English Blogs

Life under the Taliban
English Blogs · 25. Juli 2023
Since almost two years, Afghanistan is governed by the Taliban. Reports about their Islamist rule are often on polarising ends. Many draw the picture of a terror regime, under which everybody is threaten with death and no normal life is possible. The Taliban are rejecting this and pride themselves to have brought peace and quiet to the warn-torn country at the Hindu Kush, which is confirmed by some others. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Afghanistan’s Lithium Riches — More Mirage Than Windfall
English Blogs · 13. April 2023
Recent reports on lithium mining in Afghanistan led to claims that there will be a lithium rush in Afghanistan with significant consequences for the world-wide supply chain of the rare metal ever more sought after for its use in batteries. However, a closer look by the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) raises serious doubts about such prospects, amongst others as there are manifold hurdles that qualify, if not question, the economical viability of lithium extraction from Afghan rocks.

Exclusive Interview with Taliban Chief of Army Staff on Status and Mission of Taliban Army
English Blogs · 29. Januar 2023
On 12th of January 2023, the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) sat down with Qari Fasihuddin Fetrat, the Chief of Army Staff of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, to talk with him about the status of the Taliban Army. This marked the first extensive interview given by the Chief of Army Staff of the Islamist group in which he provided exclusive insights into the Taliban Army.

The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan’s Cross-Border Activities
English Blogs · 03. Oktober 2022
While efforts for peace between the Pakistani government and the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have resulted in an — albeit uneasy — ceasefire, TTP members continue cross-border activities, namely propaganda and proselytising, from their refuges in Afghanistan. And the Pakistani border fence as well as restrictions imposed by the Afghan Taliban have only a limited impact on this, as exclusive information obtained by the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs (SIGA) shows.

Conflict in the Taiwan Strait:  Shifting of Military Imbalance and the Strategy of Public Opinion Warfare
English Blogs · 29. August 2022
In order to assess the risk of war in the Taiwan Strait, several key variables need to be considered. This article will discuss a key regional trend that may show important implications for stability across the Taiwan Strait, namely the shifting of military balance. Moreover, it will refer to the concept of public opinion warfare and connect it to the Taiwan Strait discussion.

The Killing of al-Qa’ida’s Emir in Kabul — What is Known and What Not
English Blogs · 04. August 2022
On 31st of July 2022, a U.S. drone strike killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qa’ida, in the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul, an incident that triggered a flurry of media reports and analyses. However, a closer look reveals that reliable information about the incident and its implications is limited.

Chinese Definitions of Information Warfare
English Blogs · 05. Juli 2022
Since the 1990s, Chinese experts and theorists have been analyzing the concept of information warfare with great interest. In fact, they started to offer definitions and insight into information warfare as early as 1985. This paper seeks to offer an overview of the definitions of information warfare as formulated by the Chinese experts Shen Weiguang, Wang Pufeng, Wang Baocun, Liang Zhenxing, and Yuan Banggen.

«They Have Their Rulers in Kabul, We Rule Ourselves Here»
English Blogs · 14. Juni 2022
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.

Public Opinion Warfare: Chinese Narratives about the War in Ukraine
English Blogs · 27. Mai 2022
The aim of this article is to offer a glimpse into the Chinese concept of public opinion warfare and how it is reflected in Chinese state media messaging about the war in Ukraine.

Vive la Résistance in Afghanistan? (English Version)
English Blogs · 07. April 2022
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.

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