The Taliban has outlasted the world’s most potent military forces and its two main factions now challenge the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. As U.S. troops draw down, the next phase of conflict will have consequences that extend far beyond the region.
CFR's Daniel Markey sheds light on the two Taliban branches—the Afghan-based group that negotiated the release of a U.S. prisoner of war, and the Pakistani Taliban, which attacked the Karachi airport last weekend.
The Taliban believes it will have the upper hand in potential negotiations with the Afghan government and its partner in Washington, but it remains unclear what the insurgent group's goals are in any settlement, says expert Amin Tarzi.
Reports that Pakistan-based militant groups may be moving to unite could help clarify U.S. talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. But CFR's Daniel Markey calls it a tricky game, complicated by unclear U.S. intentions in the region.
Attacks on Shia Muslims in Afghanistan claimed by a Pakistani militant group are a disturbing omen -- for sectarian ties and the prospects for a peace deal with insurgents, says counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman.
Pakistan's latest moves to exert influence in Afghanistan, including possible brokering of talks with militant Taliban allies, could pose difficulties for U.S. stabilization efforts, says CFR's Daniel Markey.
Francisco R. Rodriguez interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Francisco R. Rodriguez, an expert on Venezuelan affairs, says the show of force by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after the Colombian incursion into Ecuador is an attempt to bolster his declining popularity at home.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven Simon says the plot uncovered by British authorities to simultaneously down several aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean bears all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda and suggests the group is still a viable threat.
Al-Qaeda's affiliates "provide new justification for the Obama administration's efforts to turn elements of its counterterrorism policies, including kill lists and drone bases, into fixtures for a fight expected to last another decade or more."
In this United States Institute of Peace special report, freelance journalist Andrew Walker explains the history of Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic sect in Nigeria, that has created havoc across the north of the country and its violent attacks on government offices, the United Nations, and churches.
In this report by the Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project, Jeffrey Dressler and Reza Jan look at the expansion of the Haqqani network, Afghanistan's most capable insurgent organization, and argue that the peace accords signed between the Sunnis and Shias lack legitimacy.
In The National Interest, Bruce Riedel comments on the al-Qaeda plot to terrorize "Obama's city" of Chicago on the eve of U.S. elections back in 2010, noting that the Saudi spy who defected to our allies underscores the importance of U.S. alliances in the Middle East.
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