Articles on Afghanistan

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An Afghan girl looks out of a damaged window of a shrine. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Keep foreign hands off Afghanistan

As the US slows down its troop withdrawal and China increases its involvement in Afghanistan, a warning that if the country is to see peace again, foreign meddling needs to stop.
President Barack Obama and his inner circle follow the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which made headlines worldwide but is seemingly unimportant four years on. EPA/Pete Souza/White House handout

Osamacide, ‘justice’ and the deadly legacy of Bin Laden

Memories of the killing of Osama bin Laden are fading, but the legacies of al-Qaeda and the war on terror's many 'own goals' haunt us in the form of multiplying threats and lost civil liberties.
Families cross the Euphrates River seeking the relative safety of Baghdad as Islamic State fighters advance with the goal of creating such violence that people turn from the government to any force capable of restoring peace. EPA/Ahmed Jalil

Islamic State theoreticians have honed plans for battle and a state

Islamic State is a project built on solid foundations by jihadist theorists with decades of experience. The savagery of terrorism precedes the next stage of a caliphate that delivers longed-for order.
Afghan women’s rights activists mourn during the burial ceremony of Farkhunda, an Afghan woman who was beaten to death in Kabul on March 22. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Shocking violence against Afghan women reveals a crisis in status of Afghan men

The brutal mob attack on a young woman in the streets of Kabul reveals the instability of the Afghan government even after 12 years of US and NATO military support and aid.
Under former president Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan was little more than a ‘vertically integrated criminal organisation’, according to a new book. EPA/Parwiz Sabawoon

Book review: Thieves of State – Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Corruption can directly contribute to the growth of the very forces the world’s security agencies are desperately trying to contain and combat.
A scene of devastation after the Taliban attack in Peshawar. EPA/Bilawal Arbab

Explainer: who are the Pakistani Taliban?

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on a school in Peshawar that killed more than 130 children. The militants planned the massacre to take revenge on the Pakistan army. They murdered…
Hajigak, one of the main routes from Kabul to Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, may contain one of the largest deposits of iron ore in the world. Hadi Zaher/Flickr via CC BY-NC-ND

Copper and lithium may be the keys to Afghanistan’s economic future

On October 27, the last international troops closed their military camp in Southern Helmand Province and left Afghanistan, officially ending their combat role after 13 years of fighting. By the end of…
They are all Republicans but do these senators agree on US foreign policy? Larry Downing/Reuters

GOP: united against Obama, divided on American foreign policy

The midterm elections have come and gone. After months of speculation, the results were largely predictable. The Republicans solidified their position in the House and took the Senate. A sixth year president’s…
Hazaras have long been persecuted in Afghanistan, but those returned from countries like Australia are in particular danger of being tortured and murdered. Wikimedia Commons/ISAF Public Affairs Office

Australia’s folly returns Afghan Hazaras to torture and death

It has been a bad time lately for Afghan Hazaras with Australian connections. In late September, the shocking news came through that the Taliban had tortured and murdered an Australian of Afghan background…
A US Chinook similar to the one involved in the gun battle of Takur Ghar. Flickr/The U S Army

Bad space weather may have caused fatal Afghan gun battle

Three American soldiers* may have died in Afghanistan’s battle of Takur Ghar because of disruptions caused by plasma bubbles – a form of space weather – according to a new study. Space weather is normally…
David Cameron and Anders Fogh Rasmussen have a plan. Luke MacGregor/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Explainer: what’s on the agenda at the NATO summit?

NATO member states are meeting this week in Wales at what could prove a milestone summit. Since the 2012 Chicago meeting, the security landscape has changed dramatically and important questions about NATO’s…
A Sikh shopkeeper in Kabul. koldo hormaza

Explainer: who are the Afghan Sikhs?

The recent discovery of 35 men, women and children in a shipping container at Tilbury docks in Essex is shocking for many reasons. Few had known that people were being brought into the UK in shipping containers…
Concerns about security of US-trained Afghan military. EPA/Jalil Rezayee

Killing of US general in Kabul raises fears of Taliban resurgence

The US major-general killed in an insider attack at a military academy near Kabul is the highest-ranked US casualty since 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another 15 officers were wounded, including…

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