By Naveed Ahmad (10/15/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On August 5, an Afghan in army uniform opened indiscriminate fire, killing a U.S. army major general besides wounding 15 coalition troops. One German brigadier general and two Afghan generals received non-fatal bullet injuries. Green-on-blue attacks are the most alarming trend in Afghanistan, which has forced ISAF to instruct each soldier to carry a loaded weapon when amongst Afghans. The most recent attack casts a serious shadow over Afghanistan’s stability after NATO hands over internal and external security to Afghan security forces. Even the unprecedented news of two opposing presidential candidates reaching a power-sharing deal offers little hope.
By Mushtaq A. Kaw (09/17/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Alongside the current U.S.-Taliban conflict, the U.S. has unsuccessfully sought reconciliation with the Taliban for a political settlement of the Afghan crisis. Nonetheless, in May 2014, the U.S. swapped five Taliban prisoners for one U.S. soldier to renew the peace process and ensure stability in Afghanistan before the planned exit later this year. However, the prisoner exchange failed to deliver results due to the Taliban’s indifference to dialogue and democratic processes. Consequently, no political settlement for peace in Afghanistan is forthcoming before the U.S. drawdown. A settlement is equally unlikely in its immediate aftermath, which will likely be dominated by rivalries between the Taliban and their competitors.
By Richard Weitz (09/03/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
President Barack Obama’s recent characterization of China as a global free rider certainly applies in Afghanistan. Although China has declined to join the NATO-led International Security Force in Afghanistan or even allow its members to use Chinese territory to supply their forces in Afghanistan, Chinese firms have been benefiting from the massive economic and security contributions of other countries to Afghanistan. But that time is ending and China and the West need to strike a new and more balanced bargain there. Chinese alarm about Afghanistan is rising as U.S. concerns and commitments are declining.
By John Daly (08/05/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Two routes of the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), collectively known as the Northern Lines of Communication (NLOC) run through Russia, but deteriorating U.S.-Russian relations over Ukraine could complicate the continued usage of the NDN by U.S./NATO/ISAF forces. The NDN’s importance is well understood in both Washington and Moscow. The question is now, in an attempt to modify Russian behavior over Ukraine, whether a proposed third round of increased Western sanctions and intensified NATO activities around Russia’s periphery may cause the Russian government to deny ISAF and NATO further use of the NLOC segments of the NDN.
By John. C.K. Daly (07/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The turmoil that has devastated Afghanistan since the 1979 Soviet invasion and subsequent 2001 Western campaign against the ruling Taliban has left the country in a fragile political state, but its telecommunications sector has thrived. The Afghan government is leasing a telecommunications satellite, which will provide nationwide coverage. Currently all communications in Afghanistan are connected through other countries’ satellites. In 2001 when the Western campaign against the Taliban began, the country had a primordial land-based copper wire telephone network.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with Johns Hopkins University's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst brings cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.