IRS |Institute of Regional Studies

Islamabad

Contemporary Regional Developments in Afghanistan

21st - 27th February
  • Soldiers killed in wave of attacks: A wave of attacks across Afghanistan has left more than 25 people dead, most of them soldiers, officials say. In the worst incident, Taliban militants stormed an army post in the western province of Farah, killing 22 soldiers. A suicide attack in the capital Kabul left at least three security officers dead. There has been a surge in militant attacks in recent months and the army is often targeted. Some analysts see it as a response to a new, more aggressive strategy announced by US President Donald Trump last year, which committed the US army to an open-ended conflict, with the focus on "killing terrorists".
    (BBC: 24.2.2018)
  • Work on TAPI, begins in Afghanistan: Construction has begun on the Afghan section of a major gas pipeline linking four countries in Asia. The project is backed by the US, Pakistan and even the Taliban, as it is hoped transit fees will help stabalise Afghanistan's economy.
    (Aljazeera: 24.2.2018)
14th - 20th February
  • Around 10,453 civilians were killed in 2017 and after 17 years of fighting Kabul is still insecure and people are scared.
    (Sky News: 19.2.2018)
  • A shift in the United States strategy, toward more bombing and greater pressure on Pakistan, was announced over the summer. But so far, it has done nothing to roll back areas under Taliban control, a report issued by the Office of Inspector General at the Defense Department showed.
    (New York Times, 18.2.2018)
  • Taliban are a part of the social fabric of Afghanistan, Kabul tells US diplomat: US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells has said that she has been told by her friends in the Afghan government that the Taliban are part of the social fabric of Afghanistan, and believe in the nationhood of country.
    (Express Tribune: 18.2.2018)
  • The ousted governor of northern Kunduz province, Asadullah Omarkhel, rejected rumors that he would also defy President Ashraf Ghani’s order to step down.
    (Pajwok: 19.2.2018)
5th - 13th February
  • US Adding Air Power, Intelligence Gathering in Afghanistan: Air Force Major General James Hecker told reporters at the Pentagon in a video teleconference from Kabul that on February 1 the U.S. Central Command officially designated Afghanistan as its "main effort," supplanting the counter-IS campaign in Iraq and Syria. Central Command is responsible for all U.S. military operations in the broader Middle East and Central Asia.
    (VOA, 7.2.2018)
30th Jan - 4th February
  • Trump ruled out talks with Taliban and pledged to ‘finish’ them.
    (Dawn News January 31, 2018)
  • Afghan government losing control over its territory according to the US Report.
    (Dawn News January 31, 2018)
  • Suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb disguised in an ambulance. The blast, which killed at least 100 and injured 235 more, was blocks from Operation Resolute Support headquarters: There’s a new faith among the latest U.S. generals who have come to win the war in Afghanistan, but plenty of old realities. U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Joseph Votel, who is overseeing the Trump administration’s Afghanistan War reboot, came here to see its beginning and its promise of victory, with newly arriving squadrons of attack jets, howitzer cannons, and hundreds of specialized and experienced U.S. troops. Just hours earlier, the 4-star distinguished visitor had been in Kabul discussing those plans at the Afghan Ministry of Defense when a suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb disguised in an ambulance. Welcome back to the war. As the compound locked down, troops and civilians from a dozen countries came scrambling out of the dining hall, weapons in tow. Others exchanged concerned glances. But most just told stories, complained about being stuck, and kept on eating lunch. After 16 years, you get used to some things.
    (Defense One)
  • The U.S. military is pulling its forces from an American-led coalition base in Iraq and shifting them to Afghanistan following the defeat of Islamic State group militants in the country.
    (Fox News)

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