Afg_Province_Poppy_cultivation hp Courtesy: UNODC
19 January 2022

Funding the insurgency: The Taliban in Afghanistan

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.

Pakistan is India's new cybersecurity headache Courtesy: Technology Times
11 November 2021

Pakistan is India’s new cybersecurity headache

Cyberattacks from Pakistan-based hacker groups targeting India have increased. The stepped-up cyber activity comes in the backdrop of Islamabad's new cyber security policy and expanded digital cooperation with China. India must bolster its existing abilities in cyber forensics and regulations to counter the enhanced Pakistani threat.

The China-Pakistan-Taliban-Iran nexus Courtesy: Xinhua
11 November 2021

The China-Pakistan-Taliban-Iran nexus

China has followed Sun Tzu’s strategy of focussing on alliances - building its own and weakening those of its adversaries. Beijing’s carefully nurtured formations in West and Central Asia are part of this global power projection, especially with Pakistan, Iran and now, the Taliban, through projects like the Belt and Road Initiative. India must recalibrate its China policy and push for concerted regional responses to emerge as a balancing force against it.

Quad amidst a geopolitical flux Courtesy: Twitter | @narendramodi
23 September 2021

Quad amidst a geopolitical flux

On September 24, the Quad leaders will attend the first in-person summit of the grouping in Washington DC. There is much to discuss for the four leaders, given recent developments: the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) security partnership and the EU's new Indo-Pacific strategy. The Quad also needs to focus on long term goals like institutionalising itself and devising a strategy to counter the China challenge.

20 years after 9/11, has the U.S. learnt from its mistakes? Courtesy: The New York Times
16 September 2021

U.S. 2001-21: Of Friends and Foes

After 9/11, the threats to America are right where they were 20 years ago: still in Afghanistan, and now backed by the strength of a state. What happened to America, that “shining city on a hill” that beckoned brightness to its shores and won allies? Some self-delusion, a belief that it was still the global monarch after World War II and the inability to distinguish between friends and foes.

thumbnail_The Haqqani network Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal
2 September 2021

Taliban’s terrorist connections to India

With the Taliban now ensconced in Kabul and being given legitimacy to represent Afghanistan, the worry for New Delhi is the Taliban-affiliated terrorist groups which are already looking eastward to India. This graphic shows the relationship between the terrorist groups in Afghanistan and their anti-India cousins.

afghanistan airport Courtesy: Haroon Sabawoon
13 August 2021

Afghanistan: Limited options for regional powers

The Taliban’s rapid advance towards Kabul shows clear signs of learning from previous failures. The chances of a revival of the old Northern Alliance are minimal. Regional powers are left with the option of maintaining diplomatic contact with the Taliban whilst not taking any assurances on trust.