohammad Noor

Governor Noor Hangs On. The governor of Balhk province has been dismissed by President Ghani but he refuses to leave office. The U.S. is hoping that conflict is avoided. The Germans, heading up Train, Advise, and Assist Command - North (TAAC North), are surely keeping tabs on the political situation for RS HQs. Governance in Afghanistan has a long way to go . . . Read more in "President, governor spat poses new challenge in Afghanistan", Deutsche Welle, January 23, 2018.

Farah Governor Quits. The governor of the western Afghan province of Farah has resigned citing worsening security in the region that he blamed on political interference and corruption. He took aim at the security forces as a source of much of the provinces problems. (RFE, 26 Jan 2018).

Civil Dimension of the Afghan Conflict. Anthony H. Cordesman, a national security expert at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CIS), writes about the other side of the Afghan war (other than military) - politics, governance, economics, corruption, and drug trade. Read "The Civil Half of the Afghan War", December 6, 2017.

Afghan Constitution. The Center for Strategic and Regional Studies (CSRS) has published an article about how the Afghan government has consistently violated the Afghan constitution. The CSRS suggests that there is a serious need to raise public awareness regarding the laws and promote law-monitoring and implementing organs. Read "A Glimpse to the Implementation and Violation of the Afghan Constitution", CSRS, January 13, 2018.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Governance and Politics in Afghanistan

IEC Decides to use Existing ID Cards. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the existing National Identity Card (Tazkera) would be used in the upcoming parliamentary and provincial council elections. Despite years of talking about issuing a national identity card it hasn't happened. There are doubts in the international community about whether the Afghans can pull an election off in mid-2018. (Arina News, Dec 6, 2018).

Warning on Elections. A former Jihadi leader and ex-member of parliament - Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf - is warning of a crisis if the parliamentary elections to be held in mid-2018 are not organized on time. (Khaama Press, Dec 7, 2017).

Parliament Rejects Female Cabinet Pick. The governor of Balkh province has voiced discontent with the rejection of the only female nomination for a cabinet position. The Minister-designate for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum was disapproved by the Afghan parliament. Some suggest it is because she is a women but others say it has to do with the vast corruption system that buys parliament member votes. (Khaama Press, Dec 7, 2017).

Eleven Ministers Receive Votes of Confidence. In a detailed article Thomas Ruttig provides the background to the recent approval of the cabinet ministers. Read "Afghanistan Has Now a Constitutional Cabinet: Eleven minister candidates received votes of confidence", Afghanistan Analysts Network, December 9, 2017.

Landlocked Location a Hindrance to Development? Most countries that are landlocked - having no coastline to access the world's oceans - are many times trapped in poverty. The Afghan government is working to turn the country's landlocked location into an asset. Read "Kabul's Plan to Realize Afghanistan's Geographic Dividend", The Diplomat, December 5, 2017.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Afghan Governance and Politics News

Mohaqiq Commends Fatimiyun Fighters. Iran has forced or induced Shia Afghans to fight in its Fatimiyun Brigade on behalf of the Syrian regime. Mohammad Mohaqiq, the deputy chief executive of Afghanistan, visited Tehran where he praised the Shia fighters in their 'victory' in Syria. See "Mohaqiq Commends Fatimiyun Fighters for Victory in Syria", Tolo News, November 25, 2017.

Gov Noor Travel Plans Disrupted. A flight to Kandahar by Ata Mohammad Noor and Batur Dostum (son of VP) were cancelled by aviation authorities. Noor has complained about government interference but . . . (Khaama Press, Dec 2, 2017).

Accusations Abound. President Ghani has answered some critics who claim that senior security officials in the Afghan government have ties to ISIS. Read "Ghani Slams Claims of Senior Officials' Links to Daesh", Tolo News, December 2, 2017.

12 Cabinet Nominees. MPs are due to hold a vote of confidence session for 12 new cabinet nominees submitted by the National Unity Government (NUG). (Tolo News, Nov 25, 2017).

Parliamentary Elections. Elections for parliament (and districts) are scheduled for July 2018 in Afghanistan. However many observers are calling for a study of the underlying structure of the electoral system and the system of electoral representation. Read more in "Afghan Parliamentary Elections: Huffing and Puffing, But Missing the Bigger Picture", The Diplomat, November 28, 2017.

