Ten years after the September 11th attacks in the United States and the military campaign in Afghanistan, there is some good news, but unfortunately still much bad news pertaining to women in Afghanistan. The patterns of politics, security/military operations, religious fanaticism, heavily patriarchal structures and practices, and ongoing insurgent violence continue to threaten girls and women in the most insidious ways. Although women’s rights and freedoms in Afghanistan have finally entered the radar screen of the international community’s consciousness, they still linger in the margins in many respects.
Socio-cultural and extremist religious elements continue to pose serious obstacles to reconstruction and development efforts. These constraints and impediments have an immensely devastating impact on the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan, and most often result in severely impairing quality of life and even reducing female life expectancy.
Another ominous trend that has undermined Afghan women’s rights is President Hamid Karzai’s political constituency, consisting of increasingly conservative and religious fundamentalist characters. In order to appease them and gain political support, the Karzai government has compromised women’s rights, and in some cases has cast a symbolic vote to Taliban-like mindsets. Meanwhile, women politicians, activists, and journalists constantly face intimidation and threats, and a number have even been assassinated.
One glance at the health and education statistics pertaining to Afghan girls and women alone is enough to see that improvements have been painfully gradual, and attention to these harsh realities has been grossly deficient. This paper examines these health and education variables, as well as the government policymaking that has triggered setbacks in women’s rights. Trends in violence against women and insecurity are also analyzed.
All of the variables that negatively affect the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan are interconnected and interdependent. Therefore, none of them can afford to be overlooked. Overall, the situation for girls and women in Afghanistan remains bleak and tragic....
November 2, 2011 Conflict, Security and Development
This article draws out the contradictions in the liberal peace that have become apparent in post-Taliban state-building in Afghanistan. In particular, it focuses on how warlords have been incorporated into the government. The government has been unable to achieve a monopoly of violence and has relied on the support of some powerful militia commanders to secure itself. This raises a number of practical and ethical questions for the liberal peace. The focus of the article is on warlordism, rather than in providing detailed narrative accounts of particular warlords. The case illustrates the difficulty of extending the liberal peace in the context of an ongoing insurgency....
September 14, 2011 International Affairs // Chatham House
While the US and British armies have proved adept at fighting high-intensity conflict, their initial performance against asymmetric threats and diffuse insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated how much each army had to learn about conducting counterinsurgency operations.
This article examines one important means by which the US and British armies have transformed themselves into more flexible and responsive organizations that are able to harness innovation at the front effectively. It traces the development of the lessons-learned systems in both armies from the start of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq to today. Reform of US and British army learning capabilities offers an important insight into the drivers of military change....
In 2004, Afghanistan pioneered a balanced scorecard performance system to manage the delivery of primary health care services. This study examines the trends of 29 key performance indicators over a 5-year period between 2004 and 2008.
Methods and Findings
Independent evaluations of performance in six domains were conducted annually through 5,500 patient observations and exit interviews and 1,500 provider interviews in >600 facilities selected by stratified random sampling in each province. Generalized estimating equation models were used to assess trends in BSC parameters. There was a progressive improvement in the national median scores scaled from 0–100 between 2004 and 2008 in all six domains: patient and community satisfaction of services 65.3–84.5, p<0.0001 ; provider satisfaction 65.4–79.2, p<0.01 ; capacity for service provision 47.4–76.4, p<0.0001; quality of services 40.5–67.4, p<0.0001; and overall vision for pro-poor and pro-female health services 52.0–52.6. The financial domain also showed improvement until 2007 84.4–95.7, p<0.01, after which user fees were eliminated. By 2008, all provinces achieved the upper benchmark of national median set in 2004.
The BSC has been successfully employed to assess and improve health service capacity and service delivery using performance benchmarking during the 5-year period. However, scorecard reconfigurations are needed to integrate effectiveness and efficiency measures and accommodate changes in health systems policy and strategy architecture to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness as a comprehensive health system performance measure. The process of BSC design and implementation can serve as a valuable prototype for health policy planners managing performance in similar health care contexts....
Valentine M. Moghadam looks at feminist insights into
violence, conflict, peacebuilding, and women’s rights, as well as
developments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, to make the case
for the involvement of women and the integration of gender into all
phases of conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction and
In Afghanistan, there are fears that the pending U.S. withdrawal of troops will leave a vacuum for the Taliban to regain control. This could have potentially catastrophic results for many civilians in Afghanistan, especially women and girls.
September 9, 2011 The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
One year after 9/11, seventeen Carnegie experts assessed the global significance of the attacks and their aftermath. It was clear then that 9/11 had changed the United States far more than it had the rest of the world. Washington’s new agenda of attacking terrorism around the world and building greater security at home blotted out other issues.
Ten years after 9/11, the same Carnegie experts revisit their original findings and analyze the longer-term impact of the historic attacks. Topics of analysis include: World, Economy, Russia, China, Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Europe, Aid and Development, Nuclear Proliferation, and U.S. Foreign Policy....
