Ahmed Rashid

Ahmed Rashid is the author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos.

Are we seeing a new kind of Taliban?

Are we seeing a new kind of Taliban? The men who seized Kabul with such ease last weekend are doing their best to sound more moderate. Women, they say, should be allowed to work and have an education. They have offered amnesty to officials of the now-deposed Afghan government, something the old Taliban never dreamed

End game

Britain has been at war in Afghanistan for over a decade. Many Britons now take it for granted that its country’s intervention in Afghanistan has failed and when Nato troops pull out in 2014 they will leave behind a volatile and unsettled state that could easily plunge into a civil war — much worse than

War-war, not jaw-jaw

It’s often said that the Trump administration is ‘isolationist’. This is not true. In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarisation of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced but it is happening, and much of it without consultation with Nato or other

Death of Leonard Cohen – how the light gets in

For millions of people around the world the shock of the US election results will be enormously magnified by news of the death of Leonard Cohen, 82, a singer poet icon who had long sung about his own impending death. Thin and frail he died in Los Angeles in the early morning hours of November

Afghanistan’s new agony

Amid all the chaos in the Middle East, the breakdown of borders and states, a new threat is fast emerging. The key strategic bulwark to stabilise the region is a strong Afghanistan. But after 15 years of occupation by western troops and a trillion dollars spent, it now appears to be going the way of

Al-Qa’eda’s new war

Lahore, Pakistan From a distance, the devastating attacks on Shia Muslims in three Afghan cities this week looked like the type of sectarian religious attacks which we got used to in Iraq. The faultline between Sunni and Shia is one of the greatest and most violent in the world, and now and again it divides

Al-Qaeda could end up the big winners in Syria

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/workingwithal-qa-eda/media.mp3″ title=”Ahmed Rashid and Douglas Murray discuss how the West is working with al-Qa’eda” startat=38] Listen [/audioplayer]After plunging Syria into five years of a bloody civil war that has killed 300,000 and displaced 10 million, Bashar al-Assad is preparing for the endgame. He has been digging a bunker for himself, creating an enclave in

Increasingly isolated, Karzai turns to Pakistan

The extraordinary raw intelligence leaks from the Afghan battlefield confirmed what many people already believed, or feared, about the war. But amidst the avalanche of documents, several new facts have emerged. We now know, for example, that civilians are being killed in much larger numbers than officially admitted by Nato. We know that the Taleban