The Future of the Taliban

This paper aims to explore the direction that the Afghan Taliban Movement is most likely to take in the wake of the death of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour and the revelation of Mullah Omar’s death before the death of the former. It examines these phenomena through looking at a set of organizational and contextual variables, and assesses whether the Taliban is likely to join the peace process initiated by the Afghan government, in the near future.

“Going, Going … Once Again Gone?” The Human Capital Outflow from Afghanistan Post 2014 Elections

The recent buzz about the impact of the political and security transition in Afghanistan (withdrawal of international military by the end of 2014 and mid-2014 presidential elections) has overshadowed a far more important underlying demographic and development challenge that the country shares with other least developed nations: rapid population growth1 and urbanization.

The Political Landscape of Afghanistan and the Presidential Election of 2014

Afghanistan’s upheavals have been a result of many factors. Abject poverty, being landlocked, a hostile region, clash of modernists and traditionalists, weak states, interventions by superpowers, presence of foreign non-state actors and an illicit narco-economy are but a few to mention. The country continues to reel from the effects of colonial constructs of the British…

Afghanistan: Future Scenarios

Between 2001 and 2013, Afghanistan experienced a longer period of political stability than at any time since the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1964. The only certainty, as the country prepares for the election of a new president and the withdrawal of international forces in 2014, is that a distinctive era in the country’s political development is coming to an end. Widely different scenarios describe how the country might evolve beyond 2014.

Russia’s Concerns Relating to Afghanistan and the Broader Region in the Context of the US/NATO Withdrawal

The departure of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces and most United States (US)forces from Afghanistan leaves behind a weak and poorly functioning state, a high level of instability, continuing insurgent and other violence and an opium economy much larger in size than it was a decade ago.

Power to the Periphery? The Elusive Consensus on How to Decentralise Afghanistan

In June 2012, a maverick former Member of the Afghan Parliament appeared on television in Kabul and declared that, while attending an opposition rally, he had apprehended that the movement’s advocacy of decentralised democracy amounted to a campaign to break up Afghanistan’s unitary state. The opposition dismissed the criticism as groundless and revealed evidence that…

Afghanistan’s Ethnic Divides

A Tapestry of Ethnicities Afghanistan’s national anthem recognizes 14 ethnic groups among the country’s 27 million people: Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Balochis, Turkmens, Nooristanis, Pamiris, Arabs, Gujars, Brahuis, Qizilbash, Aimaq and Pashai. Few groups are indigenous to Afghanistan; most of the larger ones have significantly greater populations in neighbouring countries. Governing a viable state with…