Afghanistan

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The Law and Tech of Two Targeted Killings

The New York Times recently published two fascinating pieces on two separate instances of targeted killings. The first is on the tragic denouement of the 20 years of US presence in Afghanistan – a drone strike conducted on 29 August by the US military in Kabul, purportedly against terrorists planning a second deadly attack against the international airport there. Instead of terrorists, however, the drone strike killed 10 civilians, including seven children; Zemari Ahmadi, the driver of the car struck by the drone was in fact an aid worker for a US NGO, who had hoped to seek asylum in the United States. The US military admitted its error after an investigation by the Times and journalists on the ground. The second piece is a detailed exposé of the 27 November 2020 assassination by Israeli agents of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist leading the Iranian nuclear programme. This was the culmination of a series of such targeted killings of scientists involved in the Iranian nuclear programme,…

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Inviting a Wolf to the Table: The 2020 US-Taliban Agreement and Questions of State Responsibility

On Sunday 15 August 2021, towards the final phase of the US and other NATO States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace, confirmed its control over the country, and announced the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The act was the culmination of a well-organized takeover by the Taliban of 26 out of…

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Will the Taliban Represent Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly?

The work of the Credentials Committee of the General Assembly is normally procedural. Typically, the Committee reviews the credentials submitted by state representatives, and ensures they comply with the Assembly’s procedural rules.  The Committee is scarcely ever called upon to consider matters of government legitimacy.  In stark contrast to this status quo, it seems this year’s…

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The Endless War Against Human Rights in Afghanistan: Human Rights Defenders’ Joint Statement of Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan

Today, the 31st of August 2021, marks the official deadline for withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of military presence initially motivated by the 9/11 attacks of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  Many have written (including Henry Kissinger) about the failures of American foreign policy and its efforts at nation-building…

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The Afghan War and the Responsibility to Rebuild

1. The fall of Kabul and Joe Biden's speech of 16 August 2021 With the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021 and US troops hastily withdrawing from Afghanistan, a process still ongoing at the time of writing this contribution (17 August 2021) an intervention and also an experiment lasting almost two decades has come to an end.

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