In recent days, the southern Afghan province of Helmand--long a Taliban bastion--has seen major upsurges of violence, including in areas near the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, where the Taliban has mounted new offensives.
What accounts for this new unrest--arguably the heaviest violence since the Taliban began peace talks with the Afghan government last month--and what impacts might it have on the intra-Afghan dialogue?
These questions and more are addressed in the latest edition of The AfPak File.
This week's guests are Shabnam Nasimi, executive director of Conservative Friends of Afghanistan; Jonathan Schroden, director of CNA's Center for Stability and Development; Mustafa Sarwar, a journalist with Azadi Radio, the Afghan Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; and Michael Kugelman, Asia Program deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Muhammad Tahir, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's media manager in Washington DC, moderates the discussion.