The Obama administration remains focused on its pledge to begin drawing down the number of U.S. combat troops serving in Afghanistan. The drawdown is slated to begin next month and officials must decide how many soldiers will leave Afghanistan and how many will stay. Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon recently visited Afghanistan and states there are many factors to consider before the drawdown can begin.
On May 2, 2011 Major General Richard Mills sat down with the Institute for the Study of War President and Founder Dr. Kimberly Kagan to discuss his time as commander of Afghanistan's Regional Command Southwest. Presented as a set of ten videos.
Introduction Interview - Part 1: Background on Helmand Province prior to arrival Interview - Part 2: Changes the came with the troop surge during year in command Interview - Part 3: Profile of Taliban in Helmand and the impact of local involvement Q&A; - Part 1: Effect of Osama bin Laden's death on the future of the the war in Afghanistan Q&A; - Part 2: Combat response anticipated in the coming months Q&A; - Part 3: When to use military versus police force operations Q&A; - Part 4: Working with civilian groups like USAID & the State Department Q&A; - Part 5: Fighting the Taliban inside Afghanistan with their leadership elsewhere Q&A; - Part 6: Improving infrastructure long term and the impact of young men and women serving today.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education....
Despite the Obama administration’s recent announcement to send 1,400 additional Marines to Afghanistan, the U.S. plan to start drawing down troops in July 2011 remains in place. Bruce Riedel says too few resources were committed to the Afghanistan war from the beginning, and that the U.S. relationship with Pakistan is the real prize in the region.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential and parliamentary vote went ahead on 28-30 November, after a campaign marred by violence and amid allegations of rigging and mismanagement. Political rallies were banned in the wake of election-related clashes in Kinshasa on the eve of polls, and sporadic reports of violence emerged, including from Lubumbashi and West Kasai, during voting. In Burundi state troops clashed with the recently formed Forces for the Restoration of Democracy; the government reported 18 rebels killed.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan deteriorated further this month. On 9 November the Sudanese Armed Forces reportedly launched cross-border airstrikes on Maban County in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, and a day later bombed Yida refugee camp in Unity state, killing 12. Late-month negotiations between the two sides failed to achieve a settlement on contentious oil and transitional financial arrangements. Both Sudan and South Sudan also grappled with internal instability.
In Syria violence continued, with the regime’s brutal crackdown ongoing, elements of the protest movement increasingly militarised, the conflict internationalised and the Arab League’s attempt to end the bloodshed running aground. Tensions continued to rise in Kosovo. Late month violence in the north between international KFOR troops and ethnic Serbs who are barricading customs gates with Serbia left dozens injured.
NATO airstrikes on two Pakistan military border outposts left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead and U.S.-Pakistani relations in tatters. Islamabad swiftly condemned the attacks, requesting NATO vacate its airbase in Balochistan and shutting down its supply routes. The incident also damaged already strained Pakistani relations with Afghanistan, with the Pakistani government threatening to boycott forthcoming Bonn talks on Afghanistan.
Myanmar saw further positive developments this month. The announcement by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party that they will contest seats in forthcoming by-elections marked their return to the political process. On 1 November leaders of Nepal’s four main political parties signed a landmark deal to integrate one third of former Maoist rebels into the national army and give others financial rehabilitation packages, removing a major stumbling block to the drafting of a new constitution. Morocco held the first elections under its new constitution, approved by referendum in July, which devolved some power from the monarch. Following the official announcement of last months’ historic election results, Tunisia’s new Constituent Assembly held its first session on 22 November. The main parties quickly agreed to form a new government, with Hamadi Jebali, the leader of the moderate Islamist An-Nahda party which took over 41% of the vote, assuming the post of prime minister.
The first stage of parliamentary elections in Egypt took place at the end of November. The polls, the first since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February, were mostly peaceful despite deadly protests earlier in the month against the interim military leaders who replaced Mubarak....
In Sudan a Sudanese Armed Forces offensive in Blue Nile state, and renewed clashes in Southern Kordofan between the SAF and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, fuelled fears of a return to civil war. Insurgent attacks intensified in Afghanistan, stoking fears of further escalation in October ahead of international conferences in Istanbul and Bonn.Yemen is on the cusp of full-scale civil war between security forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and troops and militia loyal to his opponents. A brutal crackdown in Sanaa on 18 September, with regime forces killing at least 26 unarmed protesters, dimmed prospects for a peaceful compromise.Violence broke out in the north of Kosovo as Kosovo Serbs resisted the Pristina government’s attempts to take control of border points with Serbia. In Guinea, increasing repression and lack of political dialogue mark the build up to December’s legislative elections. Police violently dispersed an opposition demonstration in the capital Conakry on 27 September, leaving three people dead and around 40 injured. Political violence escalated further in Burundi. At least 39 people were killed in an attack on a bar in Gatumba near the capital on 19 September. In Central African Republic, over 49 people were killed in a series of clashes in the diamond-rich town of Bria and its surroundings between the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace and the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity rebel groups. Tensions rose in Bolivia at the end of the month as police forcibly dispersed a group of indigenous marching on La Paz in protest against a planned highway through indigenous territory and a national park....
Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) moved into North Sudan's South Kordofan state capital Kadugli at the start of the month, triggering large-scale fighting with Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) units from the region. The UN reported heavy bombardment of villages by the SAF, widespread civilian casualties and at least 73,000 people forced to flee. It also accused the government of blocking aid deliveries and intimidating peacekeepers.
Violence spilled over into South Sudan, with several villages bombed by the North. On 28 June the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (North) signed an agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In Afghanistan, a standoff between parliament and President Hamid Karzai threatens to deepen the country's political crisis.
Proposals by Senegal's ruling party to amend the constitution were condemned by opposition politicians as undemocratic and sparked unprecedented violent protests.
Myanmar/Burma saw its worst clashes since 2009, as fighting broke out between government forces and the Kachin ceasefire group. Tens of thousands have been displaced and some 20 reportedly killed.
In Mexico, a number of incidents highlighted the deterioration in security around Monterrey, the country's second city, industrial hub and capital of Nuevo León state.
In Venezuela, speculation about President Hugo Chávez's health intensified, leading to infighting within his ruling PSUV party and highlighting the country's lack of alternative leadership.
June 13, 2011 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
This volume contains the following articles:
- The Death of Usama bin Ladin: Threat Implications for the U.S. Homeland, By Philip Mudd
- Terrorist Tactics in Pakistan Threaten Nuclear Weapons Safety, By Shaun Gregory
- The Syrian Uprising: Evaluating the Opposition, By Mahmud Hasan
- Can Al-Qa`ida Survive Bin Ladin’s Death? Evaluating Leadership Decapitation, By Jenna Jordan
- Hizb Allah’s Position on the Arab Spring, By Benedetta Berti
- Israel, Hizb Allah, and the Shadow of Imad Mughniyyeh, By Bilal Y. Saab
- The Taliban’s Conduct of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, By Ben Brandt
The Truth, or Haqiqat, magazine is a biweekly publication by Afghanistan Watch. It has been published since March 2009 in two languages – Dari and English. Haqiqat biweekly covers the following subjects: 1- Monitoring the print media of Afghanistan on four categories: transitional justice, corruption, peace talks with insurgent groups, and transparency of the elections. 2- Publishing interviews and analytical articles written by analysts, as well as debates or manifestos of election candidates related to the four mentioned categories. 3- resenting articles published by domestic or international organizations....
"Good evening. Nearly 10 years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our shores since Pearl Harbor. This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network in Afghanistan, and signaled a new threat to our security –- one in which the targets were no longer soldiers on a battlefield, but innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives.
In the days that followed, our nation was united as we struck at al Qaeda and routed the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, our focus shifted. A second war was launched in Iraq, and we spent enormous blood and treasure to support a new government there. By the time I took office, the war in Afghanistan had entered its seventh year. But al Qaeda’s leaders had escaped into Pakistan and were plotting new attacks, while the Taliban had regrouped and gone on the offensive. Without a new strategy and decisive action, our military commanders warned that we could face a resurgent al Qaeda and a Taliban taking over large parts of Afghanistan.
For this reason, in one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made as President, I ordered an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan. When I announced this surge at West Point, we set clear objectives: to refocus on al Qaeda, to reverse the Taliban’s momentum, and train Afghan security forces to defend their own country. I also made it clear that our commitment would not be open-ended, and that we would begin to draw down our forces this July. [...]"...
From rape and domestic violence to lack of healthcare and education, millions of women experience daily peril, but nowhere more than in the five countries a TrustLaw Women expert poll identifies as the world's most dangerous countries to be female in 2011: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia.
TrustLaw Women asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions as well as by six key risks: sexual violence; non-sexual violence; cultural or religious factors; discrimination and lack of access to resources; and trafficking. These info-graphics hone in on some of the dangers cited in the poll for each country....
Leaving aside all the new conflicts in the Middle East, how are our nation's longstanding struggles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan going? This factsheet lists U.S. troop numbers, U.S. troop deaths, security force numbers, security force deaths, civilian deaths from war, number of attacks, cost, and other factors for conflicts in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan for the first quarters of 2009, 2010, and 2011.
September 9, 2010 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Even with the surge of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the coalition’s position continues to erode as the Taliban gain strength. Ahead of the July 2011 date to start pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the Obama administration approaches a strategic review of the war in December and will have to decide whether to maintain course or change direction. Meanwhile, American public support for the war is waning.
