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.
The situation at the Afghan-Uzbek border in Hairatan / Termez shows that sometimes small steps, such as a simple liberalization of a border regime, can have a more significant impact than monumental plans. The Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) took a look at the economic boom in Hairatan and Termez from which both countries profit, but also highlights how continuing insecurity in Afghanistan might threaten it all.
The visionary dream of building a strong army is a key component of the often-promoted Chinese dream. China’s leadership and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aim to empower themselves to wage and win information-driven wars through new, lean and dynamized structures. The SIGA organizational chart illustrates these current developments and structures of China’s military-political leadership.
Too often, digitalization and cyber are discussed and treated one-sidedly. This undermines the comprehensive and strategic importance of the digital and cyber realm. By considering a much more elaborated holistic view of the cyber space, the very focus shifts from a technical to a narrative, informational and symbolic one. Power politics, infrastructures, strategic communication but also shifting norms are strategic elements applied to cyber-geopolitics.
When looking at the globe from a different perspective, you get a new view of the world. Especially worthwhile is a glance towards the Arctic. Even before the melting of the ice caps, the Arctic became a geopolitical fault zone. It is the discrete setting of the power struggles of the future. Northern Europe, Russia and the United States clash directly with regard to their boarders and interests. Despite its long distance to the Arctic, China uses these circumstances as a strategic advantage.
The signing of the historic «Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan» between the United States of America and the Taliban on 29th of February 2020 raised hopes to peacefully end the decades old conflict in Afghanistan. However, one year later, little of these hopes remain, as fragile efforts for peace have virtually stalled. A SIGA-overview of efforts for peace in Afghanistan shows how diverging opinions over the U.S.-Taliban Agreement exemplify core problems:
The multidomain approach provides answers in the search for new forms of resilience in a VUCA-world. It has to be understood comprehensively and holistically, including various areas such as technology, culture, economy, science and society. Multidomain increasingly has a strategic component within economy, society and politics. Nontheless, in this article we focus on the military environment, where the concept of joint forces is related to the approach, meaning the battle of combined arms.
In a historic agreement signed with the United States of America (USA) on the 29th of February 2020, the Taliban pledged to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qaida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the United States of America or its allies. Newly gathered information leads to doubts towards the compliance of the Taliban in regard to this agreement. An investigative report by Franz J. Marty.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State is declared to had been ‘obliterated’ in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar. In spring, the mentioned group also lost its last remaining strongholds in the neighbouring province. This, however, did not mark the end of the self-declared Islamic State’s Afghan chapter, as small groups still operate covertly in several parts of the country and the self-styled Islamic State continues to claim attacks in Afghanistan. A SIGA investigate report from Afghanistan:
China is — in particular with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — reshaping all of Asia. All? Not quite. Afghanistan in the heart of Asia has so far been neglected. In view of a possible U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as meetings between high-ranking Chinese officials and Afghan actors, including the Taliban, some pundits indicate that this might change now. But is this really the case or is it just like the hot air in a Chinese lantern?