Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

The Second Fall of Musa Qala: How the Taleban are expanding territorial control

While Afghanistan’s northern provinces – mainly Kunduz, Faryab and Sar-e Pul – have been in the media’s focus on this year’s Taleban offensive, fighting in their southern Afghan strongholds has geared up too. Within one month the Taleban were able to capture two district centres in Helmand, Musa Qala (still contested) and Nawzad. This combines […]

From Mullah Omar to Mansur: Change at the Taleban’s top leadership

After almost two days of silence, the Taleban have finally admitted that their supreme leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed, as they call him, has died. On 31 July 2015, they also announced the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, previously Omar’s deputy, as their new leader. Reportedly, this also includes the key title of amir […]

Copper and Peace: Afghanistan’s China dilemma

Facing what is now more than a two year delay in the opening of the Ainak copper mine, the Afghan government has indicated that it is considering re-advertising the contract for the project which had been won by a consortium of Chinese state-own companies. This turnaround has the potential to grow into a major foreign […]

ANSF Wrong-Footed: The Taleban offensive in Kunduz

The Taleban’s first major onslaught in their ‘spring offensive’ this year took the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by surprise. But after a few days, they were able to react and push the insurgents back in some areas while the latter held their ground in others. Although the ANSF kept control over Kunduz city and […]

The Unity Government’s First Six Months: Where is the governance?

After six months of Afghan Unity Government – what has been achieved? President Ghani, some say, has been ruling with a ‘two-man government’ (him and Hanif Atmar, head of the National Security Council), leading many to feel left out. ‘Strategic silence’ has become a somewhat mocking term for Ghani’s style of government – or is he […]

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