Nader Nadery

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A Taliban delegation attending international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, October 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko / Reuters

One year after the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, it is clear that the extremist group has changed little since it first seized control of the country in 1996. In March 2022, the Taliban decided not to reopen girls’ secondary schools throughout the country—as it had vowed to do just two days earlier—putting an end to any hopes that the group would rule the country differently this time around. And, in the weeks since a CIA drone strike killed al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a leafy Kabul enclave, it has become even more clear that the Taliban continues to harbor terrorist groups.…  Seguir leyendo »

Newly graduated Afghan National Army cadets march during a graduation ceremony in Afghanistan’s Herat province on Nov. 19. (Hoshang Hashimi/AFP/Getty Images)

In recent days, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has met with civic and political actors here to discuss the formation of a team to negotiate peace with the Taliban insurgents who have subjected the country to decades of violence. The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said at a Nov. 18 news conference that he is “cautiously optimistic” about peace prospects. He even urged all sides to work toward getting a deal by the spring presidential elections.

As a human rights advocate for many years before I joined the Afghan government in 2016, I used to struggle to imagine how we could ever reconcile with a group that has for so long contravened basic human rights principles.…  Seguir leyendo »

1.- Reform or Go Home.
By David Kilcullen, a former adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.

Counterinsurgency is only as good as the government it supports. NATO could do everything right — it isn’t — but will still fail unless Afghans trust their government. Without essential reform, merely making the government more efficient or extending its reach will just make things worse.

Only a legitimately elected Afghan president can enact reforms, so at the very least we need to see a genuine run-off election or an emergency national council, called a loya jirga, before winter.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last November, extremists on motorbikes opposed to education for women sprayed acid on a group of students from the Mirwais School for Girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Several young women were severely burned. Yet it did not take more than a few weeks for even the most cruelly disfigured girls to return to school. Like the crowds of women in Kabul this week who protested a new law that restricts their rights, the Mirwais students demonstrate unbending courage and resolve for progress. They don’t fear much — except that the world might abandon them.

That is why President Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy speech last month and his administration’s related white paper are worrisome: both avoided any reference to democracy in Afghanistan, while pointedly pushing democratic reforms in Pakistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

As civilian casualties mount, American and NATO forces in Afghanistan are facing an erosion of their public legitimacy. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are exploiting this distrust, aiming to transform it into a popular rage against the Afghan government and its foreign allies. Unless the insurgents are denied propaganda tools — in particular, the growing number of images of dead women and children — no number of additional troops will bring success to the American-led mission.

The United Nations, which last month extended NATO’s mandate in Afghanistan for another year, says there were 1,445 civilian casualties from the beginning of the year to mid-September, a 40 percent increase over all of 2007.…  Seguir leyendo »