Tag "Taliban"

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Middle East/North Africa Politics

Iran – Taliban Relations: What to Expect

On October 4, less than two months since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, leaders of the group met with members of the Iranian delegation in order to discuss trade and business relations. The Iranian embassy in Kabul was one of few to remain operational. Historically, Iran has been considered among the Taliban’s bitter enemies. However, the current developments are indicative of Iran’s commitment to realpolitik.

Security South and Central Asia

Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan: The World’s Next Narco-State?

Shortly after capturing Kabul, the Taliban announced that it would crack down on opium production in Afghanistan, threatening a blow to one of the country’s most profitable industries. While the group was somewhat successful at drug interdiction during its previous stint in power two decades ago, a number of factors, including the need for popular support, international pariah-hood, and ongoing economic collapse, render it unlikely that the Taliban will truly follow through on its promise.

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.

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.

International Politics Security South and Central Asia The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

Japan prepares for snap election amid heightened tensions with North Korea. Catalan parliament declares independence. Major exporters balk at Brexit WTO arrangements. International Contact Group discusses Afghan peace process in Russia. All

Middle East/North Africa Security

Qatar’s maverick foreign policy: can it survive a new Gulf order?

Qatar’s bold response to recent allegations made by Saudi Arabia is sparking controversy in the region, as it now pushes for an independent foreign policy.