By Mushtaq A. Kaw (09/17/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Alongside the current U.S.-Taliban conflict, the U.S. has unsuccessfully sought reconciliation with the Taliban for a political settlement of the Afghan crisis. Nonetheless, in May 2014, the U.S. swapped five Taliban prisoners for one U.S. soldier to renew the peace process and ensure stability in Afghanistan before the planned exit later this year. However, the prisoner exchange failed to deliver results due to the Taliban’s indifference to dialogue and democratic processes. Consequently, no political settlement for peace in Afghanistan is forthcoming before the U.S. drawdown. A settlement is equally unlikely in its immediate aftermath, which will likely be dominated by rivalries between the Taliban and their competitors.
By Jacob Zenn (09/03/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Despite concerns about the threat of Central Asian militant groups to their home countries after the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, these militant groups are currently focused on “winning” primarily in Afghanistan, secondarily on China’s Xinjiang Province and South Asia, and only then on their home fronts. Central Asians in Syria and Iraq, however, are receiving inspiration from the Islamic State’s self-declared Caliphate and military successes and are vowing that they will create a similar Caliphate in Central Asia. In the near-term, China, Pakistan and possibly India are within range of Central Asian militant groups, but the security crises in Central Asia that are most likely to emerge come from the region’s own internal weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.