The Taliban offensive that captured the Afghan city of Kunduz on Monday represented the group’s first major capture in 14 years. After several months of increasing activity in the northern Afghan province, Taliban fighters claimed the city after government security forces retreated to the airport. Taliban fighters appeared to have released hundreds of inmates from the prison in Kunduz after capturing the city.
Considering the timing of the attack, as Ashraf Ghani’s first year in power comes to an end and less than a year after the NATO combat mission departed from the country, does it signify a tipping point for the relationship between Mr. Ghani’s government and the security of the country?
Dr. Richard Ponzio, Head of Global Governance at The Hague Institute, has worked extensively in Afghanistan and was recently in the country to moderate a policy roundtable on regional trade and private sector development to encourage peacebuilding. Dr. Ponzio also recently published a Commentary about building peace in Afghanistan through regional economic integration, providing concrete suggestions for how regional platforms can encourage talks towards lasting political settlement.