Armed Hostilities

Methods of Mitigating Haqqani Network Threats by the USA

The paper explores the approaches that the U.S. can use to minimize the danger that the Haqqani Network poses to the state. However, to ultimately achieve the aims, the paper is structured into five parts. That is the introduction, literature review, analysis, recommendations, and conclusion parts. In the introductory part, the author gave the research background information, the literature review section, the author assessed previous research on the related topics.

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Moreover, in the analysis part, the researcher analyzed data in the literature review to develop suitable options for the U.S. Nevertheless, in the recommendation part, alternative methods of mitigating the Haqqani Network, such as increasing troop presence and reinforcing the alliance with local authorities in North Waziristan, were provided by the researcher. However, after analyzing the various assertions for and against this contention in this paper, it was concluded that, while increasing numbers of troops are likely to intensify surveillance, other essential factors must be acknowledged, such as diplomatic goodwill and the wishes of neighboring countries.


The Haqqani Network (HN), an Islamic militant organization, has been formed by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a renowned mujahideen commander, in the late years of 1970s. The Haqqani Network has been attempting to push out of Afghanistan a NATO coalition headed by the United States since 2001. It has also sought to ensure the re-establishment of Taliban Rule in Afghanistan. The network has experienced an evolution from being just a small jihadist network that is tribal-based into among South Asia’s most influential and dangerous terrorist organizations over the past decade. The network has primarily been involved in Kabul’s violence as well as the NATO coalition’s attacks. In this light, it is essential to investigate the methods that the United States should use, such as increasing troops’ presence and strengthening the coalition with local governments in North Waziristan to mitigate the threat that Haqqani Network presents to the country.

Historical Operations of Haqqani Network

Haqqani Network’s focus post-2001 in the Afghanistan conflict has majorly been the Western influence’s eradication and the re-establishment of the Rule of Taliban in the country as per Tariq et al. (2020). It opposes coalition forces led by the United States, the new security forces’ establishment, as well as the new democratic institutions’ implementation (Sadat & McChrystal, 2017). Conversely, while there is variance in the network’s role, it often aims to enforce obedience on the part of its population, deter and terrorize groups that rival it, and ensure the establishment of an upper hand in the fight.

Moreover, Haqqani Network’s ability to forge relationships with various ideological and politically like-minded non-state and state actors has ensured its success. The network has been able to establish a very complex and modern financial infrastructure across South Asia (Cruickshank and Rassler, 2020). Whenever there is linking of the network’s attacks to violence facilitated by the state, in some cases, the West has instituted legal authorities to use financial, diplomatic pressure, and military on both the network and its backers (Long, 2020). It is because of this that the United States designated this network as a foreign organization of terrorism. This followed the network’s attack on the United States Embassy in Kabul.

Asian Approaches of Fighting Terrorism

In Asia, the terrorist challenge’s nature, which is both complex and diverse, has made it necessary for the region’s states to adopt a wide range of responses. These include the criminal justice approach in countering terrorism, the counterterrorism model of war, and the counterinsurgency operations waging (Soriano, 2019). Following demonstrations from the responses evaluated regarding that region, countries within that area have designed their reactions due to terrorist threat’s level. This implies that more serious threats have been counterinsurgency, which involves the military and the paramilitary forces utilization. Therefore, it is clear that in Asia, violence in the form of insurgencies and terrorism is quite a long-term obstacle, which means that counterterrorism will remain a security problem for many states within the region.

The Nature of Terrorism in the Modern Days

Terrorism’s nature has kept changing, this has been orchestrated by the new methods of handling terror employed by ally countries such as the United States. Additionally, advancements in technology have also encouraged these terror changes (Tan 2018). For example, terror not only focuses on public assassinations but also focuses on cyber terror. Since 2013, there has been a significant deterioration of Afghanistan’s security situation (Felbab-Brown, 2017). That said, Afghanistan’s security forces have continued to take an increased number of casualties, with the Taliban exhibiting some great strengths, making the country’s political environment dysfunctional. In as much as the Taliban has not been in a position of holding more and more cities, repeatedly, it has shown its ability to capture various districts.

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U.S Involvement in Afghanistan’s Politics

There is no single candidate who can clinch the presidential seat without depending on the United States’ support in Afghanistan. As such, a judicial determination by the U.S will need to be done on the exact role it will have to play. President Trump’s comment on the politics of Afghanistan will be for Afghans only is as well taken as an invitation to fraud in elections, something that could trigger a crisis and, in the end, invite the Taliban to exercise its power (Ratan, 2019). In this regard, the officials continue to say that it will be crucial that the U.S helps Afghanistan achieve this goal. With China, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia posing challenges, there is no doubt that the regional environment has become worse.

