En una primera lectura, la eliminación de Ayman al Zawahiri, máximo líder de Al Qaeda desde 2011, puede presentarse como un rotundo éxito de Washington en su afán por hacer justicia o vengarse —como cada cual prefiera— de quien solía identificarse como el verdadero padre intelectual del 11-S. Visto así, solo cabría alabar la pericia demostrada por los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses —los mismos que erraron patentemente en su cálculo sobre el desafío talibán hace tan solo un año—.
Así, en lo que se nos ha presentado como un golpe quirúrgico con un misil Hellfire R9X lanzado desde un dron MQ-9 Reaper, cabría valorar positivamente que no fuera armado con una cabeza explosiva para evitar daños colaterales que pudieran afectar a los civiles que habitan las casas circundantes.… Seguir leyendo »
In Afghanistan, women now talk about their futures in the past tense. I was on a Zoom call recently with two young university graduates in Kabul, when I asked them about their plans. “I hoped to go …”, they answered. “I planned to do …”
But they won’t. They can’t. They have been judged and the verdict rendered: They are female, and for that, from the Taliban, there can be no mercy.
It’s been 11 months since the fall of Kabul, and the vanishing of women is nearly complete. The men who rule my country wield their control with a casual cruelty that can be breathtaking.… Seguir leyendo »
Since taking power last summer, Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government has been isolated internationally; not a single country has yet recognized it. But in recent weeks, Taliban officials have made a series of increasingly public overtures to a once unlikely prospective partner: India. And the interest has been reciprocated, to some extent. At a regional security summit in Tajikistan in late May, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval urged Afghanistan’s neighbors to provide counterterrorism aid to the war-torn country. On June 2, a delegation of senior Indian officials traveled to Kabul to meet with Taliban leaders. And on June 23, India reopened its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan.… Seguir leyendo »
Since seizing power in Afghanistan in the wake of the disastrous U.S. withdrawal in August 2021, the Taliban have repeatedly reneged on promises to restore education for Afghan girls over sixth grade, reinstated requirements that women have a male escort when they leave their homes for any reason, segregated women from public accommodations, placed restrictions on women’s workforce participation, and severely censored media representation of women.
Most recently, the Taliban have reinstated wearing the burqa, using collective punishment to enforce this mandate. At the same time, they have accelerated reprisal killings, refused to allow Afghans to leave the country, and deepened the ongoing humanitarian disaster through their incompetent and regressive rule.… Seguir leyendo »
For the last two decades, conventional wisdom in Pakistan held that an Afghanistan ruled by the Taliban would be a boon to Pakistan’s security. Islamabad has long supported the Taliban with the understanding that the militants could help deny India—which many Pakistani officials see as an existential threat—any influence in Afghanistan. But since sweeping back to power last August, the Taliban have confirmed how misguided the conventional wisdom truly was. Pakistan has become less safe, not safer, after the Taliban’s victorious march into Kabul.
The success of the Taliban in Afghanistan has galvanized the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, a militant group also known as the Pakistani Taliban or the TTP.… Seguir leyendo »
Have you seen the faces of the women of Kabul? Have you seen them, these women who are my Afghan sisters, carrying signs through the streets, their voices raised for justice, their bodies vulnerable and unafraid?
See them. Look now. Look before the blue tide rises, and they disappear below.
The Taliban decreed May 7 that Afghan women must cover themselves from head to toe in public. The blue burqa is the Taliban’s garment of choice; ideal, however, would be for women to never leave the house unless absolutely necessary.
In the Taliban’s Afghanistan, women’s bodies, opportunities and futures are to be utterly controlled by men, and in the Taliban’s Afghanistan, this control must begin at home.… Seguir leyendo »
I am a woman living in Kabul and I am a teacher. Until eight months ago, I was one of the staff at The City of Knowledge (COK), an educational centre that helped women go to university and pursue the careers of their choice. Through my work, I witnessed the ambition and hope of many women in my country. Since the Taliban came back, our life has drastically changed. We are like moving bodies without souls. Our dreams, and the knowledge we could have had, are shattered.
I always believed history was a progression, but I have seen in the past few month’s my country’s rapid regression to the middle ages.… Seguir leyendo »
La educación de las niñas afganas ha sufrido un duro golpe. De nuevo, las mujeres vuelven a ver desaparecer sus derechos más básicos como es el de la educación. BBC ha publicado en días pasados un estremecedor vídeo en el que aparece una niña afgana que llora porque no le permiten asistir a la escuela por el hecho de haber nacido mujer. En pleno siglo XXI se sigue tolerando que se borren los derechos de las mujeres en pro de un malentendido relativismo moral en el que cada vez importa menos la situación de las mujeres y sus derechos.
El derecho al conocimiento debería ser inalienable pero lejos de eso cada vez se encuentra más en peligro en el caso de las mujeres.… Seguir leyendo »
Just hours after reopening girls’ high schools in Afghanistan for the first time in nearly seven months, the Taliban ordered them shut, sparking plenty of heartbreak and outrage, but no substantive policy or political repercussions. That must change.
At a United Nations pledging conference for Afghanistan on Thursday, leaders lined up to reiterate their condemnations, but fell well short of establishing a red line: a date by which the Taliban must reopen girls’ middle and high schools and ensure every Afghan girl can receive the education she deserves.
These must be preconditions for the international community’s continued engagement with the Taliban — and they cannot be allowed to use girls’ education as a bargaining chip.… Seguir leyendo »
Sometimes 20 years can fall away like nothing. Sometimes time telescopes into a vivid memory of a flash of red above a sea of blue.
On March 23, 2002, I was 12 years old, living in Kabul, walking into an all-girls public school for the first time in my life. The Taliban — the extremists who from 1996 to 2001 had essentially outlawed girls’ education — was gone, its regime fallen, its edicts swept away. It was the first day of the new school year.
