ORIENT I 2022: Afghanistan

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Dear ORIENT readers,

This is the first edition of Orient since I assumed the position as Director of the German Orient-Institute. I would like to thank my predecessor Ambassador Dr. Gunter Mulack for his nearly 15 years in this position. The journal Orient is the only scientific journal in Germany exclusively focused on issues of the MENA region. Orient will continue to focus on issues of interest in the area and we are pleased to present you this issue, the main focus of which is Afghanistan. What has unfolded in Afghanistan is among the more devastating news of the past months. After about 20 years of Western engagement in the country, a fast-moving withdrawal of personnel was met at speed with the advance of the Taliban across the country. Although recent, we would already like to take the chance to look at how and why the Western engagement ended. Such a view would be incomplete without assessing the previous years since 2001.

Emrah Özdemir provides a macro perspective on the international engagement in Afghanistan, before S. Asef Hossaini delves into the necessity of developing local governance. Then, Katja Mielke sheds light on some key narratives and misconceptions when talking about the Taliban and Anchita Borthakur adds her analysis of the new Taliban administration. Next, Patrick A. Mello outlines the parliamentary debates in the Bundestag on the matter, while Alessandro Arduino devotes attention to China’s influence in particular and Julian Tucker shifts again to the role of international actors.

I hope that this issue provides you with valuable perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan today and the developments that led us here. We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and in good spirits.

Dr. Andreas Reinicke
Director of the German Orient-Institute



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