Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, they made headlines by re-imposing repressive autocratic laws for which they had become notorious during their previous regime in the 1990s. However, in one remote corner of the country that the current central government as well as bygone ones have barely, if at all, reached, locals govern themselves quasi-democratically — with the acquiescence, and sometimes even participation, of the Taliban.
After the Taliban’s toppling of the Afghan Republic in August 2021, several Afghan groups have announced armed resistance against the new Taliban emirate. The Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) takes a closer look at such resistance groups, showing that, while much is propaganda, some have the ability to attack the Taliban, but are — at least for the foreseeable future — unlikely to become an existential threat to Taliban rule.
The Fog of War - the sheer impossibility of accurately interpreting the current military situation, but also the omnipresent information war - is creating facts. It is becoming apparent that from a strategic and geopolitical standpoint, Russia's war of aggression is likely to lead to a Western defeat. An assessment by the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA):
The escalating crisis in Ukraine is a good example of how information is strategically being used for the sake of gaining political leverage and power. The skillful and deliberate use of information nowadays creates new realities in our physical and virtual space.
The war in Ukraine is still, after more than one week, a sad reality. The direct consequences for the people in this region are devastating. The Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) has analysed and compiled the geopolitical consequences and potential Spillover effects of the war in Ukraine.
Afghanistan is since years the biggest source of the world’s supply of illicit opium and heroin and has recently also become a major methamphetamine producer. While the new Taliban government in general vows to curb narcotics production and trafficking in Afghanistan, visits of the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) to a notorious narcotics bazaar that has seen a downturn in activity and to newly established heroin ‘laboratories’ elsewhere in the country paint a more complex picture.
This blog post summarizes the main characteristics of LSGs in terms of their different types and categories, their organizational structure, their mode of operation as well as their internal connectedness. These groups carry great weight for decision-making in cross-cutting areas, as they plan and coordinate policy decisions among various government and party departments.
After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the end of most fighting, the Taliban promised to rebuild Afghanistan. However, the results of such efforts vary greatly as a visit by the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) to the remote southeastern Afghan province of Paktika showed. While in some places roads and government buildings have been reconstructed, in others the new Taliban Emirate has taken steps that are a drop in the ocean and seem to be at most insufficiently thought-out.
The Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) takes a closer look at the latest developments in Afghanistan, showing that the situation — although it has undoubtedly deteriorated in a more than worrisome extent — is not as apocalyptic as often portrayed and that an imminent state collapse remains unlikely.