But I remember the fear in our school courtyard that day. How it flowed around me in deep blue tides.… Seguir leyendo »
As the Taliban took Kabul last August and completed their spectacular return to power, international media attention drove a frenzy of global interest in Afghanistan. While Afghanistan is no longer headline news, the country is facing a perfect storm of worsening humanitarian, economic, health and governance crises. The United Nations projects that at least 24 million Afghans, more than half the population, will need humanitarian assistance in 2022. With almost 9 million people on the edge of starvation, Afghanistan is fast becoming the most food insecure country in the world.
Meanwhile, the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan is at an impasse with the international donor community.… Seguir leyendo »
Chairman Murphy, Ranking Member Young, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee, thank you for your attention to this important subject and for inviting me to testify.
I am a Senior Consultant for the International Crisis Group, which covers more than 50 conflict situations around the world, including Afghanistan, with the aim of helping to prevent, resolve or mitigate deadly conflict. I have worked in the country since 2005.
In previous years, I listened to U.S. congressional hearings from Kandahar or Kabul, sometimes with gunfire or explosions in the background. The Internet connection was not always good, but I heard enough to understand that the United States had ambitious plans for Afghanistan.… Seguir leyendo »
Crisis Group’s Watch List identifies ten countries facing deadly conflict, humanitarian emergency or other crises in 2022. In these places, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, could save lives and enhance prospects for stability.
Afghanistan is now the site of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, in which millions of children could starve to death. As Crisis Group and others have pointed out, the extension of Taliban-specific sanctions to the entire Afghan state is a primary cause of the Afghan economy’s freefall, along with the cutoff of non-humanitarian aid to the country and the freezing of Afghan state assets held in the United States and Europe.… Seguir leyendo »
The UN Security Council faces hard choices about the future of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The UN’s role in Afghanistan has grown more important following the Taliban victory in August 2021 and the shuttering of many embassies and international organisations. UNAMA, originally launched in 2002 after the U.S. toppled the first Taliban government, has stayed in place, acting as a point of contact for engagement with the new Taliban authorities. The mission also has the potential to serve as the “eyes and ears” on the ground for outside powers and aid donors, monitoring the human rights situation and coordinating the work of UN agencies in responding to the country’s economic and humanitarian crisis.… Seguir leyendo »
President Joe Biden said in August that the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan would not signal the end of US support to the Afghan people, pledging active humanitarian support and diplomatic engagement. But the policies of the US and other Western powers have done the opposite, instead delivering isolation, economic mayhem and human misery.
Following the Taliban takeover in August, Western states froze all development aid, worth 75% of the Afghan government's budget. Many civil servants, including doctors and teachers, have not been paid since August. Western powers froze $9.5 billion in Afghan assets in foreign banks -- the vast majority of which is held in the US.… Seguir leyendo »
The winter sky in Albania is gray and the air is damp. We're living by the sea. It's our first time ever actually seeing a sea, but it's too cold to dip our toes in. It feels expansive and full of possibility, yet devastatingly out of our reach -- just like parts of our new lives.
Throughout the day I check in on the fellow Afghan women sharing a roof with me at our hotel in the Albanian resort town of Shengjin. They joke that I am Albania's new therapist. We play card games and visit Albanian pastry shops where the deserts taste bittersweet, like our exile.… Seguir leyendo »
How can it be that, in these first weeks of 2022, the world is allowing millions of Afghan children to face death from starvation? And this after months during which the UN, a score of governments, the EU and the Arab League, not to mention US ex-army commanders, ambassadors and humanitarians, have been publicly pleading for immediate action to stop the cascade of Afghan lives lost to famine and malnutrition.
On Tuesday, Martin Griffiths and Filippo Grandi, UN humanitarian and refugee coordinators, once again begged countries to send food and urgent supplies. They announced the biggest humanitarian appeal mounted since 1945 for a single country, a $4.5bn request to help more than 23 million Afghans on the edge of starvation.… Seguir leyendo »
Cuando Estados Unidos retiró a su ejército de Afganistán el verano pasado, se enfrentó a una decisión crucial: permitir el colapso de un Estado que en gran medida se había mantenido a flote gracias a la asistencia extranjera o trabajar con los talibanes, sus antiguos enemigos ahora en el poder, para evitar ese desenlace.
Más de cuatro meses después de que el último vuelo militar estadounidense partió de Kabul, el gobierno de Joe Biden aún no ha tomado una decisión clara, sino que más bien ha optado por actuar de forma improvisada en medio de una crisis humanitaria en aumento. El tiempo se está agotando.… Seguir leyendo »
When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan last summer, it was left with a critical choice: allow the collapse of a state that had mostly been kept afloat by foreign aid or work with the Taliban, its former foes who were in power, to prevent that outcome.
More than four months after the last U.S. military flight left Kabul, the Biden administration has yet to take a clear decision, opting to muddle along with half-measures amid an escalating humanitarian crisis. Time is running out.
The United States should swallow the bitter pill of working with the Taliban-led government in order to prevent a failed state in Afghanistan.… Seguir leyendo »
In his first interview since escaping Afghanistan as the Taliban advanced on the capital, Ashraf Ghani defended himself against charges that he abandoned his country in its hour of need.
Former President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan said he fled the country to prevent the destruction of Kabul as Taliban fighters advanced on the capital, offering the most detailed defense of his actions since the government’s collapse in August.
Mr. Ghani, speaking on the BBC in an interview broadcast on Thursday — his first interview since he fled — said his sudden departure was the “hardest” decision he made. He said that even in the hours before he boarded a helicopter and was spirited out of the country, he did not know it would be his last day in his homeland.… Seguir leyendo »