Yearly Archives: 2014

Return of the Goodwill? London conference as symbol of a new start

Initially, the upcoming London Conference on Afghanistan (3 and 4 December) was supposed to be a hard check on the Afghan leadership’s governance standards. Corruption, women’s rights, elections – how did the country do, and would it deserve fresh aid commitments? However, the new government to discuss these things is, except for president and CEO, […]

Shame and Impunity: Is violence against women becoming more brutal?

A father raping his daughter over almost ten years without the family daring to intervene (except to help with abortions); a woman burnt after a family fight; another woman mutilated because her husband enjoyed doing so – these are just some of the cases of violence against women and girls that have been reported in […]

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 […]

Cult, Culture and the Need for Public Education: Why the National Museum in Kabul has little meaning for Afghans

The National Museum has been a powerful symbol in the portrayal of Afghanistan’s recovery since 2002 and focus of intense international attention. However, the ‘narrative of loss’ that runs through portrayals of the museum’s recent history tends to displace serious discussion as to its role as an institution in today’s Afghanistan. After more than a […]

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 […]

Messages in Chalk: ‘Islamic State’ haunting Afghanistan?

Rumours of the presence of Islamic State (IS) elements in Afghanistan have repeatedly made it into the media over recent months, sparking public debate and adding to the anxiety about what course the insurgency might take. AAN researcher Borhan Osman says that IS has support among limited numbers of Afghan radical youth – although even […]

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way to Go Online: Afghanistan’s youth and new media

Afghanistan’s mobile phone sector has made great strides and is often named as one of the success stories of post-2001 reconstruction. Although the immediate economic benefit for users is debatable, it has opened new possibilities for Afghans to communicate outside of the all-encompassing social control, particularly for women. But internet access has not kept pace […]

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 […]