Hezb-e Islami - Internal Differences. A former insurgent group that has been 'rehabilitated' and reintegrated into Afghan society and political life is suffering some internal friction. Read more in Thomas Ruttig's analysis in "A Matter of Registration: Factional tensions in Hezb-e Islami"Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), November 25, 2017.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Afghan Governance News

Elections and Female Participation. A symposium, backed by the United Nations, was held in Mazar-e-Sharif to discuss ways to improve women's participation in elections - as both voters and as candidates. There are plenty of laws on the books in Afghanistan providing for the rights of Afghan women to vote and to run as candidates for office. What is lacking is the generating of public awareness and the implementation of the laws. With the upcoming elections to be held in 2017 and 2018 various activist groups are working to increase female participation in the electoral process. Read more in an article posted by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), November 21, 2017.

Pence and Abdullah Meeting. National Unity Government (NUG) Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah held a meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Friday, November 17th. (Tolo News, Nov 18, 2017). Dr. Abdullah also spent some time in Canada where he addressed the Halifax Security Forum. (Tolo News, Nov 18, 2017).

Vice-President Dostum - Returns (Again). Every week news reports state that Dostum will make his return to Afghanistan after "receiving medical treatment in Turkey". And every week he is a no show. (Tolo News, Nov 18, 2017).

2014 Election Fraud Revealed. The former National Directorate of Security (NDS) Rahmatullah Nabil claimed the printing equipment for fake ballots for the 2014 election was found in the homes of people who are currently high-ranking members of the National Unity Government (NUG). (Tolo News, Nov 21, 2017).

Identity Documents. Most Afghans carry a handwritten ID card called a Tazkara; however, as many as one third of the country's population have no identity documents at all. The Afghan Population Registration Department is in the process to distribute handwritten identity cards to those without. Eventually, the office plans to issue electronic ID cards to the recipients of the current handwritten ID cards. Read "One in Three Afghans Lack Identity Documents", Gandhara Blog, November 16, 2017.

Ethnic Bias in Afghan Govt? A leaked memo from the Department of Public Order of the Ministry of Interior that stated recruits for a new anti-riot force should come from the Hazara, Uzbek, and Pashtuns - but not the Tajiks. Naturally, this has caused some concerns in Kabul. (Radio Free Europe, Nov 20, 2017).

UN Resolution. CEO Abdullah Abdullah addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, November 20th. He briefed the delegates on the situation in Afghanistan and welcomed the UN's decision to adopt a resolution in support of Afghanistan. (Tolo News, Nov 21, 2017).

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Afghan Governance News

Reducing Voter Fraud. Elections in Afghanistan are continually held in low regard by the Afghan population and the international community. Almost all elections in Afghanistan have been marred by massive election fraud and malpractice. The next elections are scheduled for 2018 but it is very doubtful that these elections will be any different from the past elections. Duplicate and fake voter registration is one of the constants in an Afghan election. The country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) has introduced a new, high-tech biometric system that uses fingerprints and digital photos to eliminate duplicate and false voter registration. However, time is short and the IEC needs to implement an equipment distribution and training plan for the biometric system to make a difference. Read more in "Reducing Voter Fraud in Afghanistan", United States Institute for Peace (USIP), November 2, 2017.

Anti-Corruption Officials Under Attack. Several investigators for the Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) have been murdered. Indications are the murders are a result of public hearings of high-level cases of corruption in Kabul. The anti-corruption center was established in June 2016 but security measures to protect its officials and investigators are lacking. Read more in "We don't feel safe: Afghan anti-graft officials demand protection", France 24,  November 11, 2017.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Afghan Governance News

NATO and Afghan Elections. A recent news report carried remarks by the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Cornelius Zimmerman, that stressed "timely holding of upcoming elections'. (, Nov 3, 2017).

Prison for Dostum's Bodyguards. Seven of First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostom's bodyguards were sentenced to eight years in prison for the illegal imprisonment and sexual assault of Ahmad Eshchi, the former Jawzjan provincial governor. (Tolo News, Nov 4, 2017).

