Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Wolesi Jirga Resolutely in Favour of NATO Support: BSA and SOFA take next hurdle

The Wolesi Jirga today (23 November 2014) approved the long-delayed bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States and the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) with NATO. Although the Afghan Senate’s approval is still pending, this vote opens the door for the start of the ISAF-successor Mission Resolute Support. AAN senior analyst Thomas Ruttig and […]

After the Election Is Before the Election: The dilemma with the 2015 parliamentary vote date

 The Afghan constitution stipulates that the next parliamentary elections must be held before June 2015. Until a few days ago, however, most Afghan and international actors seem to have tacitly agreed that the constitutional date cannot be met. But during a conference on 16 November, the new president’s legal advisor stated that Ashraf Ghani is […]

Handing Over Alive: Whither Afghanistan’s political transition?

When President Hamed Karzai left office after the completion of his two constitutional terms and handed over to President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, as he now officially prefers to be called, this was widely called the ‘first peaceful political transition’ – read: without violence or the head of state being immediately killed – in a very […]

The Start into the Better Governance Marathon: Ghani’s first days

New president Ashraf Ghani has proven himself a man intent on not losing time – after so much of it had been lost in post-electoral counting, auditing and political wrangling since April 2014. As opposed to the habits of the Karzai era, the Afghan government did not go into hibernation over the recent Eid-e Qurban […]

With a Little Help From His Friends: A new biography of Hamed Karzai

With only a few days left in the last of Karzai’s two 5-year tenures as head of state (the inauguration of his – still unknown – successor has just been postponed again), Dutch journalist Bette Dam presents the reviewed and updated English version of her biography of the politician who has shaped Afghanistan’s last 14 […]

Trying to Stop the Bases: Another opposition block in the making?

A political front composed of traditional mujahedin and neo-Islamist groups that oppose any foreign military presence has raised objections to the plan to establish a ‘national unity government’. It rather proposes setting up an ‘inclusive’ government, which would also involve the main insurgent groups, in order to end the war and then to hold fresh […]

From Point Zero to ‘New Warmth’: Russian-Afghan relations since 1989

After the Soviet occupation years, Afghan-Russian relations were on absolute zero. But post-Soviet Russia has worked carefully on improving the situation step by step. This strategy is based on an about-face under Yeltsin: dropping Najibullah and building a relationship with the mujahedin, beginning in 1992. In recent years, mounting Afghan-US and Russian-US tensions have made […]

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