Afghanistan's war enters its second decade with the Taliban emboldened and the United States enfeebled, says Professor Paul Rogers. But the power-play between Pakistan, India and China is also now central to an assessment of what comes next. Afghanistan's future will be decided in Islamabad, New Delhi and Beijing as much as, if not more, than in Kabul and Washington.
This month marks 10 years of international intervention in Afghanistan. Liberating its women was one of the justifications given for the US led NATO intervention in the country and toppling the Taliban – a regime that made female education illegal and forbade women to hold jobs or even to leave the house without a male family member.
Senior parliamentarian Sir Menzies Campbell and commentator James Fergusson, whose book 'Taliban' strips away misconceptions and lays bare the contradictions of western policy, are taking part in a public conversation on Friday 19 August, co-sponsored by the beliefs and values think-tank Ekklesia.
The prospects of settlements in some of the most intractable situations in the world today, as well as in domestic political wrangles over the health service, education and more, depend upon a host of unseen actors, says Simon Barrow. They create the conditions for the more formal political mechanisms to make progress.