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Afghan Governance News

Photo by GoA, Oct 23, 2017

Tillerson Visit. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid an unexpected visit to Kabul on Monday, October 23rd to meet with President Ghani and CEO Abdullah. Some reports say the meeting took place on Bagram Air Base (north of Kabul by about 55 klics). Read a press release by the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on the visit. There was a little bit of controversy about 'doctored' photos. Hmmmm.

Fixing Afghanistan - Not So Much. Scott Guggenheim has spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and is a key advisor to President Ghani. He started his Afghan journey in 2002 very optimistic but now . . . well read more here - "The Man Who Thought He Could Fix Afghanistan"Politico Magazine, Nov Dec 2017.

Ghani in New Delhi. President Ghani spent a day visiting India where he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 24, 2017. The purpose of the visit was to review bilateral relations between the two countries and discuss regional security and the fight against terrorism. See "Afghan President Reviews Bilateral Ties with India During New Delhi Visit", Gandara Blog, October 23, 2017. See a press release by the Government of India Ministry of External Affairs (Oct 24, 2017).

Karzai in Iran. The former president seems to take delight in criticizing U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. On a recent visit to Iran he took time to speak harshly about the U.S. counter-terrorism mission. He once again called for the convening of the traditional Loya Jirga to resolve the key issues facing the country. (Khaama Press, Oct 27, 2017).

Afghan Warlord on Political Scene. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - a former ally of al-Qaida and notorious warlord from Afghanistan's past - has surfaced on the political scene in Kabul. Read "Kabul welcomes the Afghan warlord who once shelled its citizens", The Guardian, October 24, 2017.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Afghan Governance News

Upcoming Afghan Elections. The parliamentary elections are coming up soon. Afghanistan is facing some significant technical problems coupled with political wrangling. These elections will be followed by Presidential elections one year later. See "Afghanistan election plans face political, technical test", EuroNews, October 10, 2017.

Karzai Speaks Out. Former President Karzai held a press conference where he criticized the United States for the role it plays in Afghanistan. He also called for an immediate loya jirga, talks with Pakistan, and talks with the Taliban. See "Karzai Calls for Urgent Loya Jirga"Tolo News, October 12, 2017.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Afghan Governance News

Upcoming Afghan Elections. The parliamentary elections are coming up soon. Afghanistan is facing some significant technical problems coupled with political wrangling. These elections will be followed by Presidential elections one year later. See "Afghanistan election plans face political, technical test", EuroNews, October 10, 2017.

Karzai Speaks Out. Former President Karzai held a press conference where he criticized the United States for the role it plays in Afghanistan. He also called for an immediate loya jirga, talks with Pakistan, and talks with the Taliban. See "Karzai Calls for Urgent Loya Jirga"Tolo News, October 12, 2017.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Afghan Governance

"Worst Job on Earth". Evidently President has had better gigs. He recently said that being President of Afghanistan is not so much fun. He made the statement during a BBC interview. The comment did not pass without lots of criticism from political opponents.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Governance News - Afghanistan

Decentralization Needed. A recent article proposes that a ". . . centralized political system in Afghanistan only intensifies the competition for power and increases the cost of holding the country together." The Obama administration tried to use the Afghan presidential elections of 2014 to re-enforce political legitimacy of the central government . . . however, the National Unity Government has been a failure thus far. Read "In Order for Afghanistan to Succeed, America Must Let it Decentralize", The National Interest, September 7, 2017.

Ghani - Trump Meeting. President Ghani recently made a trip to the United States where he met with President Trump and addressed the United Nations. The White House issued a statement on the meeting. Seems its all about rare earth minerals! Read the 'readout' of the meeting (White House, Sep 22, 2017). One of the topics discussed during the meeting was the closure of the Taliban's diplomatic mission that is maintained in Qatar. See "Trump pushing Afghan president to close Taliban office in Qatar", The Guardian, September 26, 2017.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Afghan Governance News

NUG Still Dysfunctional. The National Unity Government of Abdullah Abdullah and President Ghani is still mired in ethnic competition. Cabinet ministry positions are still vacant and the two head government officials barely talk to each other. No big change over the past year and no outward signs that things will get better.

