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While trying to stabilize the country, these two organizations undertook two actions that made its problems worse, the latest study says: The CIA partnered over a long period with politically connected warlords that engaged in “rampantly corrupt activities,” largely out of political expediency; meanwhile, U.S. aid organizations helped stoke the country’s historic corruption by pouring in more funds than the country could responsibly absorb, all the while measuring their achievements by how much, rather than how well, money was spent. With short military deployment stints and high turnover in civilian oversight roles, no one in Washington or in Afghanistan took effective responsibility for fixing these problems.

On Sept. 9, 2001, a famed Tajik commander and war hero named Ahmad Shah Massoud was approached for an interview by two individuals claiming to be journalists. A bomb concealed in a video camera carried by one of them exploded, and Massoud died while being evacuated to a nearby hospital.  

Fifteen years ago last week, the US launched the longest war in its history: the invasion and occupation of remote Afghanistan. Neighbouring Pakistan was forced to help the Americans or "be bombed back to the stone age".

As Afghan forces struggle to break a weeklong Taliban siege of central neighborhoods in the provincial capital of Kunduz, insurgents are also stepping up pressure on urban centers in western and southern Afghanistan, officials said Sunday.  

Afghanistan may have begun as a “war of necessity,” as Obama once put it—a forceful and targeted response to the attacks of September 11. But today, after 15 years, it’s a catastrophe from which we cannot seem to free ourselves. Osama bin Laden has been dead for five years. But Afghanistan remains the bone stuck in America’s throat.

If Afghanistan were to fall, in no time at all it would become the world headquarters of terrorist training. The country, which has experienced one conflict after another over the last 40 years, would descend into civil war and medieval conditions.  

And so it was that America’s war in Afghanistan, dubbed Operation Enduring Freedom (renamed Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in 2014), began as a strategic and tactical muddle on October 7, 2001, when the air campaign began 15 years ago. It remains a muddle to this day. And a muddle—possibly an intractable one—is precisely what the next U.S. president will inherit from Barack Obama, despite the 44th president’s strenuous efforts to pull out of Afghanistan entirely before he left office.


Afghanistan is in a serious economic, political and security crisis. The upcoming Brussels conference is an opportunity for the world community to review and renew their long-term commitments and to set clear benchmarks and mechanism for accountability of the NUG. In order to ensure Afghanistan can never again be a safe haven for terrorists, there has to be a two-way street. Not a dirt one, but a two-way paved street. It is in the interest of the world community and the Afghan people.


Long a crossroad for major powers, a prosperous Afghanistan could mean fewer refugees into Europe, an end to its status as a haven for militant groups hostile to the West and more effective police action against its billion-dollar narcotics trade.


Peace will be a tall order and require a high level of American commitment for years more. But the result would be welcomed overwhelmingly by Afghans who have endured decades of war, and serve as a lasting tribute to the families of the American soldiers who died there.


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Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra Shah has regretted that the country has lost its Hindu identity and said despair and unhappiness among the people might lead them to revolt once again. 


The first India-Palestine Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) signifies New Delhi’s commitment towards economic development and well being of Palestine writes Muddassir Quamar for South Asia Monitor

Pakistan continues to remain in denial about the well-calibrated surgical strikes by India, in response to the terror attacks on 18 Indian jawans in Uri, Jammu & Kashmir. Far from addressing the problem of terrorism emanating from Pakistan and affecting regional stability, Islamabad chose to remain quite. What make matters wor...

If we hadn't jumped into a parallel political universe in the last 18 months or so, the idea of Donald Trump winning the Republication presidential nomination would be bizarre enough.   

Since my last visit five years ago I have keenly observed India’s political, economic and social transformation, and welcomed the increasingly active role India is playing internationally. I have also witnessed the growing personal ties between New Zealand and India, supported by our diaspora communities and our education, tou...


Address by M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs on Regional Integration and Prosperity at Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (October 5, 2016). Read more inside...

Military aid or assistance, is an important tool, that states have always plied to manoeuvre and counter-manoeuvre other sovereign entities and countless disparate factions in the pursuit of international relations. It includes arms transfers, logistical support and even supply of troops.   

The fallout of the trans-border raids in an active “hot peace” environment between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir is always unpredictable, because there are just too many imponderables. The “surgical strike” by hunter-killer teams of the special forces of the Indian Army on fidayeen bases across th...


The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...


The book, written in the manner of a series of case studies, also points to the lack of a clearly enunciated national security strategy, a defence situational review, a defence strategy and a joint strategy for the armed forces -- all of this h...


The book ‘Pakistan at crossroads: Domestic Dynamics and External Pressures’  is one of the few books in recent years which fixes spotlight on various aspects of Pakistan; the internal flummoxing situation and external forces wh...


In a region which is unexplored as an asset class, performance will be the kingmaker. This book includes the author’s CDCF Portfolio basket for the SAARC asset class, which selects the best fundamental-p...


Sri Lanka has to be the most beautiful country I have ever seen, says John Gimlette, an accomplished travel writer who journeys to the island nation at the end of a long and brutal civil war. Anyone who has se...

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