Just back from another trip to Afghanistan, Gilles Dorronsoro details in a Q&A; the deteriorating security situation on the ground in Afghanistan, analyzes U.S. strategy, and makes the case for negotiations with the insurgency. Dorronsoro argues that Washington’s approach is failing and talking with the Taliban—through the Pakistani military establishment—is the least-bad option available. The best hope for exiting the war is to Afghanize the conflict and establish a coalition government that includes Taliban leaders....
March 18, 2011 US Department of State // Humanitarian Information Unit
Map of sub-national and transnational conflict-affected areas (January 2009 - December 2010) in South Asia. Created by the US Department of State's Humanitarian Information Unit. Provides locations of national capitals, refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) locations and international and selected state boundaries. Types of conflict include: armed conflict, inter-communal strife, political violence and territorial dispute. Countries covered are: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal....
As operations in Afghanistan escalate, we are also witnessing a surge in activity across the border in the remote tribal areas of Pakistan. A flurry of surgical drone strikes targeting senior Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders on the Afghan-Pakistan border demonstrates the importance of dismantling enemy networks such as the Haqqani Network as part of ISAF’s overall strategy. Available to the public for the first time, ISW has released a new map of the Afghan/Pakistan border that details visually the disposition of ISAF troops, Pakistani military forces and the Frontier Corps. In Afghanistan, the full force of ISAF’s counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy is now in effect as the entire “Surge” forces have finally arrived in country. These soldiers and Marines are moving along a number of fronts to secure strategic positions across the theater of war....
December 20, 2011 Humanitarian Exchange Magazine // Humanitarian Practice Network
Afghanistan is now in its fourth decade of warfare, making it one of the most protracted conflicts in recent history. The nature of warfare, and related war agendas, have evolved over time and continue to do so in line with changing internal and external political objectives and ground realities. However, the absence of adequate measures to protect civilians has characterised the fighting since the outbreak of armed conflict in 1979.
According to an ICRC survey from 2009, almost all Afghans – 96% – have been directly or indirectly affected as a result of the immediate or wider consequences of war; nearly half (45%) of those interviewed had seen a family member killed and a third (35%) has been wounded in fighting. Notwithstanding the likely drawdown of US forces beginning in mid-2011, and growing awareness of the urgent need for a negotiated end to the conflict, there is a high probability that the safety and protection of civilians will remain a concern in humanitarian and other circles in the foreseeable future.
This article explores efforts to mobilise attention in decision-making circles to the costs of war on Afghan civilians. It focuses on the role that systematic monitoring and investigation by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Human Rights team, coupled with routine public UN reporting, has played in supporting advocacy aimed at enhancing protection for people whose lives are at imminent risk....
In this piece, Nate Hughes provides context needed to understand the likely causes of the American attack on Pakistani soldiers on November 26. The article reviews the claims surrounding the attack, by both the Pakistani and the Americans. It describes the types of patrols usually undertaken on this section of the Afghan-Pakistan border, and the agreements and information the forces on both sides have, in general, about each side's standard operating procedures. It explains the factors playing into the perceptions of both sides' forces on the ground, and the likely reasons for the presence of close air support on behalf of the US forces. Finally, the article places this single incidence in the big picture, explaining its likely impact on relations between the US and Pakistan, as well as possible implications for the conflict in Afghanistan....
Days after the Pakistanis closed their borders to the passage of fuel and supplies for the NATO-led war effort in Afghanistan, for very different reasons the Russians threatened to close the alternative Russia-controlled Northern Distribution Network (NDN). The dual threats are significant even if they don’t materialize. If both routes are cut, supplying Western forces operating in Afghanistan becomes impossible. Simply raising the possibility of cutting supply lines forces NATO and the United States to recalculate their position in Afghanistan.
The possibility of insufficient lines of supply puts NATO’s current course in Afghanistan in even more jeopardy. It also could make Western troops more vulnerable by possibly requiring significant alterations to operations in a supply-constrained scenario. While the supply lines in Pakistan most likely will reopen eventually and the NDN likely will remain open, the gap between likely and certain is vast....
- Building Peace across Pak-Afghan Borders
- PIPS Launches Pak-Afghan Media Collaboration Initiative with Kabul Moot
- Dynamics of Unrest in Middle East and its Implications for Pakistan
- The Pakistan Phantasmagoria: Between Liberalism and Extremism
The US drone campaign targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Pakistan’s remote tribal regions has been hailed as a resounding success by US officials. Last year the CIA carried out more than 130 drone strikes extending from North Waziristan to Khyber agencies, leaving hundreds of people dead. The American and Pakistani security officials claim that most of the victims of the relentless attacks were militants. The unprecedented expansion of the CIA’s not-so-secret war inside Pakistan came as the Obama administration was nearing the summer 2011 deadline for starting to pull out US combat troops from Afghanistan.
A key flaw in the US strategy for the fight against the insurgency is that it has failed to account for the ability of the groups to regenerate. As with the legend of the scorpion’s venomous tail, which when cut off, grows back again, the millitants have shown themselves capable of regrouping and striking back. The killing of their senior leaders has little effect on their operations....
