On 19 April, a suicide bomber struck as students were coming out of school in Kabul, Afghanistan, leaving dozens injured and at least six dead. The brutality of the attack – and others that occurred later that week – shook Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora in Australia. The youngest victim
US forces and their allies debated the same question with varying intensity for 20 years after the 9/11 attacks. Afghanistan: To leave or not to leave? Syed Fazl-e-Haider:
The Taliban has already warned the US-led forces against extending their presence and demanded they stick to the Doha
Under the 2020 Doha Agreement, the US withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan was conditional on Taliban security assurances that Afghan territory would not be used as a launch pad by al-Qaeda or Islamic State for attacks against the United States. Similar accords seeking security promises from
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, former member of the Afghan parliament and its first female deputy speaker Fawzia Koofi joins Lowy Institute Research Fellow Lydia Khalil for a discussion on the heartbreak of leaving Afghanistan, the prospects for the country under Taliban
The 9/11 attacks – four separate coordinated strikes by al-Qaeda using passenger planes as weapons of mass destruction – were the deadliest and most consequential terrorist events in history. The attacks on the World Trade Centre towers and the Pentagon and the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93
When the Taliban emerged from the wastes of Afghanistan in the 1990s, the international community was caught completely off guard. Intelligence on the ground was pretty much non-existent and whatever policies that followed in dealing with this new threat reflected this deficiency. Subsequent events
The attack on evacuation efforts at the Kabul airport by the Islamic State- Khorasan Province (ISK, ISKP, or ISIS-K) triggered much speculation about the Afghan Taliban’s ability to constrain terrorism in the country. But it also served as a reminder of the intense rivalry between the Taliban and
Amid the chaos of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, regional players including Turkey have been jostling to position themselves with the new regime and take advantage of the benefits from the vacuum left by the United States and NATO. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that he is
We asked six experts, “Did 9/11 define our world? If so, how? If not, what did?” After each of their responses to these questions, editor Lydia Khalil challenges the experts with questions that delve deeper into their rationales and reasons
Bob Carr recalls in his Diary of a Foreign Minister how a senior Australian intelligence official told him bluntly in 2013 that the war against the Taliban was failing.
“We spent a billion dollars in Uruzgan province … We could have achieved the same result if I had been
Is Afghanistan any longer a State in the international system under international law? More particularly, is the Taliban capable of being recognised as a legitimate government?
These are not just technical legal issues. They are ones that have already been raised and have political consequences.
Has America’s ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan damaged its credibility? The scenes of chaos and panic at Kabul International Airport have certainly reinforced the sense that the United States had lost control of the situation in Afghanistan. The events of the 10 days since the Taliban
The takeover of the Afghan government by the hard-line Islamist Taliban was swift and bloodless – at least on the day the group marched into the capital, Kabul. It means a u-turn for the country domestically, away from progressive policies and relatively liberal climate, and a return to the
Women police have been among the victims of targeted killings as the Taliban expanded their territorial gains over the last year, along with women judges, journalists and human rights defenders. In recent months, some women who served in the Ministry of Interior Affairs or Afghan National Police
Did the US intelligence community fail by not accurately predicting the speed and scale of the Taliban’s victory?
A familiar blame game is now underway in Washington with administration officials and intelligence sources each backgrounding the media with their respective sides of the story. An
What was predicted to take 90 days instead occurred within weeks – a complete takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban after a hasty withdrawal of US troops, with Kabul succumbing without a struggle.
But mayhem, chaos and uncertainty was not unexpected. Concerned voices had raised the alarm
I am not an emotionally detached observer of Afghanistan. The country was once my second home, and I still have friends and colleagues there. Frankly, I am gutted – it is hard to erase the kind of images that emerged from Kabul airport on Monday. Nor should we, this is what desperation looks like
In September of 1996, I along with a group of journalists based in New Delhi, followed the Taliban into Kabul. It was a cold day all round. There were munitions piled high on the side of roads, bloated bodies and destroyed buildings. The corpse of President Mohammad Najibullah had just been cut down
Joe Biden is right to get the United States out of Afghanistan. Even as Kabul has been taken over by the Taliban, the case remains strong that after 20 years, the United States has fought its war in the country.
