Yearly Archives: 2011

Kabul – Tunis

The support for elections and the democratic movement in Tunisia promised by the EU and EU member governments seems to concentrate more on process than on content of elections. This sounds familiar from an Afghan angle. AAN’s Senior Analyst Thomas Ruttig was hoping that governments had learned from Afghanistan’s elections disasters – but hears the […]

Tactical or genuine? The Taleban’s ‘new education policy’

This time, the Times Education Supplement (TES) has the latest scoop about the Taleban. The article with the headline ‘Taliban “backs girls’ education”’ has already been picked up around the world. But it is worth to look at the source of the sensational statement. It is not from Mulla Omar’s ‘Quetta shura’ but from Kabul’s […]

Guest Blog: Legal Pluralism – Decentralization of the Rule of Law?

The discussion about how Afghanistan’s legal system should work and its three components – state, customary and Islamic law (sharia) – should relate to each other has been going on ever since 2001, without a clear result. Even the constitution leaves loopholes that are reflected in the legal practice. Currently, the Afghan government works on […]

Flash to the Past: … but not without snow

Ten years ago, AAN’s senior analyst Kate Clark was reporting on the first snow of the 2000/2001 winter for the BBC from Kabul which, then, was still ruled by the Taleban; people then were hoping a horrific drought would finally be breaking. An estimated twelve million Afghans had been hit by crop failure, many were […]

Building for Eternity? The Issue of the US Afghan Bases (amended)

Will the US really withdraw (most of its) its troops – those who will not be rebranded ‘trainers’ and advisors’ like in Iraq – by 2014? Is general Petraeus following his own timeline? For sure, the US is planning to keep (some of) its bases in Afghanistan, and it is expanding them rapidly. A US […]

Figure of the Day: US$ 100 m. (in destroyed orchards)

An Afghan government delegation has reported that ‘Afghan and foreign forces have caused more than US$ 100 million damage to fruit crops and homes during security operations in southern Kandahar province’. AAN’s senior analyst Thomas Ruttig remembers an episode last summer. When a young Afghan visited our office last summer and told us about US […]

Because the Night Belongs to Raiders: Special ops in Nangrahar

The first days of 2011 have already been dotted with reports of renewed night raids by US special forces turning lethal for civilians, as the ones in Ghazni and Kunduz apparently were. The resentment these operations stir up among Afghans countrywide seems likely to wipe out any possible military benefit deriving from them. The negative […]

For a Handful of Dollars: Taleban allowed to join ALP

It’s official: reintegrated Taleban will be able to join the Afghan Local Police (ALP) – referred to more commonly by civilians as militias or arbaki. This is according to the head of ISAF’s Regional Command North (who also said such Taleban might become teachers). In flat contradiction, the MoI told AAN today that Taleban will […]