Category Archives: Publications & Blogs

Five myths about talking to terrorists

The release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by the Taliban last weekend, in exchange for the freeing of five Taliban figures from Guantanamo, has

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan. (AP)

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan. (AP)

provoked much agonizing about the rights and wrongs of talking to terrorists. It’s a good moment to consider some of what has been learned from dealing with terrorists — in places from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Northern Ireland — and which lessons have been misunderstood. more…

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Kerry’s options for addressing Afghanistan’s political crisis

The U.S. should use its enormous leverage to seek a solution that both presidential contenders can agree on

July 11, 2014 12:15 PM ET
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks as he stands next to Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (L) at the U.S. embassy in Kabul on July 11. Jim Bourg /Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks as he stands next to Afghanistan’s presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (L) at the U.S. embassy in Kabul on July 11. Jim Bourg /Reuters

 

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Kabul to help defuse electoral tensions in Afghanistan, here are a few points he should consider: First, the politics of the current crisis go well beyond simple allegations about stuffed ballot boxes or discussions about sore losers. Second, the problem is eminently soluble, and a stable and unified Afghanistan can still emerge from it. Third, he will be confronted with contradictory explanations more…

Who will lead Afghanistan?

By Alex Glynn

Afghanistan?’ asked a panel of experts at the Frontline Club on 2 April, in an event in partnership with BBC World Service, that looked at the possible outcomes of the upcoming election.

There was a certain measured optimism in the response to this question from the panel and a general feeling that this election is one to get excited about. Chaired by BBC Broadcasting House’s Paddy O’Connell, the panel of experts were grilled on the candidates, the election process, the possibility of a second round and the challenges ahead. more…

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At last, a ray of hope for Afghanistan

Whatever the final outcome, voters in Afghanistan’s presidential election have delivered a powerful mandate.

Provisional results from the first round of Afghanistan’s presidential election look as if they will stand the test of tortuous fraud checks and complaint processes. Decisive margins make them robust. Although Abdullah Abdullah, who emerged in the lead, has raised serious concerns about fraud, the first round should leave him facing Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister, in a run-off. more…

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Talking to the Taliban after Karzai

Afghanistan’s presidential election a week ago has challenged any notion that the country is about to fall into the lap of the Taliban. Ahead of the vote on April 5, eight candidates vying to replace President Hamid Karzai traveled to all regions of the country, even undertaking walkabouts in provinces normally considered chronically insecure. They attracted thousands of supporters to their rallies and millions to polling…more…

 

The Taliban’s Qatar office is a positive step, but not a prologue to peace

The Taliban’s establishment of a negotiating team is welcome, but don’t expect their ‘talk and fight’ strategy to end anytime soon.

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article on http://www.guardian.co.uk/

The Afghan Taliban opened an office in Qatar on Tuesday to help restart talks on ending the 12-year-old war. Photograph: Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters

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Michael Semple on Peace Talks With the Taliban

Michael Semple

U.S officials are trying to get peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government back on track after disputes over the opening of a Taliban office in Qatar last week.

Read More on source link Harvard Kennedy ….

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Response to academic questionnaire on the ‘Afghan Solution’

1) what factors do you think have contributed the most to the resurgence of the Taliban? How?

  • The exclusion of the Taliban Movement from the 2001 peace settlement and the persecution of members of the Movement in the immediate aftermath of the toppling of their regime.
  • The ideological commitment of the supporters of the Taliban Movement and the

Knowing the Taliban from verse and talk

Reflections on Publication of Poetry of the Taliban, by Alex Strick and Felix Kuehn

“Evening, the twilight arrives slowly with its lap full of red flowers;

Pink rays are spreading over the blush of sky.”

Poetry of the Taliban