Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 404, 7 July 2021

Afghanistan: As the US leave Bagram, violence increases
Abigail Miriam Fernandez

In the news
On 2 July, the US military left the Bagram Airfield, the biggest and last base in Afghanistan. The airfield was handed over to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), effectively ending major US military operations after nearly two decades. 

On 2 July, President Joe Biden said that the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is "on track," adding, "it's a rational drawdown with our allies." He added: "We have worked out an over-the-horizon capacity. But the Afghans are going to have to be able to do it themselves." On the Afghan government's ability post the withdrawal he said: "I think they have the capacity to be able to sustain the government. But I am concerned that they deal with the internal issues that they have to be able to generate the kind of support they need nationwide to maintain the government."  

On 4 July, the New York Times reported that General Austin S. Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan, will remain in the country for "at least a couple more weeks," in an effort to "soften the blow" of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and to reassure Afghans as the Taliban step up their offensive.

On 6 July, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib assured the Afghan people that the ANDSF will retake all districts that have fallen to the Taliban, saying that government forces had not expected the Taliban offensive but would "absolutely, definitely" counterattack. According to Al Jazeera, the Taliban now controls roughly a third of all 421 districts and district centres as its march through northern Afghanistan gains momentum, causing the Afghan forces to flee across the border into Tajikistan.

Issues at large
First, end of America's 'longest war.' With the withdrawal of troops, what is called the 'longest war' for the US comes to an end after nearly two decades that spanned four presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, respectively. Over the last 20 years, nearly 175,000 people in Afghanistan, including 51,000 terrorists/opposition fighters and over 2,300 US soldiers, had been killed. In addition, the war had cost the US nearly USD two trillion.  

Second, the decision to withdraw. The withdrawal plan was consolidated with the signing of the US-Taliban agreement in 2020 under the Trump administration and carried forward by the Biden administration. According to the agreement, the conditions for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan was laid out in return for a reduction of violence by the Taliban along with severing all ties with terrorist groups and joining the intra-Afghan talks. The deal has not made any lasting impact and has merely been used by the Taliban to ensure the US's exit from Afghanistan.  

Third, the growing instability. Concerns over the withdrawal leading to more instability have been raised by the Afghans, Americans and other regional players. The pace of withdrawal and America's long-term strategy in Afghanistan has been questioned amid the deteriorating security situation. Additionally, several other important resources such as aid and foreign contractors that would also be stopped will cause the instability to intensify. Meanwhile, the Taliban has been on an offensive and has made substantial territorial gains since the pull-out process began on 1 May.  

Fourth, the unfinished issues. The withdrawal of troops is taking place despite the reports of several terrorist groups still operating in the country, the main reason for their stay. The US's plan on 'over the horizon' counterterrorism measures to monitor and curb terrorism has not been implemented given the hurdles they have already faced. Additionally, the US's institutional building and development plans will also remain unfinished.

In perspective
First, Afghanistan is likely to witness intense violence. In the coming months, the scale and intensity of violence are likely to increase due to the changes taking place in Afghanistan. Thus, this withdrawal will in turn result in displacement of people, disintegrations and push Afghanistan on the path to terror. However, a sole victory of either the Afghanistan government or the Taliban is highly unlikely, as the capabilities and situation in Afghanistan have changed. Rather, the ongoing deadlock is likely to continue.  

Second, the futility of baseless interventions. The US's war in Afghanistan is another example of the futility of foreign interventions. While not undermining the effectiveness of interventions, Afghanistan would have problems of its own, however, the nature of the intervention, in this case, has fanned the flames of this conflict. 

June 2022 | Conflict Alert # 523
NATO: Turkey’s concerns over Finland and Sweden

May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 516
The US: Another school attack kills 19 children
May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 512
Ukraine: 75 days of the war
May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 511
Ethiopia: Rising communal tensions

May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 510
Sri Lanka: Political crisis intensifies
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 507
Afghanistan: The rise of sectarian violence

April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 506
Mexico: Protests over continuing femicides
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 501
Israel: Al-Aqsa Mosque raids
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 500
Ukraine: The battle for Donbas
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 499
Russia: The strategic shift from Kyiv to the Donbas

April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 498
Nigeria: Over 100 killed in another gunmen attack
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 497
Ukraine: Russia's battle for Mariupol
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 496
Yemen: Finally, a ceasefire
March 2022 | Conflict Alert # 491
The worsening economic crisis in Sri Lanka

March 2022 | Conflict Alert # 488
Russia’s Ukraine Invasion: One Week Later
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 486
Russia’s Ukraine salami slicing
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 485
Libya: With two Prime Ministers, a new political crisis
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 481
Canada: Freedom convoys and a new wave of protests
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 478
Myanmar: One year after the coup
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 477
Syria: The ISIS attack on a prison
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 476
Yemen: The warzone expands in the Houthi-UAE face-off
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 475
Burkina Faso: Another coup in Africa

January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 474
France: New round of protests over COVID-19 passes
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 472
Ukraine: Threat of Russian invasion
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 470
Iran: Two years after Qasem Soleimani
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 468
Kazakhstan: Bloody unrest and a brutal crackdown
December 2021 | Conflict Alert # 466
COVID-19: Omicron rapidly spreads across countries
December 2021 | Conflict Alert # 464
Ukraine: The West warns Russia over Ukrainian aggression
December 2021 | Conflict Alert # 463
China: 12 million missing children

November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 459
Europe: Restrictions lead to Widespread Protests

November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 457
Cuba: Between bouts of demonstrations
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 454
Pakistan: A month-long ceasefire with the TTP

October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 447
The US: Protests against the Texas anti-abortion law
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 444
Brazil: Anti-Bolsonaro protests across the country
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 441
Yemen: Houthis continue to capture territories
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 439
Europe: Pride Marches in Serbia and Ukraine
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 437
Brazil: Protestors call for the impeachment of Bolsonaro
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 435
Guinea: Another coup in Africa
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 431
Climate Change: Hurricane Ida destructs the US Gulf Coast
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 422
Europe: Measures to curb pandemic trigger protests

August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 418
Peru: Protests a sign of challenges facing Castillo

July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 411
Wildfires: Siberia to the US
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 409
Bosnia: 26 years after the Srebrenica Massacre
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 405
Colombia: Two months of protests
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 399
Myanmar: New UNGA resolution
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 397
Myanmar: The Aung San Suu Kyi trial begins

June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 390
Burkina Faso: Another massacre in Africa
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 386
Nigeria: Another mass abduction grips Niger state
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 385
Colombia: The protests continue

May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 382
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: The long road to peace
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 380
Colombia: Three weeks of protests
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 378
Israel-Palestine: Who wants what?
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 374
Yemen: The Battle for Marib rages on
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 371
Pakistan: Meetings with Afghan leaders
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 369
Israel-Syria: Continuing Missile Strikes

April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence

October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem

September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between

August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement

August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees

May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal
January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings
December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar