Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Susanne Schmeidl

Susanne Schmeidl is a lecturer in development studies at the University of NSW. She has 20years of research and professional expertise as a scholar-practitioner working with a variety of organizations (academia/university, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations) at the intersection of peace, security and development. Her inter-disciplinary research has focussed three core areas: forced migration and refugees (including protection issues); context-sensitive, participatory and inclusive development practice; early warning, conflict prevention and civilian peacebuilding (incl. human security)—with a cross-cutting focus on gender and civil society.

Her current research focusses on civil society invovlement in peace/statebuilding in Afghanistan, exploring local peacebuilding infrastructures, and community/insurgency interactions.

Articles by Susanne Schmeidl (17)

  • Kunduz tragedy could be just the start of something much worse for Afghanistan

    The north-eastern province of Kunduz in Afghanistan, and it's capital by the same name, have shot to international attention this past week for two major reasons. First, because the Taliban proved that despite fragmentation and leadership battles it's still able to gain strategic military momentum, exposing the weakness of the Afghan National Security Forces by taking the city (the Afghan Government now claims to have retaken it).
  • Is enough being done to protect aid workers?

    The deaths of five Afghan staff from Save the Children-Australia in Uruzgan province two weeks ago exemplifies the risks of providing development assistance in fragile states. Development assistance in conflict situations has drastically increased over the past decade, and that trend is likely to continue. The reason? As Oxford economist Paul Collier (and others) note, conflict is 'development in reverse', and aid is needed to bring fragile countries out of conflict.
  • Jihadi recruitment: The Taliban moves to the bottom of the class

     On 4 April 2015 the Afghan Taliban made an interesting move: it released a biography of its leader Mullah Omar in order to commemorate the 19th anniversary of his leadership. For many it raised a question: why now? For others it was clear: The Taliban has an image problem.  Some speculate rightfully that the biography was written to counter persistent rumours that Mullah Omar is no longer among the living.
  • The unofficial king of Uruzgan

    Matiullah Khan, the police chief of Uruzgan and once a strong ally of US and Australian special forces in the Afghan province, was killed yesterday in Kabul. It is unclear if it was a targeted suicide killing or simply a lucky 'shot in the dark'. At this point reports from Kabul are conflicting, though the Taliban did eventually claim responsibility.
  • ISIS is the least of Afghanistan's problems

    The growing geographic spread of ISIS has lately been part of the news chatter in tabloids and respected papers alike. We know ISIS has tried to spread its propaganda to Pakistan and Afghanistan since late 2014 and proclaimed its leadership of that region in early January, with members of the Pakistani Taliban claiming loyalty to the group.
  • Afghan Taliban can't claim moral high ground while killing civilians at home

    AGE: anti-government elements; PGF: pro-government forces. (Source.) In reaction to the despicable killing of over 100 school children in Pakistan whose only 'crime' was attending an army school at a time when the army was battling the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), the Afghan Taliban expressed 'sorrow over the tragedy and grief for the families of the victims.' The killing of innocent civilians, it said, is against Islamic principles.
  • The Salt Pit: What the CIA has wrought in Afghanistan

    On Tuesday the US Senate Intelligence Committee, amid criticism and concern over a backlash, released its report on CIA interrogation tactics. The New York Times sums up the 500-page report as follows: Taken in its entirety, the report is a portrait of a spy agency that was wholly unprepared for its new mission as jailers and interrogators, but that embraced its assignment with vigor.