The Taliban organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan are undergoing unprecedented divisions that pose both new opportunities and challenges for the two neighbors battling insurgencies. Leadership disagreements and factional infighting have raised the specter of a far-reaching realignment among Taliban factions.
Time is running out for companies operating in Afghanistan to make the switch from private security firms to a protection force operated by the Afghan government. What is the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), what are its advantages and disadvantages, and is it up to the task of protecting aid agencies and supply convoys?
Afghans are putting their anger over Pakistani policies regarding their country on full display.
Protests have been staged by Afghan youths objecting to statements made by Pakistani public figures. And Afghanistan's media and civil society have moved to the forefront to resist perceived efforts by their eastern neighbor to fill the vacuum as the West looks to exit their country.
Sheikh Janzada has reason to celebrate. Political and judicial reforms have finally come to his mountainous village in Bajauar Agency, part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), realizing a lifelong dream.
Muhammad Akram Afridi witnessed a transformation during his 28 years in the Pakistani military.
The retired colonel can remember when British imperial forces were emulated to the point that bagpipes, ballrooms, and whiskey went hand in hand with military service. At 64, he can recall when garrison bars were wet, and when they went dry.
It has been a turbulent month for the Pakistani military.
First came the May 2 killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, on Pakistani soil, by American commandos. The raid led to questions of how the Al-Qaeda leader could find a safe haven alongside Pakistan's elite military training academy, and how such a raid could be successfully carried out unbeknownst to the armed forces.
Lack of trust is emerging as the No. 1 problem as Afghan President Hamid Karzai pushes for a national reconciliation with the Taliban.
Faced with increased international military operations, Taliban elements appear to be extremely skeptical of the peace overtures that Afghan and international officials have made to entice the insurgents into negotiations.