Afghanistan Tribes



Afghan War
News Blog

Current News

Military Websites

Government Websites

General Information

Blogs on Afghan War

Blogs by Military


Books on Afghanistan

Site Map





Afghan War News > Culture > Afghan Tribes

In Afghanistan the tribes play a prominent role in governance, culture, politics, society, and the community. To be effective in Afghanistan one needs to understand the tribes, sub-tribes, clans, and families.

Websites with Info on the Tribes

Tribal Analysis Center. The TAC specializes in the collection and analysis of data related to tribes in remote areas. The emphasis that is given to tribal engagement in counterinsurgency signifies that tribal studies are very relevant to military and civilian government agencies.

Pashtun Tribes - Wikipedia.

Tribe, Clan, & Ethnic Genealogies of Afghanistan. By the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).

References, Documents, and Reports on Tribes
(listed in chronological order)

Giustozzi, Dr. Antonio, The Role of the Afghan State in Managing Nomadism and Nomad-Settler Conflict, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), December 2018, 26 pages.

Foschini, Fabrizio. The Social Wandering of the Afghan Kuchis: Changing patterns, perceptions and politics of an Afghan community, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), November 28, 2013. . . .

Miakhel, Shahmahmood. Understanding Afghanistan: The Importance of Tribal Culture and Structure in Security and Governance, US Institute of Peace, updated November 2009. Posted on MODA website.

___________, Pashtun Tribal Dynamics, Tribal Analysis Center, October 2009.

Maps of Tribal and Ethnic Areas of Afghanistan

___________, Ethnic Identity in Afghanistan, Program for Culture & Conflict Studies, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Includes tribal maps.

Videos about Afghan Tribes

Kuchi Nomads: Struggling and Stateless in War-Torn Lands, Radio Free Europe, February 8, 2016. A 3-minute long video depicting the difficult life of Afghan nomads.

"It's the Tribes, Stupid". Five short videos designed to help the viewer understand the importance of the tribes in the Afghan conflict. Steven Pressfield Online.

Nomadic Koochi Tribes of Afghanistan. A documentary.

Kyrgyz of the Wakhan - Life in the Afghan Pamir Mountains (CDI Projects).

News Reports of about Tribes in Afghanistan

September 11, 2012. "Fight the Taliban with Afghan Culture". USA Today.

January 30, 2010. "A Look at America's New Hope: The Afghan Tribes". The New York Times.The Shinwari tribe in eastern Afghanistan vows to fight the Taliban and support the government.

November 30, 2009. "Army Researchers Warn Against Tribal War in Afghanistan". Danger Room.

November 22, 2009. "The U.S. may again try a tribal strategy". The Washington Post. Some say the military should moe away from current policies of central authority in Afghan governance and provide more support to Afghan tribes.

May 26, 2009. "CIA Discovery: Tribes in Afghanistan!". Harper's Magazine. The Central Intelligence Agency has decided, eight years into the war, that knowing the composition and structure of Afghan tribes could be important.

November 7, 2008. "A Tribal Strategy for Afghanistan". Council on Foreign Relations. The U.S. military hopes to create a tribal backlash against the Taliban.

January 31, 2008. "In the Dark: Afghanistan's Tribal Complexity". The Economist.

December 20, 2001. "Bumpy rides and rival tribes on Afghanistan's border". The Christian Science Monitor. Two journalists travel from Pakistan to Afghanistan and learn about tribal dynamics along the journey.

November 15, 2001. "Analysis: Afghanistan's tribal groups". BBC News.








All external sites open up in an new window.  Please report any broken links or inaccuracies in content to the webmaster at