• Preparations for the end-2014 withdrawal of international combat troops continued in 2013, with international troops largely departed, sequestered in bases, and focused on the logistics of shipping military equipment out of the country. The Afghan army and police stepped forward to lead the fight against the Taliban and other insurgents, with mixed results. With international interest in Afghanistan rapidly waning, opponents of women’s rights seized the opportunity to begin rolling back the progress made since the end of Taliban rule. Overall declining international interest in Afghanistan contributed to mounting fears among Afghans for the country’s future.
  • Villagers gather at the site of a car bomb attack that killed at least 89 people in Urgon district, eastern province of Paktika, on July 15, 2014.
    Afghanistan’s fraught political transition and intensifying armed conflict have generated uncertainty placing the rights gains of the past decade at risk.