It is sometimes easy to forget that the president is also commander-in-chief of the US
The American withdrawal from Afghanistan offers some opportunities to Russia – but exposes it to greater uncertainty and risk.
Russia has long been ambivalent about the US/NATO force presence in Afghanistan. On the one hand, Moscow recognised, and valued, the stabilising role they played in the
As districts fall to the Taliban one after another without resistance, the government in Afghanistan has squarely put the blame on Pakistan for the mayhem in the country.
This is because the Afghan officials believe that without help from Pakistan, the Taliban could not possibly takeover
President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan in a short space of time aligns with the priorities of the Democratic party, but it would be a mistake to view the decision as ideological and impetuous. Since Biden’s opinion on American involvement in Afghanistan has
With the advance of the Taliban in parts of Afghanistan and the withdrawal of coalition forces, the question of how to help Afghans who worked intimately with Australian forces has become a significant media and political issue. Former Prime Minister John Howard, who dispatched Australian troops to
Bagram airbase, the nerve centre of US and allied forces operations in Afghanistan, turned into a ghost town over the American Independence Day 4 July weekend. Reports indicate that US forces left in the dead of night on 2 July without informing their Afghan counterparts.
Afghans are stunned that
The agreement signed by the United States and the Taliban in February 2020 sought to end America’s (and Australia’s) longest-running war. After nearly two decades of conflict, the US and NATO allies committed to withdrawing all foreign military personnel from Afghanistan. In exchange, the
The Afghan government is fighting for survival as external and internal actors exploit its weaknesses in preparation for a US exit. The latest US initiatives to bring “a responsible end” to the Afghan war will likely have the opposite effect, pushing the Afghan government closer to a knife’s
The peace agreement between the United States and Taliban signed in Doha last February is likely to be scrapped if the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation unilaterally decide to stay in Afghanistan beyond 1 May, the withdrawal deadline set in the agreement.
With a presence of around 10
The politics in the fallout over the release of the long-awaited Brereton report into allegations of war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan threatens to overtake the actual subject of the inquiry. Even before China sought to insert itself into the issue, local introspection about what was
Back in 2012, Afghanistan mostly only featured in Australian news bulletins at those moments an Australian soldier was killed. The war was otherwise a story in the background, a feature on the back pages or late in TV bulletins when a journalist could “embed” with the troops. Tempers flared
On Monday last week, 72 countries at the United Nations offered their “unwavering support” for the International Criminal Court (ICC). Among them were Australia, Canada, the UK, France and others that have signed the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. In doing so, these states expressed
Three months have passed since the United States and the Taliban signed an “Agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan”. For the Americans, it aims to put an end to the US military intervention in Afghanistan, which has lasted more than 18 years. The provisions of the agreement stipulate a
The need for a negotiated withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has increased in urgency after the Washington Post this week published an explosive article outlining the “Afghanistan Papers”, which documents that the US government long has concluded its efforts in Afghanistan were futile and
Ten days ago, US President Donald Trump called off negotiations with the Taliban about withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, widely expected to be followed by intra-Afghanistan peace talks, which Norway hoped to host and President Ashraf Ghani had begun to prepare for by selecting a negotiation
The Taliban and the US have agreed, in principle, on a peace framework that will ensure the Taliban part ways with international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda leading to a possible withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The negotiations also focused on a comprehensive ceasefire and
The Trump administration's Afghanistan policy suggests that the United States will exert greater pressure on Pakistan, but no amount of US foreign assistance or coercion is likely to change Pakistan's behaviour, especially while its security establishment continues to view US
Part One of this series looked at what President Trump’s recent Afghanistan policy announcement told us about the President and his administration. This post examines the policy itself and its consequences for Australia.
Trump claims he has learned from history in his study of the Afghan war. If
Military Fellow James Brown participated in a panel discussion hosted by Amnesty International to discuss how Australia can help Afghan women fighting for their rights. He spoke alongside Wazhma Frogh, receipient of the 2009 International Women of Courage Award, and SBS journalist Karen Middleton
In every era there are inflection points which require long-established institutions to re-evaluate their goals, strategy, structure and resource allocations to ensure their future health and relevance. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is no exception