In the summer of 2002, Rights & Democracy established the Women's Rights in Afghanistan Fund, with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Grants from this Fund are made to grassroots women's organizations throughout Afghanistan, with the aim of supporting women's human rights and peacebuilding efforts. This is a small, but crucial, effort to counter the effects of decades of denial of human rights to women and to bolster Afghanistan's chances for a lasting peace.
Projects supported by the Fund include: Women's rights educational projects, including legal education; A group of graduates from a seminar on the new Afghan Constitution and women's rights; Leadership training for women; Literacy training for adult women and girls; Skill-building and economic opportunities for women; Capacity-building and peacebuilding initiatives; Women's participation and mobilization in political processes, such as Loya Jirgas, democratic elections, and constitutional or judicial reforms; Healthcare awareness for women; Networking and information-sharing; Lobbying for gender-mainstreaming in Afghan and international institutions; Projects benefiting girl children and adolescent girls and Projects benefiting Afghan refugee women.
Altai Consulting is the leading Consulting, Research, Survey and Communication service provider in Afghanistan.
The company currently employs 150 people: 125 Afghan nationals and 25 international staff, with complementary skills ranging from project development, strategy consulting to research, evaluation and communication.
The Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium brings together national and international organizations committed to advocating for the rights of all Afghans. It focuses its efforts on three main themes: security rights, political rights and socio-economic rights, as reflected by the current work on the rule of the gun, elections and education. The Consortium seeks to ensure that policy makers, hearing the concerns and hopes of Afghans, will work harder to protect their basic human rights.
CHA is a proactive player and a strong advocate in the rehabilitation, reconstruction and sustainable social and economic development of Afghanistan and in the promotion and strengthening of Afghan civil society as an active and vibrant force and partner in this process.
Ockenden International works with some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. It works to provide opportunities to rebuild lives torn apart by conflict or natural disaster, helping restore self-reliance to displaced people.
September 10, 2007 Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit
This on-line bibliographic catalogue lists materials held in hardcopy in AREU's research library in Kabul, Afghanistan. AREU's collection includes books, pamphlets, government publications, periodicals, maps, CDs, DVDs, etc. in English, Dari, Pashto and other languages. When we know these materials are available for download on the internet we provide a URL link in the bibliographic record. Some important materials not available elsewhere are made available here for download.
The Afghanistan Conflict Monitor is an initiative of the Human Security Report Project at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University.
The Monitor highlights new research and analysis on the conflict in Afghanistan. In addition to the conflict itself, the Monitor focuses on a broad set of related issue-areas, including health, development, displacement, governance, gender, small arms, landmines, human rights and transitional justice.
The Monitor provides summaries of academic articles and reports, and links to key documents, publications, organizations, and data. ...
December 19, 2006 Central Eurasia Project // Open Society Institute
EurasiaNet provides information and analysis about political, economic, environmental and social developments in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as in Russia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. The web site also offers additional features, including newsmaker interviews a#nd book reviews. Based in New York, EurasiaNet advocates open and informed discussion of issues that concern countries in the region. The web site presents a variety of perspectives on contemporary developments, utilizing a network of correspondents based both in the West and in the region. The aim of EurasiaNet is to promote informed decision making among policy makers, as well as broadening interest in the region among the general public. EurasiaNet is operated by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute. EurasiaNet offers daily news under Today's Wires which consolidates of news and information from outside sources, including the British Broadcasting System, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty and Interfax. Every day, reports from these and other news services are also posted on the Resource Pages of all the countries in the region; Regional Datebook keeps you ahead of the curve on upcoming events throughout the Caucasus and Central Asia. EurasiaNet has seven different departments that feature original content on political, economic, social, cultural and environmental developments through an extensive network of contributors providing material that keeps readers on top of regional developments. The departments include: Eurasia Insight: Analytical articles on current events that place emphasis on anticipating future developments; Business and Economics: Articles geared towards closely examining deals and trends and their possible impact on economic development; Q&A; & Recaps : Interviews with news makers and opinion shapers on regional issues; Civil Society: Covering environment, human rights and culture thoroughout the region; Resource Pages provide comprehensive data and links to other news sources on the web. EurasiaNet also features a variety of other resources as well. Indeed, EurasiaNet is perhaps the most comprehensive source for news and information about the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia found anywhere on the World Wide Web.
Canada is making important diplomatic, defence and development contributions to the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan. Foreign Affairs Canada's aim is to support the establishment of a stable environment in which the people of Afghanistan can rebuild their country and their lives.
