Wednesday 18 Sep 2019 | 08:46 | SYDNEY
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Afghanistan

Not such a great game

Staying true to his reputation for unpredictability, US President Donald Trump suddenly called off the Afghanistan peace negotiations with the Taliban last Saturday – a major policy decision announced, predictably, in a tweet. Trump cited continued Taliban attacks on US personnel as the reason for

Trump bets on Pakistan to deliver peace in Afghanistan

Last month’s Oval Office meeting with US President Donald Trump was Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first US visit since taking office in August last year. During the meeting, Trump hinted at resuming aid to Pakistan, as well as making a broader and surprising offer to mediate between

Peace in Afghanistan: the tumultuous road ahead

The US and Taliban have agreed to a draft agreement after 16 difficult and lengthy days of what is the latest round of negotiations. The talks began on 25 February and ended on 13 March, and although no final agreement has been reached, the two parties have come to terms on the question of a US

US, Taliban, Afghanistan peace talks: timing is critical

The Taliban and the US have agreed, in principle, on a peace framework that will ensure the Taliban part ways with international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda leading to a possible withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The negotiations also focused on a comprehensive ceasefire and

Talking to the Taliban: challenges for Kabul

Afghanistan’s upcoming presidential elections are due in July and there are, at best, contradictory signals about progress on the negotiations with the Taliban. Despite 2018 being one of the most violent years in Afghanistan’s post 9/11 history, last year also increased hopes on the

Dilemmas in Afghanistan’s paradoxical peace drama

Last month, Moscow hosted a peace conference on Afghanistan and provided an opportunity for the Taliban to participate at the international level. The Afghan government did not participate in this conference officially, although the country’s High Peace Council, first established in 2010 to

Afghanistan: the Hazaras are not safe

In late October 2018, the Taliban in Afghanistan launched a new campaign of attacks, taking them into areas which until then had been “peaceful”. The attacks started in the Khas Uruzgan district, part of the very province where Australian defence personnel served as part of their lengthy

The corridor of power

In January, rumours swirled around policy and security circles that China intended to build a military base in the Little Pamirs, a remote mountainous section of the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan that forms a narrow wedge bordering China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. A journey to the Little

Ceasefire in Afghanistan: the first win for peace   

For the first time, the Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed on a ceasefire in the 17 years–long conflict that has made Afghanistan one of the most violent places on the planet. Both parties unilaterally announced the temporary armistice. The halt to hostilities has provided a glimmer

Getting the juice to flow in Afghanistan's private sector

It is widely acknowledged that private sector growth is essential to increasing the amount and variety of economic opportunities in any given society. In fragile economies such as Afghanistan, private sector development plays an essential role in recovery and progress, providing livelihoods and

Afghanistan: Big power disagreements add to instability

Afghanistan has long suffered from interference by neighbouring and regional states. Despite the presence of international military forces, the donation of billions of dollars in aid, and commitments from the United States, United Nations, and NATO to uphold the development, territorial integrity,