In this latest episode of the Majlis podcast, we returned to northern provinces of Afghanistan that border Central Asia. Information about the presence of militants from the so-called Islamic State extremist group continues to be reported and it appears China is playing a greater role in the Afghan area near the Chinese border, which is also near the Tajik and Pakistani borders.
With the cast of players increasing in northern Afghanistan, Muhammad Tahir, RFE/RL's media relations manager, moderated a discussion on the increasingly complicated landscape in the area.
Participating in the discussion was Michael Semple, a professor in the George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University Belfast, and a person with decades of experience in Afghan affairs. From Vietnam, we were joined by Jacob Zenn, a fellow of African and Eurasian Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation and a consultant on countering violent extremism. And from Istanbul, Josh Kucera, a freelance writer and editor at Eurasia Net who specializes in international relations and military affairs, made his long-awaited debut on the Majlis (we’ve been trying to get him on for years). I had a few things to share also.
Audio of the Majlis session can be heard here: