The long war: Afghanistan

Lise Waldek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of the current conflict and endemic violence in Afghanistan. It argues that the current strategic approach that focuses almost exclusively on terrorist organisations, such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State, has pushed Afghanistan into the background where it has become a host, a carrier of the parasite for the unfolding violence and conflict. This approach has delivered primarily military focused solutions that deliver temporary fixes that dissipate almost as quickly as they are won. In contrast, the chapter proposes a framework of analysis grounded in the historical, socio-cultural and geographical complexities of Afghanistan. It identifies five different yet interconnected sources of instability. These are; power dynamics; identity politics; corruption; the fractured nature of the insurgency; and the broader geo-political context. Each section examines how these issues and relationships shape and generate the instability and violence found across Afghanistan. Developing a more nuanced understanding of the instability generates opportunities to identify and create longer-term solutions to a seemingly intractable violence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTerrorism and insurgency in Asia
Subtitle of host publicationa contemporary examination of terrorist and separatist movements
EditorsBenjamin Schreer, Andrew T. H. Tan
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429031038
ISBN (Print)9781857439182
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameEuropa Regional Perspectives


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