Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

On Your Marks! Alliances and actors before the 2014 presidential election

Yesterday, 16 September 2013, the three-week period for registering candidates for the April 2014 presidential election started. The field of contenders will only have become clear, though, by the last day, 6 October 2013. Alliance building and political manoeuvring is continuing, as the two major camps – the supporters of President Karzai and a new opposition alliance – […]

Daudzai In – and Out: Pre-election cabinet reshuffles

Within two days, President Hamed Karzai has changed two of his key cabinet posts: Muhammad Omar Daudzai was appointed acting interior minister on 1 September 2013, one day after Rahmatullah Nabil became acting head of the Afghan intelligence service. AAN’s Senior Analyst Thomas Ruttig looks at the implications and predicts that, with the registration of […]

The Other Side of the Amu Darya: Tajik and Afghans, neighbours apart

Despite pushes from the West and economic needs, Afghan-Central Asian economic cooperation has not taken off, yet. The people of Tajikistan, for example, are not very interested in or even prejudiced towards their southern neighbours, as they concentrate on their troubles with their former Uzbek brothers. The Tajik government and the other more or less authoritarian […]

Narrower Than Expected: Political opposition presents “Electoral Union of Afghanistan”

Today, 29 August 2013, a coalition of powerful groups and opposition parties, dominated by Northern powerbrokers, came forward and announced their “electoral union.” It could have been one of the first real political happenings in the wheeling and dealing before the presidential election of April 2014. Instead it was a surprisingly uninspired and chaotic event. […]

The Big Maybe: First presidential candidates position themselves

Less than a month before the registration of candidates for the 2014 presidential election opens on 16 September this year, a number of prominent Afghan politicians have positioned themselves as potential candidates. Others are just now making their presence known in public appearances. Several political party councils and opposition alliances still struggle to find a […]

Opaque and Dilemma-Ridden: A look back at transition

At its Lisbon summit in November 2010 NATO made “transition” its official strategy for Afghanistan, setting mid-2013 as the time when responsibility for security throughout all of Afghanistan should have been handed over – or “transitioned” – from NATO to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in a process of five phases. This time has […]

“I, Mulla Omar”: Two takes on the Taleban leader’s Eid message

It has become a regular exercise by now: Taleban leader Mulla Muhammad Omar addressing “our pious people” on the occasion of religious and national holidays. As this year’s Eid al Fitr message again plays some conciliatory strings – except towards the government in Kabul and its foreign military allies – many have argued that deeds […]

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