Afghanistan

Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto

Afghans, Under Fire for Corruption, Accuse Donors of Hypocrisy

Much of the donor money to Afghanistan is lost to fraud and abuse, in part by Western companies.

A beggar who said he lost his leg from a mine injury is seen in traffic on Sept. 21, 2019 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Needs Truth Before It Can Have Reconciliation

Politicians and warlords have benefited from decades of violence. The victims of the country’s endless wars could provide the key to a lasting peace.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his planned nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, look on during an event introducing key foreign-policy and national security members of the incoming Biden-Harris administration in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 24.

Say No, Joe

On U.S. foreign policy, there’s no going back to the status quo.

Then-U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy

Biden’s Likely Defense Secretary Pick Flournoy Faces Progressive Pushback

From concerns about ties to defense contractors to worries about forever wars, at least one of the president-elect’s potential nominees is raising hackles.

An Afghan toddler whose family has been internally displaced sleeps in a hammock at a refugee camp in Herat on April 21, 2018.

In Afghanistan, Bringing New Life Into the World Is Deadly

Terrorist violence and COVID-19 have set maternal health back decades.

Donald Trump delivers a speech on foreign policy.

Team Biden Urged to Keep Trump’s Afghan Envoy

Biden’s foreign-policy team is weighing the merits of letting Zalmay Khalilzad keep his job or letting him go.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to troops during a surprise Thanksgiving day visit at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan on Nov. 28, 2019.

Trump’s New Defense Secretary Announces Afghan Withdrawal

The hasty–and unexplained—move drew criticism from Republicans and the head of NATO.

Police guard an entrance to Kabul University the day after an attack by a gunman at the university in Kabul on Nov. 3.

Crime Wave Further Rocks Confidence in Afghan Government

Afghan officials are trying to contain a spate of kidnappings and armed robberies that appear designed to bolster public thirst for Taliban-style justice—just ahead of a critical donor meeting.

The children of the radio journalist Rahim Sekander display a photo of him in their home in Khost on Oct. 27.

Atrocities Pile Up for CIA-Backed Afghan Paramilitary Forces

Many Afghans want the groups disbanded when the United States withdraws.

A man leaves flowers next to portraits of victims in front of the Reina nightclub where an Uzbek gunman acting on behalf of the Islamic State killed 39 people, in Istanbul on Dec. 31, 2017.

Jihadist Networks Dig In on Social Media Across Central Asia

Almost 500 extremist channels on Telegram, VKontakte, and other networks spread propaganda and vie for recruits. Most of them have ties to the Islamic State.

Abu Bakker Qassim, a Chinese Muslim and an ethnic Uighur released from Guántanamo

Why Did the United States Take China’s Word on Supposed Uighur Terrorists?

The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement barely existed, but Washington wanted Beijing on board for the war on terror.

An Afghan man cries beside the coffins of victims in a Taliban militant attack

Afghans Caught in the Crossfire While U.S. Prepares to Clear Out

Despite ongoing peace talks, intensifying Taliban attacks on Afghans across the country are out of control—and threaten the country’s future.

Abdul Akbari, who was shot in his left leg during the Kabul University attack, recovers at Ali Abed hospital in Kabul on Nov. 2.

Terrorist Attack in Kabul Shatters Lives—and Illusions

“We had hopes, but we are not allowed to hope,” said one survivor of the fatal assault on Afghanistan’s biggest university.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the troops during a surprise Thanksgiving visit at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on Nov. 28, 2019.

Whatever Happens on Tuesday, Afghans Just Want an End to Their Own National Nightmare

Both Biden and Trump have pledged to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. But the Taliban have a vote, too.

Members of the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan protest against the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan ahead of its 16th anniversary in Kabul on Oct. 6, 2017.

Afghans See No Good Choices in the U.S. Election

Regardless of who wins next week, Afghans feel neither Trump nor Biden will do anything for Afghanistan—they just hope the next president completes the U.S. withdrawal.

Flanked by Afghan soldiers, mujahideen fighters sit atop an armored personnel carrier with rocket launchers about 500 meters from the presidential palace in Kabul on April 25, 1992.

Afghanistan Is Not Doomed to Repeat Its Past

Peace talks in Afghanistan may come down to an agreement between the Taliban and Kabul on an interim government. Here’s how the sides can avoid the pitfalls of 1992 and 2001.

A coal trader lifts bags at a coal distribution workshop in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, on Sept. 26. Hikmat Noori for Foreign Policy

The Taliban’s Highway Robbery

After the peace deal with the United States, the militant group has doubled down on collecting “taxes” from Afghanistan’s coal miners.

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