News

Articles & Contributions from Members & Partners



The writing’s on the wall for Kabul’s street art scene

Amy Kazmin, Financial Times – 9 September 2021 Upon taking over the city, the Taliban decimated Kabul’s colourful street art which, for many, had provided a cheerful sign of hope during troubled times. In this article on the FT, Amy Kazmin looks at the outlook for arts and culture within the country under Taliban rule.…

What Are the Taliban’s Plans for Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage?

Helen Holmes, Observer – 8 September 2021 According to this article, the resurgence of the Taliban and chaotic scenes in Kabul cause uncertainty and concern over the future of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage. This concern is particularly intensified when looking at previous incidents such as that in 2001 when the Taliban destroyed the Buddha statues in…

Americans Never Understood Afghanistan Like the Taliban Did

Shadi Hamid, The Atlantic – 23 August 2021 America’s nation-building fantasies painted over the realities of a failed state and created an insurmountable barrier between Afghan citizens and the US military, according to this article on The Atlantic. Instead, the Taliban made their return through grass-root dispute resolutions. Read the full article here.

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…