Aiming to build up the country's national security, the UK works closely with the international community to develop Afghan security, governance, infrastructure, economy and the provision of essential services.

default Afghanistan Country Snapshot

Institution: The World Bank
Publication date: March, 2014
Keywords: Afghanistan


This paper gives a snapshot of Afghanistan’s progress over a number of years highlighting the challenges still faced by the country across all sectors.  The World Bank program has invested heavily in Afghanistan with an aim to boost economy and see a reduction in poverty.  However, despite five years of continued economy growth, Afghanistan is yet to see progress towards poverty reduction.  Real GDP growth declined in 2013 due to increased uncertainty surrounding political and security transition. This study will benefit institutions or countries with an interest in promoting livelihoods and sustaining peace in the country. 

default Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations:The Prospect of Reviving Taliban Talks

Title: Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations:The Prospect of Reviving Taliban Talks
Author: Moeed Yusuf
Institution: United States Institute of Peace
Publication Date: December, 2015 
Keywords: Pakistan, Afghanistan


This paper argues that there a very few viable options for resolving the current conflict in Afghanistan outside of a comprehensive and inclusive peace deal involving the Taliban.  It argues that both Governments have to set-aside their differences for there to be any chance of a ceasefire agreement and that they should develop a strategic road-map together that actively any actors in the region that do not want to be involved in peace talks, with the support of the US and China.  The paper also suggests that an Af-Pak civilian-military contact group is set up, with US and Chinese observers, to enact this strategy. 


default Counterinsurgency, Local Militias, and Statebuilding in Afghanistan

Author: Jonathan Goodhand and Aziz Hakimi
Institution: United States Institute for Peace
Publication Date: January 2014
Keywords: Afghanistan, Political Settlement, COIN, Statebuilding


This report considers the impact of the US-funded Afghan Local Police (ALP) programme on political and security dynamics in Afghanistan.  The authors argue outsourcing community protection and defence to ALP militias has eroded state power and legitimacy and undermined the political order.  This empirically-based and independent analysis of the ALP programme is highly relevant for both Afghan and international policy makers, as well those working on counterinsurgency (COIN) and security sector reform in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

default National Integrity System Assessment: Afghanistan 2015

Title: National Integrity System Assessment: Afghanistan 2015
Author: Integrity Watch Afghanistan in collaboration with Transparency International 
Institution: Transparency International
Publication Date: February 2016
Keywords: Afghanistan


This report highlights what the current situation is for the Afghan Government with regards to the challenges they face in dealing with corruption and that long term stability cannot be secured unless a sustained effort is made to tackle corruption in the country. The report provides recommendations with clear timelines for anti-corruption and security & justice interventions for the Afghan Government.



default Talking to the Taliban - Hope over History?

Author: John Bew, Ryan Evans, Martyn Frampton, Peter Neumann, Marisa Porges
Institution: The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence
Publication Date: 2013
Keywords: Afghanistan, Peacebuilding


This report examines the evolution of the idea of ‘talking to the Taliban’.  The authors argue the war in Afghanistan is ripe with examples of failed and mismanaged attempts at negotiation and dialogue, and wishful thinking about what they could achieve.  A number of lessons can be drawn from an examination of this aspect of US/ISAF strategy.  These lessons are relevant for policy makers and practitioners, as well as those involved in military campaigns and counter-insurgency (COIN) operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

default Tell Us How This Ends – Transitional Justice and Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan

Author: Patricia Gossman and Sari Kouvo
Publication Date: February 2013
Keywords: Human Rights, Afghanistan, Conflict, Security and  Justice

As Afghanistan enters a new transition at the end of 2014, analysts have questioned the absence of transitional justice for past crimes committed during the conflict affected period from 1978 to the 2001 military intervention.  The age old question of whether such a process impedes or contributes to peace is still relevant however, with continuing conflict and increasing evidence of human rights abuses, Afghanistan still sees neither stability nor justice.  The paper examines the ‘peace process’ from the beginning of the Bonn process to examine if any possibility of transitional justice could have taken place in order to inform the best way forward.  This paper is useful for anyone working on Afghanistan foreign policy and security sector reform in the region.

default Understanding and Countering Violent Extremism in Afghanistan

Title: Understanding and Countering Violent Extremism in Afghanistan
Author: Reza Fazli, Casey Johnson, and Peyton Cooke
Institution: United States Institute of Peace
Publication Date: September 2015 
Keywords: CVE, 


This paper focuses on how extremist groups recruit and how the recruitment falls into two strands: rural recruits and urban recruits.  The paper also puts forward a road-map for the International community and the Afghanistan Government. 

The research found that extremist groups are very unpopular, and seen as foreign –run, but that their activities and ideologues have not been properly countered.  The paper highlights how any approach has to be provincial or regional and that there is no quick fix – it will take years not months.  It also argues that how the International community should have a limited role, due to perception concerns, and that the Afghan Government has to first accept that extremist groups are a threat to the state and that they have to develop a holistic, long-term approach to counter this threat. 

default Women's Leadership Roles in Afghanistan

Title: Women's Leadership Roles in Afghanistan 
Author: Aarya Nijat and Jennifer Murtazashvili
Institution: United States Institute for Peace
Publication Date: September, 2015
Keywords: women, gender sensitivity


This paper focuses on the current situation for women in Leadership positions in Afghanistan and offers suggestions for how Government, business, civil society and donors can increase the significance (i.e. not tokenistic) and numbers of women in positions of national significance.  The paper also highlights the difference between women in leadership positions in urban areas, which tend to be donor-dependent, and the lack of women in those positions in rural areas.  The paper was based primarily on interviews and discussions with Afghans in a range of different sectors, from academia to business.

Finally, the paper highlights how any approach taken needs greater interdependence between civil society and the Afghan Government and how important it is that they are also gender-inclusive, as it found that men tend to be dis-engaged from this subject matter.

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