Articles on Afghanistan

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The gains made over the past 13 years may be squandered if the troop withdrawal also marks an end to any serious engagement with the country. United Nations Photo

With troops set to withdraw, what’s in store for Afghanistan?

Afghanistan has a special place in the history of international relations, having tested and endorsed many international power equations over the years. But given the imminent troop withdrawal, serious…
Malala Yousafzai on her way to attend her first day at school after she was shot by the Taliban last year. EPA

Why Malala matters: the Taliban’s war on women continues

One Pakistani teenage girl is back where she belongs: in school. But Malala Yousafzai, who was shot last year for campaigning for female education by the Taliban, is not your average school girl. Already…
Under President Karzai women now can study, hold office and choose not to wear the burqua. Flickr/World Bank Photo Collection

Challenging stereotypes of Afghan women as the West withdraws

As the withdrawal of foreign troops nears, with a full withdrawal expected by the end of 2014, Afghanistan has re-emerged as a major issue in Australian politics. Those worried about Australian casualties…
Changing cultural ideas about women begins with early childhood education. isafmedia

The long road to gender equality in Afghanistan

For most Australians the feeling is the sooner we get out of the Afghanistan war the better. Hopefully without the loss of any further soldiers. While it will be good to get the troops home and the government…
NATO soldiers attend a security transition from NATO forces to Afghan forces in Nangarhar, Afghanistan in December. EPA/Abdul Mueed

Afghanistan 2014: no end in sight for foreign powers

There are a lot of questions hanging over the staged withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops, including the Australian contingent, from Afghanistan by 2014. The main publicly…
Afghan President Hamid Karzai talks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a meeting in Kabul. EPA/Omar Sobhani

One last chance for peace in Afghanistan: reconciliation with the Pashtuns

The end of the US troops surge, the increasing insider attacks on Western forces and the ongoing downward spiral of insecurity across Afghanistan, have pushed this war-torn country into a military-political…
Afghan civilians point to bullet holes in a wall after a raid by Allied special forces. EPA/Naweed Haqjoo

Better jaw jaw than war war: Australia should seek peace first

Our Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, has told Australia, “The idea that we can will away war because we are about to withdraw from one that went longer and ended less conclusively than…
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney finally discussed the war in Afghanistan during the third debate on US foreign affairs. EPA/Michael Reynolds

The third debate and the nagging Afghan-Pakistan question

For a war that has gone on for more than a decade, cost the American taxpayer some US$500 billion, claimed the lives of more than two thousand GIs and inflicted many more thousands of wounded, the conflict…
Suicide bomb attacks, such as this one in Afghanistan last week, continue to wrack the Middle East. EPA/Abdul Mueed

Eleven years after 9/11, are we any safer?

The day will come when 11 September is just another date on the calendar. But that time is still some way off. Eleven years after the horrible spectacle of the World Trade Center towers being struck by…
A new study of NATO troops returning from Afghanistan has found an ongoing impact from combat stress. AAP

Afghanistan combat stress changes the brains of soldiers: study

Soldiers should be given regular periods of respite to recover from combat exposure, experts argue, following the findings…
Australian troops with Afghan elders in Uruzgan province. AAP/Department of Defence

Friend or foe: green on blue killings in Afghanistan

Reports are coming in this morning that five* Australian troops have been killed in Uruzgan province in Afghanistan. But instead of falling victim to an IED, signature weapon of this long running conflict…
We need to learn from lessons of the past when it comes to veterans’ mental health. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Vietnam and Iraq: lessons to be learned about mental health and war

Physical injury and death in war is expected. But we also now know the stories of large numbers of veterans suffering major psychological trauma. These involve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety…
An article in the New Statesman reports that Taliban have signalled their willingness to negotiate an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Is Afghanistan the unwinnable war? The Taliban seems to think so

The current situation in Afghanistan is a dramatic example of the old adage that all foreign policy is merely an extension of domestic politics. Last week, the British weekly, New Statesman, reported an…
Pakistani citizens showed their opposition to the reopening of supply routes at a protest in Karachi this week. EPA/Rehan Khan

Pakistan blockade: US convoys are not going anywhere soon

For the past six weeks a high-level US team has been in Pakistan trying to negotiate a resumption of the convoys which travel through the country and provide Coalition forces in Afghanistan with about…
Osama bin Laden featured in Ayman al-Zawahiri’s video message in November. Ausaf Newspaper/Handout

Bin Laden’s online legacy

The past few days have seen a flurry of prognostications on al-Qaeda and its future. While each argument spars over whether al-Qaeda is on the ropes or resurgent, they miss a vital segment of analysis…
How is the war in Afghanistan going? With media this tightly controlled, the picture may never be clear. Special Operations Command

Truth in war: what the ADF won’t tell us about Afghanistan

Barack Obama marked the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death with a surprise visit to Kabul this week. Obama promised to “finish the job” in Afghanistan, but seven were killed in Kabul just hours…
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the images are an aberration, but evidence points to the contrary. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Afghan body part photos a grim reminder of how war has changed

Once again we are confronted with disturbing images coming out of a war zone, this time of American troops posing for trophy shots with the body parts of alleged Afghan suicide bombers, published by the…
Australian troops work with Afghan National Army forces in Uruzgan province in August 2011.

Mission accomplished? Australia withdraws from Afghanistan early

Prime minister Julia Gillard today announced the revised timetable for the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. Within 12 to 18 months the majority of Australian military forces will leave…

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