Yearly Archives: 2010

AAN Year-Ender: What we think about 2010 and 2011

As the year draws to a close we have asked friends, members and contributors to reflect on the year that lies behind us and on the new year that is about to start. The result is a long and eclectic list of observations, predictions, concerns and hopes. With the very best wishes for Afghanistan in […]

Risky German Development Strategy

On Christmas Eve, a German development consultant working on a road-building project was murdered in Kholm (also called Tashkurghan) in Northern Afghanistan. The Taleban claimed responsibility for the murder. The following commentary by Willi Germund, a German free-lance journalist frequently travelling to Afghanistan and Pakistan and also a frequent contributor for AAN, has kicked off […]

Flamingo Watching in Dubai

‘Listen to the birds. That’s where all the music comes from.’ (The first of Captain Beefheart’s 10 Commandments of Guitar Playing) ‘If you can’t listen to them, watch them at least. It gives you some peace of mind after watching the war.’ (AAN Senior Birdwatcher Thomas Ruttig) No, the Emirates are not only megahigh-rises, never-ending […]

Reading papers on an airplane (amended)

A little press review by an analyst trying to catch up with the news after a few days off: the Obama review, terrorist threats in Europe, Dubai’s well-informed taxi-drivers, the inventors of waterboarding, a not so crazy Afghan project and Germany’s still grotesque discussion about whether that’s a war going on in Afghanistan. Thanks goodness, […]

Plain Turkey by the AfViet Envoy

In 1971, a secret history of the Vietnam War was leaked to the American press. One chapter of what became known as the Pentagon Papers, had been written by a young career diplomat called Richard Holbrooke. He of course, would in his final mission, serve as the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan (he died […]

What comes after remembering? Some thoughts after National Victims Day in Afghanistan

There are days when Afghanistan’s sadness becomes overwhelming. For us, the Afghan National Victims’ Day was such a day. AAN Senior Analyst Sari Kouvo and Political Researcher Obaid Ali participated in the Afghan National Victims’ Day demonstration and commemoration. Around forty women and men have already gathered when we early Friday morning arrived at Kabul’s […]

Obama’s War Strategy: Stamping out the fire by pouring on gasoline

President Obama’s review of the first year of his war strategy in Afghanistan is extraordinarily upbeat. “The momentum achieved by the Taliban in recent years,” it says, “has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in some key areas… The surge… has reduced overall Taleban influence.”(*) For those of us living in Afghanistan, […]

2010 Elections (40): A clear mess in the Land of the Light

Since Saturday it has become possible to do some real number crunching and to get a detailed analysis of the election results, after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) finally uploaded the polling results per polling station. For weeks, the web page displayed an ‘Internal Server Error’ message, but a phone call to a senior IEC […]

Reviewing the US in Afghanistan

The changes in the US administration after Obama’s election brought a short and rather refreshing burst of frankness on how bleak the situation in Afghanistan was. At the time I mistook this for honesty and a tolerance for complexity, but it turned out to have been a somewhat sophisticated version of ‘slam the predecessor.’ This […]