25 Jul 2018

US strikes in Afghanistan continue increasing

Recent statistics show that airstrikes in Afghanistan against the Taliban are on the rise while they continue to decrease in Iraq and Syria. In 2018, the U.S. has dropped 2,911 munitions in Afghanistan as part of the American-led offensive against the Taliban, and is on track to reach a record

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20 Jul 2018

Taliban, Islamic State continue battle in northern Afghanistan

The Taliban and Islamic State continue to battle each other in northern Afghanistan, with dozens of casualties on each side. The two groups remain in competition with each other for legitimacy, and a number of major defections to IS has weakened the Taliban in the area. The fighting has forced

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17 Jul 2018

Drought in Afghanistan aggrevates political tensions with Iran

Afghanistan’s agricultural sector has been hit by severe draughts, whose impact is made worse by its extremely limited water storage and irrigation capacity. These environmental and infrastructural problems damage not only the Afghan economy, but spill over into heightened tensions with neighboring Iran, which many in Afghanistan believe to be

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27 Jun 2018

Afghan president publishes opinion paper in NY Times, seeks negotiations with Taliban leader

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has published an opinion piece in the New York Times celebrating the recent, short-lived cease-fire between the government and the Taliban over the Eid festival. In it, Ghani emphasizes the people’s exhaustion with the war and their desire for peace, as well as his personal willingness

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25 Jun 2018

Baby powder, minerals, and the Taliban

The Taliban receives an estimated $300 million USD in revenue per year from mineral sources (both direct control and taxes), according to NGO Global Witness. The revenue stream is second is size only to their narcotics trade. The mineral trade that includes resources such as talc and other standard industrial

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21 Jun 2018

State Department: Russia, Iran ‘hedging their bets’ to back Taliban

A senior State Department official testified that Russia and Iran are “hedging their bets” by supporting the Taliban against other terror groups and the central government. These accusations have been regularly leveled at Russia who is often charged with providing weapons to the Taliban. Russia rejects the charges, but the

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