Afghanistan’s political and economic scene in 2016 was largely conditioned by the on-going war. The uneasy balance between Afghan National Security Forces and the insurgents has shown a tendency to shift in favour of the latter. US air support has increasingly emerged as the government forces’ only element of military superiority over the Taliban. This led to the international coalition postponing the planned withdrawal of military assistance to 2017. The year 2016 was also marked by the killing of the Taliban amir Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike, and by his replacement with Maulvi Hibatullah Akhundzada. At the same time, the year has also confirmed the Taliban’s tendency to evolve their own organization towards greater professionalization and centralization. Moreover, the Afghan scene has also been marked by indications that the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan – Wilayat Khorasan – is taking firm roots in the country, as it has in Pakistan. Wilayat Khorasan was also increasingly competing with the Taliban, who have tried unsuccessfully to halt its spread. On the other hand, a positive development for Kabul has been the signing of a peace agreement between the government and Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, one of the main insurgent groups. In the field of internal politics, the government has struggled to maintain the promises of reform made at the time of the National Unity Government’s appointment. Only in the second half of the year, did President Ghani obtain approval for a new electoral law, which should open the way to parliamentary and district councils elections in 2017. Economic indicators have shown moderate growth over the preceding year, which was favoured by an unexpectedly good harvest. Other important developments include approval of the International Monetary Fund’s program of Extended Credit Facility, the opening of a new train connection with China, and the signing of a tripartite agreement with Iran and India for the development of the Iranian port of Chabahar.

Afghanistan 2016: Military crisis and contested reforms

ABENANTE, DIEGO
2017-01-01

Abstract

Afghanistan’s political and economic scene in 2016 was largely conditioned by the on-going war. The uneasy balance between Afghan National Security Forces and the insurgents has shown a tendency to shift in favour of the latter. US air support has increasingly emerged as the government forces’ only element of military superiority over the Taliban. This led to the international coalition postponing the planned withdrawal of military assistance to 2017. The year 2016 was also marked by the killing of the Taliban amir Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike, and by his replacement with Maulvi Hibatullah Akhundzada. At the same time, the year has also confirmed the Taliban’s tendency to evolve their own organization towards greater professionalization and centralization. Moreover, the Afghan scene has also been marked by indications that the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan – Wilayat Khorasan – is taking firm roots in the country, as it has in Pakistan. Wilayat Khorasan was also increasingly competing with the Taliban, who have tried unsuccessfully to halt its spread. On the other hand, a positive development for Kabul has been the signing of a peace agreement between the government and Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, one of the main insurgent groups. In the field of internal politics, the government has struggled to maintain the promises of reform made at the time of the National Unity Government’s appointment. Only in the second half of the year, did President Ghani obtain approval for a new electoral law, which should open the way to parliamentary and district councils elections in 2017. Economic indicators have shown moderate growth over the preceding year, which was favoured by an unexpectedly good harvest. Other important developments include approval of the International Monetary Fund’s program of Extended Credit Facility, the opening of a new train connection with China, and the signing of a tripartite agreement with Iran and India for the development of the Iranian port of Chabahar.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2906344
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