Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Farewell to the Boss? Mujaddedi resigns

It is still not clear whether the resignation of Hazrat Sebghatullah Mujaddedi from all government positions last week was meant to be permanent, or a political manoeuvre planned to improve his chances in moving to lead the High Peace Council. Nevertheless, it is worth a closer look, argues Thomas Ruttig, Senior Analyst at AAN (with […]

Withdrawal in 2014? Myths and realities

A series of contradictory statements about a possible earlier start to the (mainly US) foreign troop drawdown and a quicker handover of security responsibility to Afghan forces, as well as debate over the likely form of NATO’s post-ISAF mission in Afghanistan has caused confusion in the media(1) and wider public sphere recently. Thomas Ruttig, Senior […]

The Kandahar Killing: With friends like this… (amended)

After the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier in Kandahar province, Western military and political officials have – duly – apologised again but also called the incident ‘rogue’, a ‘first time’ or a ‘completely out-of-the-ordinary’ event. Thomas Ruttig, a Senior Analyst at AAN, wonders whether this is the case or whether it […]

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, […]

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