News

Articles & Contributions from Members & Partners



Hard Questions for NATO post-Afghanistan

Stefanie Babst, Internationale Politik Quarterly – 2 September 2021 “The Western allies need to review what went wrong in Afghanistan with a genuine sense of humility. Otherwise they are bound to repeat the same mistakes in the future”. This article on Internationale Politik Quarterly looks at four hard questions for NATO after the fall of…

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…

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…