The Taliban's resurgence since 2001 has been largely funded by the creation of an opium economy and extortion. Now, with the withdrawal of U.S. troops, legitimate aid from Afghanistan and the freezing of Afghan funds abroad, the Taliban will revive its informal sources of finance to stay afloat. A look at the financing that brought the Taliban back to Kabul.
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A recent trip to Cox’s Bazar showed that despite numerous health, social and security challenges, the Rohingya refugees are reluctant to return to Myanmar. India will have to walk a tightrope, keeping in mind humanitarian, security, and geopolitical priorities
The removal of 11 top ministers in the Riyadh government last week by the young crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, is a geopolitical upheaval, the implications are serious. Domestically, the kingdom is seeking to liberalise its conservative society and move away from oil-dependency – evident from the expected listing of its crown jewel Aramco. For India, which imports oil largely from West Asia, instability could cause a spike in prices, leaving less for its ambitious reforms. Globally, there is now space for new alignments – in the Great Power plays, in the Shia-Sunni rivalry, and in the war on terrorism.
The Kurdish issue is far more complex and sophisticated than the simplistic nationalist rhetoric, made fashionable by Europeans-- and which all actors in the game feel compelled to employ and have us believe
Referendums are a way of mobilising society and bringing in exceptional change. Turkey’s third constitutional referendum in the last 10 years, being held on Sunday, April 16, is the greatest of them in many respects as it puts the country on uncharted waters, having it move from one unbalanced system to another
Aleppo is back under the control of the Syrian government, the Russian ambassador to Ankara is assassinated for his country’s role in Syria, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wants to cooperate with Russia to fight ISIS in Syria. These momentous events in modern history compel an assessment of the geopolitics surrounding Syria.
The unfolding coup in Turkey demonstrates the instability that the nation has fallen into. Terror attacks like the one in Istanbul airport was the most high profile targeting of Turkey by ISIS and other extremists. This is the outcome of Turkey’s crackdown on internal popular protest, on allowing itself to become the highway for extremists, refugees and weapons to disparate terrorist groups and being a willing proxy for the major powers contending in Syria. The increasing frequency of the attacks in Turkey reveals a similar pathology to Pakistan, which is now in a low-grade civil war. Is Turkey going down the path of Pakistan?
Today ISIS is the gravest international security threat. To defeat ISIS, the world should pay heed to India’s experience of the need to isolate state sponsors of terrorism. Ultimately, only when Saudi Arabia acknowledges the danger to its own survival from past policies of alleged support to extremist groups, can it be a reliable partner in the fight against ISIS.
The announcement in June of a Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran has to be seen in the context of the strategic dimensions of India’s relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, and the U.S. And it has far-reaching implications for India’s policy towards West Asia
With the growth of the Islamic State and of terrorist groups in Africa and other parts of the world, global coordination to combat terrorism is imperative. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the UNGA to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, but divergent national interests remain a hurdle