Afghanistan, remote and mountainous, is a tribally-based society that has seen many conflicts. The terrible civil war of recent times began in 1979. Shortly after, the Soviet army intervened to prop up a friendly regime. For nearly a decade, the conflict pitted Islamic rebels, backed by the West, against the Soviet forces and their local allies. Osama bin Laden served in the leadership of Mektab al-Khadimat, funded, armed and supervised by the CIA to recruit and train fighters from around the Arab world to fight against the Russians. The rebels eventually forced a Soviet withdrawal in 1989. The Islamic groups, never unified, then split into several camps and fought among themselves for power. The Taliban, supported by Pakistan, won control of the capital, Kabul, and most of the country by 1996, but war raged on.
Beginning on October 7, 2001, the Afghan crisis took a new turn as the United States and its allies launched military strikes in retaliation for the World Trade Center/Pentagon terrorist attacks, said to have been masterminded by bin Laden from a base in Afghanistan and harbored or supported by the Taliban regime. The current phase of the crisis deepens an already serious threat to regional and international peace and security, causing further human suffering, destruction, and the displacement of large numbers of people. ...
November 8, 2011 NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
Since 2008 the Afghanistan Team at the NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre (CFC) has produced weekly newsletters and thematic monthly reports pertaining to Afghanistan and the broader Central and South Asian regions. These reports revolve around the following sectors of intervention: economic development, governance and rule of law, humanitarian affairs, infrastructure, security, force protection and social and cultural development. In addition to more than 60 in-depth reports and 100 weekly updates on Afghanistan, the CFC’s Afghanistan Team also provides a range of online tools, including the Afghanistan Provincial Indicators. For further information on the CFC and its Afghanistan Team, go to: https://www.cimicweb.org. Our publicly available reports can be located at: https://www.cimicweb.org/Pages/CFCAfghanistanReports.aspx. If you wish to automatically receive the CFC’s Afghanistan reports in your in-box each week, sign up for our distribution list by going to https://www.cimicweb.org and clicking on “Request An Account”....
August 18, 2011 Eisenhower Research Project // // Watson Institute for International Studies // Brown University
The 'Costs of War' project, which involved more than 20 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists, provides new estimates of the total war cost as well as other direct and indirect human and economic costs of the U.S. military response to the 9/11 attacks. The project is the first comprehensive analysis of all U.S., coalition, and civilian casualties, including U.S. contractors. It also assesses many of the wars’ hidden costs, such as interest on war-related debt and veterans’ benefits.
Estimates by the 'Costs of War' project provide a comprehensive analysis of the total human, economic, social, and political cost of the U.S. War on Terror. Among the group’s main findings:
1. The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan will cost between $3.2 and $4 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans. This figure does not include substantial probable future interest on war-related debt.
2. More than 31,000 people in uniform and military contractors have died, including the Iraqi and Afghan security forces and other military forces allied with the United States.
3. By a very conservative estimate, 137,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by all parties to these conflicts.
4. The wars have created more than 7.8 million refugees among Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis.
5. Pentagon bills account for half of the budgetary costs incurred and are a fraction of the full economic cost of the wars.
6. Because the war has been financed almost entirely by borrowing, $185 billion in interest has already been paid on war spending, and another $1 trillion could accrue in interest alone through 2020.
7. Federal obligations to care for past and future veterans of these wars will likely total between $600-$950 billion. This number is not included in most analyses of the costs of war and will not peak until mid-century....
Afghanistanelectiondata.org is an innovative online mapping tool designed to facilitate analysis of election results data from Afghanistan’s Aug. 20 presidential elections using demographic, ethnographic, topographic and security information. The aim of the site is to make the election data more accessible and transparent so that those involved in the Afghan political process, including government officials, political parties and domestic monitoring groups, as well as those in the international community can use the information to improve future elections. NDI has worked in Afghanistan since 2002 and maintains a main office in Kabul and regional offices in Bamiyan, Gardez, Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Khost, Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif. Its programs focus on assisting political parties, candidates, polling agents and domestic election monitoring groups to participate effectively in the electoral process. It also works to support the development of emerging political parties and civic groups as effective and viable participants in Afghanistan’s political and electoral processes....
Alive in Afghanistan is an independent, non-partisan project, formed in response to the huge success of Alive in Baghdad and Alive in Gaza and the result of the hard work and collaboration of many partners and individuals. Alive in Afghanistan empowers Afghan citizens to participate in society by reporting on their political process. Alive in Afghanistan is launching in time for the August 20th presidential elections so that people across Afghanistan can report fairly on the elections and related events through SMS, email, and the web.
We recognize that, given limitations of access to technology, it may be a limited subset of the privileged who will be able to use Alive in Afghanistan’s open system to report on the election. Despite the limitation we feel that, as long as recognition is given, the potential impact of the project is still such that we should go forward, doing our best to provide access to all.
We have partnered with Pajhwok Afghan News in order to combine citizen reporting with focused, concise reports from professional journalists throughout Afghanistan....
Life, death and the Taliban seeks to enhance America’s understanding of Taliban history in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At this crucial time in the U.S.-led war against the Taliban, Charlie Sennott recaps the group’s rise to power and looks at current political and counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan.
