Author Archives: Kate Clark

About Kate Clark

Obama’s visit in ‘pre-dawn darkness’

President Obama has visited Afghanistan under cover of darkness, signed a ten year strategic partnership agreement, spoken to the American – although not the Afghan – people from Bagram, claimed near victory over al-Qaida and the Taleban, said a new day was dawning for Afghanistan and left. The Taleban, meanwhile, tried to pretend the visit […]

Likely a legal act of war: Death of an Afghan journalist

An investigation into the fatal shooting of an Afghan journalist by a US soldier in July 2011 has raised critical questions about the safety of local reporters working in the field, and the need for greater honesty by ISAF when operations go wrong, according to a new report by Kate Clark, a senior analyst at […]

Handing over Night Raids

Afghanistan and the United States have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘Special Operations’, ensuring that night raids will continue – with Afghans ordering and conducting them and US forces acting only in support. The agreement is a victory for President Karzai who has long insisted – up till now in vain – that […]

The Trouble with Torture: NDS, Special Forces and the CIA

Fresh evidence of abuse in more than a dozen NDS and police facilities has been presented in a report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and Open Societies Foundations (OSF). The allegations, which include testimony of security detainees being beaten, given electric shocks and having their genitals wrenched, were described by NDS as […]

The ‘Other Bagram’ (1): A Memorandum for handover

President Karzai’s legal advisor, Nasrullah Stanekzai, has confirmed to AAN that there will be detention without trial of Afghans by Afghans when the Detention Facility at Parwan (DFIP), also referred to simply as ‘Bagram’, is handed over to Afghan government control, at the latest, on 8 September 2012. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by […]

Afghan New Year: Sal-e Naw Mubarak

Three swallows were sighted in the skies over Kabul by members of the AAN team this week – a welcome harbinger of spring after this year’s long, cold winter. They disappeared again, as a dust storm racked Kabul on the last day of the Afghan year. Nawruz has now dawned, even with grey and gritty […]

The End of the Affair? Taleban Suspend Talks

The Taleban have announced that they are suspending talks with the Americans, only six weeks after the opening of their political office in Qatar. In a statement, they described the US approach as ‘shaky, erratic and vague’ and accused the Americans of breaching a memorandum of understanding which had been previously arrived at. This decision […]

Freeing the ‘Guantanamo Five’ 2: Kafka in Cuba

Five Taleban prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, whose release is a key demand of the Taleban, prior to/as part of peace talks, have said they are willing to be transferred to Qatar. President Karzai had said they had to be handed over to his government, but after a high level visit by Afghan officials, both Taleban […]

Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the Prisoners (amended)

Releasing Taleban from Guantanamo Bay is on the agenda – in the context of finding a negotiated end to the conflict. Four senior and one junior Taleban official may be freed, or exchanged for the captured US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl. The idea has caused consternation among some in the US Congress, as well as consternation […]

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