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Franz J. Marty

Franz J. Marty

Franz J. Marty is a freelance journalist who, between December 2014 and June 2023, lived and worked in Afghanistan. He tweets @franzjmarty

Marty reports on a broad range of topics but focuses on security and military issues in general and violent extremism/terrorism in particular. His past work includes interviews with active insurgents in areas out of government control, an embed with the elite Afghan Commandos during a night operation in a Taliban-held village, as well as unembedded investigative reporting from hostile areas in various parts of Afghanistan.

In addition to The Diplomat, his articles have been published by, among others, Foreign Policy, The Afghanistan Analysts Network, Popular Front, TRAC (Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium), IHS Jane’s, and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He has also contributed to live programs on TV channels such as CNN and France 24 as well as radio stations like BBC World Service and RFI.

Before his work as a journalist in Afghanistan, Franz J. Marty intensively traveled in Central Asia, Iran, the Middle East, and Russia. He is fluent in German, English, French, and Persian (Tajiki/Dari/Farsi) and also speaks some Russian.

Posts by Franz J. Marty
August 08, 2023

How the Taliban Guard Afghanistan’s Border (and What It Says About Their Regime)

By Franz J. Marty
While the Taliban are serious about protecting the country's borders, border guards face many problems and see completely different threats than the international community.

October 11, 2022

Life in a Far-Flung Corner of the Taliban Emirate

By Franz J. Marty
Previously Taliban-controlled areas have seen improvements since the group took control of the country, but some problems remain.
April 26, 2022

The Peculiar Case of Elections Under the Taliban

By Franz J. Marty
The election of neighborhood representatives in Kabul suggests that the Taliban are in some aspects pragmatic, but this experiment will likely remain limited.

February 10, 2022

Is the Taliban’s Campaign Against the Islamic State Working?

By Franz J. Marty
The Taliban claim to have defeated the self-declared Islamic State’s Afghan chapter, but exclusive information obtained by The Diplomat indicates that its success is not what it seems.

January 28, 2022

The Difficulties of Extracting Afghanistan’s Hidden Mineral Treasures

By Franz J. Marty
While Afghanistan’s mineral riches are often depicted as a way out of aid dependency, Afghan miners continue to face problems in realizing those dreams.

December 20, 2021

The Plight of the Refugees Who Fled to Afghanistan

By Franz J. Marty
A looming famine in Afghanistan not only threatens Afghans, but several thousand Pakistani refugees – and among them, armed militants.
October 19, 2021

A Remote Corner of Afghanistan Offers a Peek Into the Future of the Country

By Franz J. Marty
In Kamdesh, Nuristan, where U.S. forces withdrew more than a decade ago, the American presence is a distant – and negative – memory for many locals.

May 17, 2021

3-Day Ceasefire Gives Some Respite to Afghans

By Franz J. Marty
A temporary truce to mark the end of Ramadan mostly held, allowing Afghans to celebrate in relative peace.

April 03, 2021

Spike in Violence Follows Failed Negotiations Between the Pakistani Taliban and Islamabad

By Franz J. Marty
Sources reveal secret negotiations between Pakistan’s government and the TTP, which ultimately fell apart.

February 01, 2021

The US-Taliban Deal: A Year Later

By Franz J. Marty
The U.S.-Taliban “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” has so far yielded few concrete results and bloody fighting and attacks are continuing across the country.

December 22, 2020

Fire From the Sky: The Afghan Taliban’s Drones

By Franz J. Marty
Despite ongoing peace negotiations, the Taliban continue their attacks, recently incorporating weaponized commercially available drones into their arsenal.
October 20, 2020

What the Fate of Freed Taliban Prisoners Means for the Afghan Peace Process

By Franz J. Marty
Whether freed Taliban rejoin the fight – and what might motivate them to finally put down their arms – has ramifications for peace in Afghanistan.

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