December 20, 2011 Refugee Studies Centre // University of Oxford
This discussion document results from the UNICEF ROSA Children Affected by Armed Conflict, Part One Project. It relates how millions of children in Afghanistan have been affected by conflict and today suffer from the accumulated legacy of the loss of life, upheaval, destruction of infrastructure and material possessions entailed by the war.
The paper uses the framework of a ‘complex political emergency’ to conceptualise the political, economic and social circumstances prevailing in Afghanistan today. War is a key component of the dire situation. The particular nature of the war with high levels of material destruction, a huge loss of life and phenomenal displacement is responsible for the extent of the devastation. The impacts of the war have been compounded by other factors such as poverty, the lack of state based social welfare, abuses of civil and political human rights, environmental fragility and cultural practices.
Children face particular risks in Afghanistan. They are in danger of death and injury during fighting or from landmines and UXOs. Children have a high exposure to violence and some have participated in the fighting. Increasing reliance is being placed on children’s roles in the cash economy. This may involve expose them to hazards. Orphaned children and girls also have unique vulnerabilities.
The paper urges that research into CAAC in Afghanistan must remain a matter of priority in order to raise the profile of the situation in Afghanistan and to contribute to better-informed intervention for children....
In Afghanistan, directly as a result of violent conflict, women face displacement, the possibility
of becoming internally displaced, the loss of male heads of household, lack of access to work and
economic improvement and mobility, and the limited access or total denial of education. Violent
conflict affects the space women occupy and the security women have within the family,
community, and country. In this state of conflict, women are more prone to being used for human
trading, trafficking, rape, and abuse. The effects of conflict on the whole community makes
women and girls a focus point on which honor, prestige, and wealth revolve.
Currently in Afghanistan there is no national action plan on United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1325.
This report examines the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 implementation in Afghanistan using a set of indicators developed originally by AWN and other members of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. The Afghan Women's Network was created after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Afghan women living as refugees in Pakistan attended this conference and were inspired to establish a platform where they could share their observations and concerns and ways to resolve them. The Afghan Women's Network is a major force in Afghanistan's nascent women's movement and serves as a well-established network of women's organizations operating throughout the country....
December 13, 2011 Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale
Afghanistan is currently the largest producer of illicit opium in the world, despite the counter narcotics efforts made by the Afghan authorities and the international community during the past decade. After 10 years of intervention and less than three years away from the gradual withdrawal of international military forces from Afghanistan, it becomes relevant to assess the status of the support to the reconstruc-tion and the future perspective through a counter-narcotics lens. In this regard, much is being stated on the transition under the leadership of the Government of the Islamic Re-public of Afghanistan, which within the framework of Kabul Process is moving forward.
Another Bonn Conference set for December 2011 will aim at adding conditions and bench-marks for the exit strategy and the full drive of the Afghans. In this setting and its preparation, the narcotics play a significant role to be taken into serious consideration in order to avoid setbacks in terms of security, sustainable development and rule of law....
State education has been a major bone of
contention between the Kabul government and the
Taleban since 2001. By 2010–11, however, a
changed attitude towards state education seemed
to become the first confidence‐building measure in
moving towards political negotiations. Moreover,
over the years the Taleban’s strategy of aggression
against state schools produced very modest
dividends, as only small portions of the population
were so radically opposed to state schools; this
prompted a rethinking of the issue within the
State education has been controversial in
Afghanistan since its first roll out in the 1950s: rural
communities and, in particular, mullahs have often
opposed it, sometimes violently. Until 1978, the
Kabul government (careful not to antagonise the
villagers more then strictly necessary in light of its
aim of gradual, slow change) kept such opposition
under control. That changed in 1978, when a radical
leftist regime took power and set out to intensify
the use of education as a vehicle of modernisation
and ideological indoctrination. The villagers and the
mullahs, always suspicious, were pushed to openly
rebel against state education. Educational reforms
were one of the main causes of rebellion in 1978–
79. In 1978–92, the conservative and Islamist
opposition came to see state schools as a primary
target, with thousands being torched; thousands of
teachers also died in the violence....
Since the last Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan was released in
April 2011, the International Security Assistance Force and its Afghan partners have
made important security gains, reversing violence trends in much of the country, except along
the border with Pakistan, and beginning transition to Afghan security lead in seven areas.
Continued military pressure through partnered operations has allowed joint ISAF-Afghan forces
to maintain and expand the security gains made during the previous year, disrupting insurgent
safe havens and command and control structures, and expanding security for the Afghan
population. The Afghan National Security Forces have been integral to this success,
demonstrating substantial growth in quantity, quality, and operational effectiveness.
