Tag "Afghanistan"

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Middle East/North Africa Security

The Future of Afghanistan: Social Media Companies and the Taliban

Many political figures and analysts have made statements regarding their skeptical eye towards the progressive sentiments being shared on social media platforms by the Taliban. Yet, the terrorist group is still able to post freely facing barely any difficulties. The mass amounts of Taliban propaganda being spread online may increase the group’s political popularity, expand their member-base as well as international support, and ultimately, solidify their control in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s utilization of media platforms could potentially ignite a revitalized global Islamist militant movement and must be taken more seriously by social media companies.

Asia Pacific Risk Pulse

Myanmar: Southeast Asia’s Next Frontline of Jihadism?

In November 2020, Myanmar’s first explicitly Salafi-Jihadist militant group, Katibah al-Mahdi fi Bilad al-Arakan, declared jihad against Naypyidaw to avenge the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s military junta. Now, Southeast Asia’s poorest nation grapples with a multidimensional humanitarian catastrophe in the aftermath of the 1 February coup d’état. Myanmar’s spiralling violence and the presence of over a million Rohingya refugees in squalid conditions in neighbouring Bangladesh has created a fertile ground for radicalisation, raising the prospect of a new jihadist front at the crossroads of South and Southeast Asia.

Insights Politics

Erdogan Seizes a Strategic Opportunity in Afghanistan

Following the Taliban takeover, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided that Turkey will maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan while its fellow NATO allies complete their evacuation. This development in Turkish foreign policy may be seen as part of a shift in strategic thinking in Ankara. Although Erdogan’s assertive approach to foreign affairs has shored up his political standing at home, it has resulted in Turkey becoming increasingly isolated. With the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating, Erdogan is seizing the opportunity to reinvigorate his country’s strategic regional importance.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Khorasan as the Next Syria?

As NATO forces prepare to finally depart Afghanistan, a resurgent Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State threaten to reverse two decades of progress. Given the toxic combination of poor governance, political exclusion, dysfunctional economies, security vacuums and repressive regimes along Afghanistan’s porous borders, the potential resurgence of al-Qaeda and emergence of new challenges such as Islamic State-Khorasan Province threatens to transform the country into the epicentre of a new regional conflict complex across South and Central Asia. Despite assumptions that NATO’s withdrawal represents a conclusive end to the ‘War on Terror’, current indicators suggest this merely represents a dangerous new chapter in the struggle against global jihadism.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Will the US Negotiations With the Taliban Leave Afghanistan Vulnerable?

Although entering negotiations with the Taliban might be seen as a sign of progression, there are still concerning signs that the fighting will continue in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American support and influence. Without an American presence there is a danger that Afghanistan will be more exposed than ever to the threat of the Taliban’s terrorism. 

South and Central Asia The Security Briefing

NATO’s Afghanistan Withdrawal: Regional interests and civil war fears

A deal has been recently struck in US-Taliban peace talks and progress towards long term peace seems increasingly possible. However, with a likely NATO withdrawal and recent election results, there continues to be a substantial risk to the country’s security and the likelihood of descent into civil strife. 

Asia Pacific Politics

Navigating the troubled US-Pakistan relationship

After accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to stop terrorism, Washington is now withholding $255 million in assistance to the country. Will this push the country towards China?

International The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: 22-28 October

Saudi 2.0. Revolution in Ukraine? Attacks in Afghanistan. Instability in the DRC and Togo. All in The Week Ahead.

Security South and Central Asia

Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy faces first test

With recent bloody attacks showing the Taliban seemingly stronger than ever in Afghanistan, will Trump succeed where Obama failed?

Politics

Fading tulips: Kyrgyz presidential vote comes amid rising authoritarianism

The presidential election in Kyrgyzstan to be held on 15 October 2017 promises to be the region’s most contentious and unpredictable since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.