Qayyum Karzai has announced he will be supporting the campaign of former foreign minister and national security advisor, Zalmai Rassul, in a “unification” of their presidential campaigns. This has given a significant boost to Rassul’s bid for Afghanistan’s highest office, by removing one of the two men considered to be a possible Palace choice. Indeed, [...]
Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig
Tribal elders from most areas of the country came together in an attempt to reduce the field of Pashtun, and among them the Durrani, candidates. The jirga ended in a duel between the two main contenders, both of them close to the president. The meeting remained open to interpretation, after an initial vote apparently met the [...]
SRF4 (Swiss Radio), 27 February 2014 The US are increasing their pressure on Afghanistan: President Obama, when calling his Afghan colleague Karzai, threatened to withdraw all troops if Kabul does not sign the BSA. Listen to the audio (in German) of an interview with AAN's Thomas Ruttig explaining that a 'zero option' could mean the loss of significant [...]
AFP/The Nation, 25 February 2014 The news agency reports on what it calls "a moderate faction of the Taliban" led by former minister Agha Jan Motassem that "is pushing hard for a new peace dialogue" and the killing of one of its leading members, Abdul Raqeeb, another former Taleban minister, in Peshawar last week. The article [...]
Neues Deutschland, 24 February 2014 German-language reprint of an abbreviated version of Thomas Ruttig's AAN year-ender, with a tendential headline added by the newspaper editors. Access for subscribers only. Original version here.
Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan – known as Hezb-e Islami of Gulbuddin, or HIG, in the West – has (almost) declared support for its former chief negotiator with Kabul as a candidate for the 5 April 2014 presidential election. This comes less than a week after it claimed the latest suicide car bomb attack in Kabul that [...]
Oggi Treviso, 17 February 2014 The Italian website indirectly quotes AAN's Thomas Ruttig as saying that "a presenza militare della NATO si è conclusa con un fallimento quasi totale". No further reference where this has been taken from.
Los Angeles Times, 16 February 2014 "The Obama administration is making contingency plans to use air bases in Central Asia to conduct drone missile attacks in northwest Pakistan in case the [US] is forced to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan at the end of this year, according to U.S. officials', the paper reports. … "Intelligence officials [...]
It was the last hot conflict of the Cold War: the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan between Christmas 1979 and February 1989. 25 years ago today, the last Soviet soldiers left the country, defiantly waving their banners and insisting they had not lost. A truce with Ahmad Shah Massud, the main northern mujahedin leader, had [...]
Deutsche Welle, 14 February 2014 In this article on the 25th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, AAN's Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the status of and problems in the ANSF. he, however, would not call Afghan society "unchanged" as the author insinuates.