Although security continues to improve, the insurgency’s safe havens in Pakistan, as well as the
limited capacity of the Afghan Government, remain the biggest risks to the process of turning
security gains into a durable, stable Afghanistan. The insurgency remains resilient, benefitting
from safe havens inside Pakistan, with a notable operational capacity, as reflected in isolated
high-profile attacks and elevated violence levels in eastern Afghanistan. Nevertheless, sustained
progress has provided increased security and stability for the Afghan population and enabled the
beginning of transition in July of security responsibilities to Afghan forces in seven areas,
comprising 25 percent of the Afghan population....
July 22, 2011 Brookings Institution // Saban Center for Middle East Policy
The Afghanistan Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion and security data. This resource will provide updated and historical information on various data, including crime, infrastructure, casualties, unemployment, Afghan security forces and coalition troop strength.
The index is designed to assemble the best possible quantitative indicators of the international community’s counterinsurgency and nation-building efforts in Afghanistan, to track them over time, and to offer an objective set of criteria for benchmarking performance. It serves as an in-depth, non-partisan assessment of American and international efforts in Afghanistan, and is based primarily on U.S. government, Afghan government and NATO data. Although measurements of progress in any nation-building effort can never be reduced to purely quantitative data, a comprehensive compilation of such information can provide a clearer picture and contribute to a healthier and better informed debate.
Ian S. Livingston, Heather L. Messera and Michael O'Hanlon spearhead the Afghanistan Index project at Brookings. Livingston and Messera are senior research assistants in Foreign Policy at Brookings. Michael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow and director of research in Foreign Policy....
This source contains data and documents relating to civilian casualties of the conflict in Afghanistan. They were obtained by Science correspondent John Bohannon after embedding with military forces in Kabul and Kandahar in October 2010. All military data and documents were released voluntarily by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with the understanding that Science would make them publicly available 11 March 2011 with the publication of this News Focus. Subsequently, both the United Nations and a Kabul-based human rights organization released versions of their own civilian casualty data to Science. These data sets, along with additional documents released by ISAF to help researchers interpret the data, provide the clearest picture yet of the human cost of the war in Afghanistan.
Data includes: CIVCAS (2008-2010), UNAMA (2008-2010), ARM (2010),ISAF Troop Numbers 2008 - 2010,Placemat Reports 2007 - 2010, ISAF Civilian Casualty Standard Operating Procedure, UNAMA Reports (2008 - 2010), Afghanistan Casualty Timeline (2008 - 2010)...
The Afghanistan Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion and security data, and updates every week. This resource will provide updated and historical information on various data, including crime, infrastructure, casualties, unemployment, Afghan security forces and coalition troop strength. The index is designed to assemble the best possible quantitative indicators of the international community’s counterinsurgency and nation-building efforts in Afghanistan, to track them over time, and to offer an objective set of criteria for benchmarking performance. It serves as an in-depth, non-partisan assessment of American and international efforts in Afghanistan, and is based primarily on U.S. government, Afghan government and NATO data. Although measurements of progress in any nation-building effort can never be reduced to purely quantitative data, a comprehensive compilation of such information can provide a clearer picture and contribute to a healthier and better informed debate....
March 4, 2010 Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism
The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism maintains a searchable database on all suicide attacks from 1981 to 2001 and additional years will be added. The database includes information about the location of attacks, the target type, the weapon used, and systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers. The database expands the breadth of the data available in English using native language sources (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Tamil) that are likely to have the most extensive relevant information. The database allows filtering by location, group, campaign, target type, weapon and gender....
The Afghanistan Conflict Monitor is an initiative of the Human Security Report Project at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University. The Monitor highlights new research and analysis on the conflict in Afghanistan. In addition to the conflict itself, the Monitor focuses on a broad set of related issue-areas, including health, development, displacement, governance, gender, small arms, landmines, human rights and transitional justice. The Monitor provides summaries of academic articles and reports, and links to key documents, publications, organizations, and data. The Monitor's data section includes security, health and socio-economic indicators....
Afghanistan Watch is a blog initiated by Carl Robichaud of The Century Foundation. The blog is no longer updated frequently, but it does offer an archive of news, analysis and commentary on governance, security, and policy, going back to 2004.
Afghanistan Crossroads is where CNN's reporting converges - bringing you a diversity of voices, stunning images and video, global perspectives and the latest news from on the ground in Afghanistan and around the world.
August 12, 2010 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
The Afghanistan Blog is run by Tim Foxley, a Researcher with the SIPRI Armed Conflicts and Conflict Management Programme, studying Afghanistan political and military issues. Previously, he worked for the British Ministry of Defence as a political and military regional analyst covering Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union and, from late 2001, Afghanistan. In 2006 he served for four months as a senior analyst in the ISAF Headquarters in Kabul. His publications on the Taliban include 'The Taliban’s propaganda activities: how well is the Taliban communicating and what is it saying' (2007). The task of SIPRI is to conduct 'scientific research on questions of conflict and cooperation of importance for international peace and security with the aim of contributing to an understanding of the conditions for peaceful solution of international conflicts and for a stable peace'....