News

Articles & Contributions from Members & Partners



Afghanistan always defeats the West

William Dalrymple, UnHerd – 30 August 2021 The correlation between the First and Fourth Anglo-Afghan War is substantive and a grasp of history dating back to the first war from 1939-42 would have, according to this article, prevented a disastrous war and avoided another military humiliation for the West. Read the full article here.

The Other Afghan Women

Anand Gopal, The New Yorker – 6 September 2021 “All the women I met in Sangin, though, seemed to agree that their rights, whatever they might entail, cannot flow from the barrel of a gun—and that Afghan communities themselves must improve the conditions of women”. In this poignant piece on The New Yorker, Anand Gopal…

How a Taliban victory in Afghanistan has changed the geopolitical map

Beyond the daily scenes of terrified Afghans striving to find a way through to the airport in Kabul as they seek a way out of the country, the significant longer-term issue that we need to be aware of is the changed geopolitical landscape of Central Asia. Roddy Gow – 9th September 2021 How will the…

The Taliban, not the West, won Afghanistan’s technological war

Christopher Ankerson, MIT Technology Review – 23 August 2021 “If wars are fought through innovation, the Taliban won”. After 20 years of conflict, this article on MIT Technology Review argues that the technological advances within the US military have not been as pronounced as others would argue and, in fact, the Taliban have won the…

The west has paid the price for neglecting the Afghanistan economy

Martin Sandbu, Financial Times – 22 August 2021 Nation-building can only be done by those citizens who belong to it, this article argues, with Afghanistan being “too tribal and traditional a society” for it to ever fall to the influence of an outsider. Focusing on the economy and building a functioning state would have made…

The west’s nation-building fantasy is to blame for the mess in Afghanistan

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian – 20 August 2021 As Kabul falls to the complete power of the Taliban, serious questions are being asked around the world of the west’s moral authority and intentions after 9/11. This article on The Guardian argues “if they [western regimes] crave moral outreach, it should be through the imperialism of…

Nemesis: Why the west was doomed to lose in Afghanistan

Anatol Lieven, Prospect – 27 August 2021 Anatol Lieven recounts his NATO-organised trip to Camp Shorabak, an Afghan military base, in 2013 where he first realised that the West’s Afghanistan campaign was doomed. Speaking of military support in Africa, the author also states that “any chance of success depends on Britain and Europe learning the…

How Afghanistan rattled Asia and emboldened China

Tessa Wong and Zhaoyin Feng, BBC News – 24 August 2021 The responses from Asian countries after the fall of Kabul have been overwhelmingly in scepticism of the U.S.’ intentions and trustworthiness in the region. Whilst Singapore warned that they were watching the country’s next moves in response to the situation, China has stepped up…

After Afghanistan, the Pax Americana is over – as is Nato. About time too

Simon Tisdall, The Guardian – 21 August 2021 According to this article on The Guardian, Joe Biden has “undermined the western alliance” with his “undeserved contempt for Afghan forces and obliviousness to the sacrifices of Nato allies”. The author argues a need for a more balanced and respectful security relationship between the US and Europe…