Other Ways of Combating Terrorism

Apart from adding more U.S troops to Afghanistan, the U.S should seek to bolster Afghanistan’s economic development. The U.S can achieve this through security as well as governance improvements (Wayne, 2017). The U.S could also encourage negotiations. Nevertheless, peace negotiations are the least of the Taliban’s interests as many of its top leaders are uninterested. However, President Trump’s policy hoped that sustaining and increasing the United States and international military efforts will eventually alter the Taliban’s tactics and push them straight into a negotiation table where terms are acceptable both to the U.S and the Afghanistan polity.

The Taliban and the United States recently signed a historic peace deal to bring Afghanistan’s war to an end. The countries achieved the deal following negotiations that took approximately 17 months. The peace deal was signed in Doha, Qatar, on the 29th day of February the year 2020 (Verma 2021). The agreement was signed by both the Government of the U.S as well as Taliban’s representatives with legislatures from various other countries such as India witnessing. As such, both parties are believed to have earlier agreed on reduced violence before signing this deal.

The Haqqani Network as a Challenge to the U.S Interests

The Haqqani Network is the most strategic, functional, and tactical political-military (militant) community in Afghanistan. It is a global challenge to Afghanistan, the USA, Pakistan, and other states in the region, including allies and friends of the U.S. Their primary emphasis is on Afghanistan. Still, their ambitions reach outside the boundaries of that region (Lushenko et al., 2019). They are connected to other rebel movements and networks active in the area. Their relations with related insurgent groups dramatically raise the degree of danger it presents to both the U.S and its partners and supporters.

Also, Afghanistan is at considerable risk owing to Haqqani’s ties with insurgents based in the North. Haqqani’s alliance with the AQ-linked Muslim Brotherhood of Uzbekistan (IMU) gives Haqqani tactical scope throughout the region (Chaudhuri & Shende, 2020). It is possible that the Haqqani Network would retain strong relations with other insurgents and terrorist organizations; furthermore, Haqqani is also likely to extend its links with the other militant groups in other areas of the world, primarily if they aim to hurt the U.S.


The states addressed the following major issues in the historic peace agreement: First, the peace deals allow the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan completely. The peace deal provides for 14 months within which the U.S. troops will be removed from Afghanistan but only when the Taliban has also upheld some specific commitments. Conversely, only as the removal of these troops was required for the peace agreement was that not even Afghanistan’s government expected the complete withdrawal. According to the pact, the U.S. will withdraw its forces in 135 days, leaving just 8,600 out of 12,000 in Afghanistan (Mirza et al., 2020). As long as the Taliban holds its end of the agreement, the U.S. will remove its forces entirely within another ten months.

The most challenging section of this deal seems to be the talks between the Afghanistan government of the day and the Taliban leader. For instance, concerning peace deals, these talks are expected to commence within 10-15 days after the peace deal is signed (Mirza et al., 2020). This is seen as quite challenging as the talks, consultations, and negotiations are expected to be lengthy as the country’s future would be the negotiations’ primary regard. Moreover, the peace deal has also got a clause whereby the Taliban is required to shun terrorism and be a significant part of Afghanistan’s government processes (Khan, 2020). Also, the Taliban is well known as an Islamic group with hard lines. With such an organizational structure for the Taliban, which is entirely decentralized, it is likely to be quite tricky in the long run for the Taliban to ensure, even with the best of intentions.

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The last essential and controversial clause in the peace deal is the prisoner swap between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government led by Ashraf Ghani. Nearly 5,000 soldiers have been imprisoned by Afghanistan’s governments, as per the research, and the Taliban wants them freed as part of the agreement. The Taliban will, in return, release close to 1000 security forces of the Afghanistan government that were taken as prisoners by the Taliban. This swap will serve as the foundation for building trust between the parties concerned.

Consequently, counterterrorism efforts made by the government of Afghanistan and other various authorities such as the agencies of counterterrorism in the United States have not been able to contain insurgency. The menace is still a challenge, and one of the reasons for this failure is that some neighboring countries fail to support this course and act as a home for the terrorists by harboring them. Increasing the troop’s number in such an area would undoubtedly provide more protection and security for the borders. This way, it would be easy to identify not only the insurgents but also their sympathizers. Besides, increased troops in Afghanistan will as well affect its neighbors. Nevertheless, it is also crucial to remember that political goodwill is indeed essential in ensuring that those neighbors cannot impede any progress that could have been achieved by increasing troops.

Reinforce Partnerships and Alliances (The Wishes of Neighboring Countries)

Much of the United States’ significant victories against terrorist groups have been greatly enhanced by constructive alliances. Consequently, continuous success relies on a strong coalition of nations sustaining a unified front against terrorism (Dieng et al., 2020). This front comprises multilateral organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization and intergovernmental institutions such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Partnership, the NATO, the African Union, the Organization of the American States the European Union, amongst others. Ultimately, it would be essential for U.S allies to work together to promote effective foreign, federal, and local approaches to terrorism threats.

