Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

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 […]

Talks with the Taleban, Again: This time for real?

Over the past weeks, Kabul buzzed with rumours that talks with the Taleban would begin soon, specifically, in the first week of March. That particular week is now past and nothing has happened. But this does not mean that rumours were completely false or that no movement is being made towards new talks with the […]

Impunity and Silence: The meagre reaction to the latest HRW report

Human rights abuses in Afghanistan no longer make big waves outside the really concerned circles. Yesterday (on 3 March 2015), Human Rights Watch released a hard-hitting piece of meticulous research looking at the ease with which gross human rights violations and war crimes are still committed by the powerful in Afghanistan: “Today We Shall All […]

“An attempt to wipe out history”: The destruction of the Bamian Buddha colossi in 2001

On 26 February 2001, the leader of the Afghan Taleban movement, Mullah Muhammad Omar, ordered from his headquarters in Kandahar that “all statues and non-Islamic shrines in the different areas of the Islamic Emirate must be broken” because they were worshipped by people of non-Islamic religious beliefs and were therefore ‘idols.’ This kind of worship, […]

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