Afghanistan

FROM 9/11, 2001, TO 8/15, 2021: REGIME CHANGE IN AFGHANISTAN

The 9/11 terrorist attacks shaped American politics for decades. In 2021, the Biden Administration’s timetable for withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan was for domestic political reasons firmly tied to the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The problem was, nobody thought to remind President Joe Biden that the Taliban government also had a 20th anniversary to […]

Afghanistan Beyond the Fog of War – Persistent Failure of a Rentier State

This is the first book to scrutinize the root causes of problems today with Afghan reconstruction. It begins in 1880 with the coming to power of Emir Abdur Rahman and departure of an occupying British army. On the northern border, Russian forces were also poised. Determined to preserve Afghan independence, Abdur Rahman devised a nation-building […]

The Threat to Energy Infrastructure in the Central Eurasia from Terrorist Groups Affiliated to ISIL

In 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced the establishment of its Khorasan Province, said to encompass “Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nearby lands.” Soon after, ISIL proclaimed its Caucasus Province. However, the war in Syria and Iraq is going badly for ISIL. Losing ground in its heartland, ISIL fighters will have […]

The Hybrid Threat Capability of the Afghan Taliban Movement, 2001- 2014

When the Afghan Taliban leaders withdrew into Pakistan in late 2001, they had no intention of surrendering the struggle against the U.S.-led international coalition which had forced them out of Afghanistan. Yet, with a substantial international military presence firmly entrenched in Afghanistan, there was no way that the Taliban could regain power by conventional military […]

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its Impact on Tajikistan

During the 1992-1997 civil war in Tajikistan, foreign volunteers from primarily Uzbekistan played a prominent role in the fighting on the side of the UTO. Subsequently forming the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), these volunteer jihadists continued fighting and formed a destabilizing factor in Tajikistan’s relationship with neighbouring countries. The IMU in time migrated into […]

UZBEK ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS IN THE CIVIL WARS OF TAJIKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, AND PAKISTAN: FROM RADICAL ISLAMIC AWAKENING IN THE FERGHANA VALLEY TO TERRORISM WITH ISLAMIC VOCABULARY IN WAZIRISTAN

Michael Fredholm (Stockholm University) analyzes the activities of Uzbek Islamic extremists and finds that, although their Islamic rhetoric has little theological content and is outweighed by their belief in the righteousness of their cause and that salvation can be assured by armed violence in the name of the religious duty of holy war (jihad), they […]

SPECIAL REPORT, CENTRAL ASIAN SECURITY CHALLENGES: 2012 AND BEYOND

Afghanistan plays a pivotal role in Central Asia’s regional instability due to its weak central government, poor economy, and ethnically diverse population. Although Afghanistan contains important natural resources, the country still faces a number of problems, each of which has the potential to destroy the Afghan government after the pull-out of international military forces. Central […]

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Eurasian Geopolitics

First study to properly treat a key regional grouping in Asia. Explores both security and energy issues across the region. Considers geopolitical obstacles to the SCO’s long-term viability. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has developed into a key regional security group in Asia, its member states representing no less than “half of humanity”. Alarmists believe […]

KASHMIR, AFGHANISTAN, INDIA AND BEYOND: A TAXONOMY OF ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AND TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN

Pakistan has been called the epicentre of terrorism. Since leaders from almost every Sunni Islamic extremist group worldwide, from the internationalist Al-Qaeda to the Afghanistan-centred Taliban, have been found on the Pakistani soil, there seems little reason to argue with the conclusion that Pakistan is indeed central to political violence and terrorism in the name of Sunni Islam. […]

INTELLIGENCE IN COIN OPERATIONS: EXTENDING TARGETING INTO MONITORING IN AFGHANISTAN

The war effort in Afghanistan has focused on kinetic targeting. Since insurgent operations involve few fighters, the intelligence task became to identify and locate perpetrators. Modern network analysis was applied in support of targeting, but intelligence collection and analysis in support of day-to-day relations with Afghan communities have been insufficient to allow intelligence-driven operations to […]

FROM THE FERGHANA VALLEY TO WAZIRISTAN AND BEYOND: THE ROLE OF UZBEK ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS IN THE CIVIL WARS OF TAJIKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, AND PAKISTAN

Uzbek proponents of Islamic extremism have played an important role as foreign participants in the civil wars of Tajikistan and Afghanistan and the present conflict between Pakistani Taliban and security forces in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Their close links to international jihadist networks such as the Al-Qaida and, at times, considerable income from sources […]

THE WORLD OF CENTRAL ASIAN OIL AND GAS: POWER POLITICS, MARKET FORCES, AND STEALTH PIPELINES

1. Central Asia is beginning to see a genuine move away from barter deals towards commercial deals in accordance with market forces. 2. Contrary to much perceived wisdom, in Central Asia it is Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas export monopoly, that is leading the way in the movement towards market forces. 3. Central Asian natural gas […]

ISLAM AND MODERNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CENTRAL ASIA – RELIGIOUS FAITH VERSUS WAY OF LIFE: A STORY OF FOUR RADICAL DISRUPTIONS

What Makes Central Asian Islam Central Asian? In March 2005, an Afghan deputy minister of the interior (who out of mercy will remain unnamed) was touring Europe. At one stop, he suddenly found himself faced with a question that obviously took him by surprise. How long, an innocent but assuredly well-meaning European asked, had Afghanistan […]

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CENTRAL ASIAN ISLAMIC EXTREMIST MOVEMENTS

Islam in Central Asia does not constitute a uniform religious, social, or political force. While all titular Central Asian ethnic groups, i.e., the nations that states were named after, eventually embraced Islam, the religion did not penetrate the traditional cultures and social systems of these groups to an equal extent. While the sedentary groups generally […]

NOMAD EMPIRES & NOMAD GRAND STRATEGY: THE RISE AND FALL OF NOMAD MILITARY POWER, c. 1000 BC – AD 1500

Most history was always written from the perspective of great empires such as Rome, Persia, and China. For them, and their historians, the nomads of the Eurasian steppes were little more than savage troublemakers. Nomads of different tribes and lineages were also hard to distinguish from one another. Few imperial commentators went farther than merely […]

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN CENTRAL ASIA

Islam in Central Asia does not constitute a uniform religious, social, or political force. While all titular Central Asian ethnic groups, i.e., the nations that states were named after, eventually embraced Islam, the religion did not penetrate the traditional cultures and social systems of these groups to an equally encompassing extent. While sedentary groups generally […]

Michael Fredholm © 2022 Frontier Theme