Diplomatic Goodwill

Some regulatory frameworks lack the administrative, practical, and foreign aid legislation required for successful terrorist detection, trial, and extradition. These chasms create a secure haven for criminals and their groups to work without the risk of being punished (Pease, 2020). However, personal confidentiality, religious freedom, free expression, and other constitutional rights should also be covered in the United States’ regional legal framework. The United States should continue to collaborate with international allies to improve its legal capacity to examine, prosecute, and help investigate terrorism acts around the board, from supplying material assistance to plotting to tactical preparations to conducting a terrorist act.

Increasing the Number of Troops

The U.S should increase Afghanistan’s force posture by adding some thousand extra troops. This would slowly erode the Taliban’s perception of eventually winning tactically to improve the Afghanistan security forces. Moreover, terror groups undertake radicalization before resorting to aggression. When the U.S government seeks to identify this and, if necessary, mitigate the terrorism threats. It is essential to halt radicalization to discourage it from contributing to extremism by increasing the region’s number of troops.


In this paper, a focus has been paid on the thesis statement saying that the United States should increase troops’ presence and strengthen the coalition with local governments in North Waziristan to mitigate the threat that Haqqani Network presents to the country. Following the review of the numerous reasons for and against this assertion in this article, it is concluded that although increasing troop numbers is likely to raise surveillance, there are other essential considerations to acknowledge, such as political goodwill and the desires of neighboring countries. However, increasing the number of troops may, therefore, not achieve the much-anticipated results. Nevertheless, other considerations that have already been outlined in this paper need even further review.


Chaudhuri, R., & Shende, S. (2020). Dealing with the Taliban: India’s Strategy in Afghanistan After US Withdrawal. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1(2), 6-14.

Cruickshank, P., & Rassler, D. (2020). A view from the CT Foxhole: A virtual roundtable on COVID-19 and counterterrorism with Audrey Kurth Cronin, Lieutenant General (Ret) Michael Nagata, Magnus Ranstorp, Ali Soufan, and Juan Zarate. CTC Sentinel, 13, 1-15.

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Dieng, M., Onguny, P., & Mfondi, A. G. (2020). Leadership without membership: France and the G5 Sahel Joint Force. African Journal of Terrorism and Insurgency Research, 1(2), 21-41.

Farrell, T., & Semple, M. (2015). Making peace with the Taliban. Survival, 57(6), 79-110.

Felbab-Brown, V. (2017). President Trump’s Afghanistan policy: Hopes and pitfalls. Brookings.

Haqqani network. (n.d.) Center for International Security and Cooperation. Web.

Khan, M. U. H. (2020). Taliban-US peace deal: Critical analysis and regional realignments. Defense Journal, 23(8), 15.

Long, A. (2020). Small is beautiful: The counterterrorism option in Afghanistan. Orbis, 54(2), 199-214.

Lushenko, P., Auken, L. V., & Stebbins, G. (2019). ISIS-K: Deadly nuisance or strategic threat? Small Wars & Insurgencies, 30(2), 265-278.

Maghercă, T., & Bălăceanu, I. (2019). Current considerations about insurgency and counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. National Defence University Publishing House.

Mirza, M. N., Abbas, H., & Baneen, U. (2020). Mapping contours of reconciliation and peace process in Afghanistan: Policy options for Pakistan. Journal of Peace, Development and Communication, 4(01), 1-22.

Ortbals, C. D., & Poloni-Staudinger, L. M. (2018). Suicide bombers. In Gender and political violence (pp. 55-72). Springer.

Pease, K. K. (2020). IGO diplomacy and the international civil service. In Human rights and humanitarian diplomacy. Manchester University Press.

Ratan, S. (2019). The Trump Administration’s policy in Afghanistan: A regional crisis in the making. Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, 23(3/4), 7-21.

Sadat, K., & McChrystal, S. (2017). Staying the course in Afghanistan: How to fight the longest war. Foreign Affairs, 96, 2.

Soriano, J. P. (2019). High expectations. Interregional agendas on global security challenges: East Asia, Europe and Latin America. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 62(1), 23-28.

Tariq, M., Khan, A., & Khan, B. (2020). The Borderland theory in the context of Pak-Afghan border. Sir Syed Journal of Education and Social Research, 3(1), 195-202.

Verma, R. (2021). The US-Taliban peace deal and India’s strategic options. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 75(1), 10-14.

Wayne, E. A. (2017). 7 pillars for success in Afghanistan. The National Interest. Web.

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