On June 17, the UN Security Council enacted sweeping changes to the international sanctions regime against al-Qaeda and the Taliban – an important shift that was overshadowed by President Obama’s announced plan to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months. In a move described by the State Department as a “tangible sign of support by the international community for Afghan reconciliation efforts,” the Security Council adopted two resolutions aimed at dividing al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the wake of Usama bin Laden’s death. Under Resolutions 1988 and 1989, the “consolidated list” of individuals and entities designated as supporting al-Qaeda and the Taliban has been bifurcated, with new sanctions committees set up to manage each list.

Read more in the full article, co-authored with Sam Cutler.