Anti-government groups in Afghanistan

June 24th, 2021

Recent News about conflicts in Afghanistan

Firstly, each of the members shared recent news related to the conflicts in Afghanistan.
These are some of the news we shared in the class; we added a brief summary and students' thoughts on each of the news.

・'Afghan Forces Push Back Taliban from Kunduz, Faryab Districts', Bakhtar News, June 17th, 2021 (URL: https://bakhtarnews.af/afghan-forces-push-back-taliban-from-kunduz-faryab-districts/)

Summary: Afghan security forces retook the center of Khan Abad district from the Taliban. The center of the district has repeatedly switched hands in close fighting over the past several days. The clearing operation was launched by the security forces, and they killed a Taliban commander who was leading the district. The clash killed at least 5 civilians including women and children. Afghan security forces also retook the center of Dawlat Abad district.

Opinion: After reading this news, I think this was a signal from the Afghan government to show their power because this news didn't mention that security troops occupied the town with the support of the US or NATO. It would give the government more advantages during the negotiation with the Taliban.

・'Afghanistan’s Relations with the US as Our Strategic Partner Will Strengthen-¬President Ghani', Bakhtar News, June 8th, 2021, (URL: https://bakhtarnews.af/afghanistans-relations-with-the-us-as-our-strategic-partner-will-strengthen-%c2%acpresident-ghani/)

・'アフガニスタン駐留米軍 完全撤退に向け撤収作業開始', NHK News, April 30th, 2021, (URL: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210430/k10013005581000.html)

Summary: President Ashraf Ghani met the US Inter-Ministerial delegation. They discussed the new chapter of cooperation between Afghanistan and the United States of America in various fields, especially the continuation of political, economic, diplomatic, and security relations. The US Inter-Ministerial delegation once again reiterated its commitment to assisting Afghanistan in the mentioned areas.
President Joe Biden and Erdogan had a press conference on May 14th, and they decided that the US will leave Afghanistan. The US said that the support for Afghanistan is permanent, especially in the field of politics, economics, diplomacy, and national security.

Opinions: While the US has permanent support for Afghanistan, I don’t think that it is not certain. If the US leaves Afghanistan, it seems that they don’t give enough support.

Anti-government groups in Afghanistan

Secondly, Jason gave a presentation about the different anti-government groups in Afghanistan. He introduced seven groups.

①The Taliban
It has started as a group of students, and their goal is to control all of Afghanistan. Their identities are nationalist and religious. There are about 60,000 of them, and they live in Quetta: near Pakistan and rural areas.
②The Haqqani Network
Their goal is to get more money, and the cult of personality is their identity. The group consists of 4,000- 15,000 people, and they are active in Kabul and near Pakistan.
③ The Islamic State
Their goal is regional: restoration of the Caliphate, and their religion is their identity. They consist of 600-800 members. They are active in Khorasan, near Pakistan, and rural areas.
④The Drug Mafia
Their goal is to have the chaos forever in Afghanistan, and business is their identity. They are active in rural areas, especially non-governmental controlled areas.
⑤Local agitates
They are small groups of gangs, and they just want to rule their area.
⑥Jambish
Their goal is to get more money and power, and they are an ethnic group. The fights are almost nothing for now.
⑦Northern Alliance
Their goal is to get more power, and their ethnicity is their identity. They have few fights too.

Discussion

Lastly, we had a discussion about what would happen to the anti-government groups when the US leaves Afghanistan, and what would happen when the Taliban and the Afghan government make peace. Jason wrapped up the discussion with his opinion that, if the US leaves and the government makes peace with the Taliban, they should include all the small anti-government groups into the discussion, or else the excluded groups might start fighting again, and it will ruin the peace that just been made.