International Crisis Group dossier

Afghanistan | South Asia
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Security in Afghanistan

In a state of effective war for most of the last quarter-century, Afghanistan was a Cold War battleground before a fratricidal civil war was allowed to fester for much of the 1990s. With the extremist Taliban in power it played host to al-Qaeda. However, having refused to give up al-Qaeda leaders, the regime was quickly removed in late 2001 by U.S.-led Coalition forces.

Following the political roadmap laid out in Bonn, the country has since seen the ratification of a new moderate Islamic Constitution and the election of a president and National Assembly. However, the ultimate goal of a stable, sustainable state is increasingly vulnerable. The south and eastern regions bordering Pakistan see an ongoing insurgency which in 2007 has spread west and to the central provinces around Kabul, along with a growing campaign of terrorist violence in the urban centres. Opium production has exploded; the country is now responsible for 92 per cent of the world’s supply.

The Afghan National Army has been the recipient of a comprehensive reform program but is still a fledgling force. However police and judicial reform remain neglected and district authorities often a source OF, rather than succour from, fear for the local population. A policy of co-option has seen warlords and the powerbrokers of past eras entrenched in positions of power despite being widely discredited in previous eras. Exacerbated by security problems developmental progress has been painfully slow with Afghanistan having some of the lowest social indicators in the world.

Crisis Group's Afghanistan project examines how the international community can help the Afghan government tackle the growing insecurity and calls for deep-seated reform to address a growing culture of impunity as well as wider regional aspects of the violence.

Our Afghanistan reports are listed below, starting with the most recent. You can also search for relevant reports using the search box in the top right hand side of this page.

The Executive Summary and Recommendations of recent reports, translated into Dari, can be viewed here.

Articles, op-eds, speeches and media releases can be found under the media section.

Click here for a more detailed history of the country/conflict.

  Visit our Afghanistan advocacy page


Recent articles/op-eds/interviews & speeches

Recent reports & briefings