Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Quran Burning on Bagram Base

This blog can be very short, thinks Thomas Ruttig, a Senior Analyst at AAN, and doesn’t require any Afghanistan expertise: Books and other reading material, Islamic or otherwise, do not belong in the garbage. If you stick to this basic rule, Quran burnings and retaliatory riots can be avoided. For an alternative to dispose of printed material, […]

Protests and Factional Conflict in Sarepul

Since 8 December last year, demonstrations are continuing in Sarepul. While this remote northern province has been one of the areas least affected by the insurgency for many years, of late it has been pulled into the vortex of the Northern insurgency, too. But the protests have a different background: their origins lie in local […]

Talks on Two Channels? The Qatar office and Karzai’s Saudi option

The latest reports about developments on reconciliation – or better: talks with insurgent groups, both with the Taleban and Hezb-e Islami* – have been rather contradictory. Or haven’t they? The main insight from these reports, is that President Karzai has only rhetorically bowed to the unilateral US/German thrust to establish a Taleban liaison office in […]

A Katanga Scenario for Afghanistan? (amended)

When former Northern Alliance leaders met with a group of influential US congressmen and businessmen in Berlin in early January, the meeting made a lot of waves in Kabul, because it created the impression that a broad anti-Karzai alliance was in the making and that it had started to muster support in the US. Furthermore, […]

Another Blow to Justice: Three Commissioners Fired from the AIHRC

Three of the nine members of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), one of the most successful, outspoken and internationally venerated institutions of post-Taleban Afghanistan, are losing their posts. What has been declared as a normal process, of bringing fresh blood into the commission, smells very political, though. It rather looks as if this is […]

An Address for the Taleban in Qatar

The much heralded Taleban office in a third country seems finally about to be opened. The news that this will happen in Qatar, broken by an Indian newspaper on Wednesday* and picked up by Kabul-based Tolo TV a day later, was followed by President Karzai calling back his ambassador in Doha ‘for consultations’ claiming that […]

AAN Live: Reading between the lines of Bonn 2

The Bonn 2 conference was huge – with 100 delegations, it was quantitatively the biggest ever on Afghanistan. Yet expectations had grown progressively more limited over the past few months and the speeches, this morning, from the main protagonists delivered few surprises. President Karzai was particularly bland, repeating again his ‘continued’ commitment to fighting corruption […]

Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn (2): A Day of Messaging

The discussion about a possible peace process that would include the Taleban dominated the discussions on day 2 of the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn on Saturday. While it became obvious that the Afghan organisations still have to do some homework, they professionally reacted to a smear campaign at home declaring that they do […]

Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn (1): Occupy the JCMB?

The tone makes the music, we say here in Germany – ie: it is not only what you say but how you say it. Despite plenty of efforts by the organisers, four German political foundations, to make the 34 elected Afghan delegates to the Bonn Civil Society Forum feel comfortable there were a number of […]

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