Afghanistan/Pakistan

Latest in Afghanistan/Pakistan

Afghanistan

Islamic State Affiliate Seeks to Expand in Afghanistan

Afghan intelligence officials reportedly captured a deputy leader of the Islamic State-Khorasan (the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, also referred to as ISK) near the city of Herat in September. Herat is more than 1,000 kilometers west of ISK’s stronghold in Nangarhar province, and much of Herat province and the surrounding region is contested by the Taliban.

India

How the Indian Government Changed the Legal Status of Jammu and Kashmir

The disputed territory of the Kashmir Valley has long been a cause of tension and armed conflict between India and Pakistan. The United Nations has stated it could be “one of the most militarized zones in the world.” Within India, the valley is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which until recently enjoyed a special constitutional status that granted it more autonomy than other Indian states. On Aug.

Foreign Policy Essay

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Unintended Consequences of U.S.-Taliban Talks

Editor’s Note: Americans are weary of the war in Afghanistan, and peace talks between the United States and the Taliban are raising hopes that this forever war might finally end. Jessie Durrett, a graduate student at Princeton University, argues that the current structure of negotiations is a mistake. She contends the Taliban are not likely to make good on many promises, and excluding the Afghan government further weakens a key U.S. partner.

Daniel Byman

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China

In Pakistan’s Financial Crisis, an Opening for Chinese Lawfare

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued last month that there was “no rationale” for allowing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to divert “tax dollars” to Pakistan, since the IMF members’ funding, including that of the United States, would be used to bail out “China’s bondholders or China itself.” Pakistan is going through a grave financial crisis.

Foreign Policy Essay

Drone Blowback: Much Ado about Nothing?

Editor’s Note: One of the most common, and seemingly convincing, critiques of the drone program is that it produces "blowback"—each miss that kills civilians, or even each hit that kills a militant, angers locals near the blast zone and inflames national sentiment against the United States in ways that aid militant recruitment. Such arguments are difficult to evaluate, but Aqil Shah of the University of Oklahoma did extensive survey and interview research on this question.

Afghanistan/Pakistan

The International Religious Freedom Act: A Primer

The new year has not, so far, seemed to have brought with it a new zenith for U.S.-Pakistan relations. On Jan. 1, President Donald Trump tweeted that Pakistan has offered “nothing but lies & deceit” in exchange for American aid, and “give[s] safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help.” Soon after, on Jan.

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