Atta and Dostum - Now Good Pals? The Balkh province governor - Atta Noor - is calling for the first Vice President (Dostum) to be allowed to return to Afghanistan unconditionally. Read more in "Atta Noor Calls for Return of General Dostum", Tolo News, August 1, 2017.

Afghan Ambassador to Canada Recalled? It seems the internal strife in Afghanistan among ethnic groups is finding its way to the foreign embassies as well. Read "Why Afghanistan's ambassador to Canada was called home", MaClean's, August 3, 2017.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Governance News

Dostum as a Hero? One writer, John Sjohom, presents an alternative view of one of Afghanistan's Vice Presidents - General Dostum. His article looks at the current political situation not commonly reported in the news media. He also points out the 'political reality' that Afghanistan is not a nation ruled by a central government but a collection of regional power brokers and warlords. Dostum being one of the bigger players. There is a good bit of history in this article - although one that tends to put Dostum in a more favorable light than the international community might accept. A good read though. See "General Dostum, the hero Afghanistan deserves", Lima Charlie News, July 22, 2017.

Ghani Finding it Tough to Govern. There are a lot of reasons for the inability of the Afghan national government to get its act together. Certainly President Ghani is a competent and well-meaning leader but the odds are stacked against him. Political opposition, a power-sharing arrangement with Abdullah Abdullah that isn't working out, a resilient Taliban, and many other factors contribute to his difficulties. Read more in "Afghan Leader Struggles to Build Working State Amid Dysfunction", The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017.

Government in Disarray. The Taliban are gaining strength in Afghanistan at the same time that President Ghani is facing a powerful opposition alliance. See "Resurgent Taliban and a government in disarray", Deutsche Welle,  July 25, 2017.

"Opposition Coalition". The leaders of three major political parties have announced their decision to form a new coalition with the aim to prevent the collapse of government, avoid political chaos, and restore national trust. Read more in an analysis by Ali Yawar Adili and Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) in The 'Ankara Coaltion': Opposition from within the government, July 25, 2017.

Governments IDP Policy and Actions. The plight of internally displaced persons has worsened in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of international troops in 2014. Read more in "The Rise and Challenges of Afghan IDPs Beyond the Launch of IDP Policy", Eurasia Review, July 28, 2017.

Negotiating with the Taliban. The overwhelming majority of 'Afghan experts' say that the Afghan conflict will not end with a military victory but a negotiated settlement. But not everyone agrees. Javid Ahmad, a non-resident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point expresses his opinion in "How To Negotiate With the Taliban", Modern War Institute, July 27, 2017.

Ministry Nominations. President Ghani has nominated Hamid Tahmasi as Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, Gul Agha Shirzai as Minister for Borders and Tribal Affairs, and Matin Bek (currently Deputy with the NDS) as the head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG).

National Unity Government (NUG) - Not So Unifying. The NUG - the result of then Secretary of State John Kerry trying to salvage the Afghan elections of 2014 - has failed miserably. The two power-sharing officials are not quite getting along and neither are their subordinates. In addition, one of Ghani's own Vice Presidents (Dostum) is now allying himself with a powerful political coalition aligned against the NUG. Read more in "Troop Levels Aren't Afghanistan's Problem. An Increasingly Illegitimate Government Is", The Diplomat, July 26, 2017.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Afghan Governance News

Dostum Denied Landing at MeS? News reports from Afghanistan seem to say that one of Afghanistan's two Vice Presidents tried to land at MeS airport (originating from Turkey) but had some difficulties - either technical aircraft problems or denied permission to land. The NATO-led Resolute Support headquarters says that the German-led Train, Advise, and Assist Command - North (TAAC-North) had nothing to do with the plane diversion. Dostum has been in Turkey for the last several weeks. See "NATO rejects involvement in forced diversion of Afghan vice president's plane"Khama Press, July 18, 2017.

New Political Party. A new political party has been launched by former members of the Jombesh - an Uzbek ethnic-based party of northern Afghanistan. The party leader of the 'old' Jombesh is Vice President Dostum who is currently on 'medical leave' in Turkey (or, evading arrest for kidnapping charges or, sent into 'exile' by the Afghan government). Read "Defying Dostum: A new Jombesh and the struggle for leadership over Afghanistan's Uzbeks", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), July 19, 2017.