Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

How Do Afghans Tick? (in memoriam Bernt Glatzer)

The following is the translation of an interview given by late Dr Bernt Glatzer to a Berlin daily newspaper in 2008. He talks about how he himself became involved in Afghanistan, gives his opinion about current events and covers the ethics of ethnologists in war. More than six years ago, the Taleban regime in Afghanistan […]


With great shock and deep sadness, we have learnt about the sudden demise of our valued colleague and good friend Dr Bernt Glatzer, member of the AAN Advisory Board, in the night to 08 December at his home in Schriesheim, Germany, only a few days before his 67th birthday. There are not many amongst our […]

Militia Sightings

Some see ‘hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban’ But how spontaneously did the new militias really emerge? Here are some reports on the new militias found in the international media (further contributions welcome). Miralam Khan is the new hero of Kunduz. […] Many are convinced that the former mujahedin commander has single-handedly […]

Ghosts of Najibullah

With President Obama’s release of the new Afghanistan strategy ahead on Tuesday and first details coming out, parts of the puzzle fall into place. As it looks it will be less than the US 40,000 troops desired by Gen Mc Chrystal that will be sent to Afghanistan – probably some 30,000. The gap is to […]

Kabul Diary (2): A Ring of Steel Sheets

Finally, the long expected rain is falling in Kabul. But what’s good for next year’s crops makes life miserable for people in the cities. And for the first time, there were hours-long complete traffic break-downs in Kabul yesterday and today afternoon. Although President Obama today announced that he plans ‘to finish the job’ in Afghanistan […]

A Suicide Attack in Uruzgan (UPDATED)

13 people killed by a suicide bomber. But who did it? Finding out what really is behind incidents like this one is extremely difficult. Facts are rare, versions and opinions, however, ample to find. While a suicide attack in a bazaar in Western Farah province on 20 November that claimed at least 16 lives made […]

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (2): A Look Forward

The case of Abdul Razeq’s police-unit-cum-militia (see our recent blog ‘Militias 1’) should send a stark warning to those planning envisaging a new version of ‘community-based’ defence forces. It is not clear yet how this exactly will look like but it seems to be sure that it will come. A few titles, names and concepts […]

Surveyed: The Cost of War

The war-destroyed Dar-ul-Aman palace in the South of Kabul was the perfect venue for the presentation of the report ‘The Cost of War’ to the Afghan and international public. The palace, designed to house the first Afghan parliament established under King Amanullah (ruled 1919-29), never served its aim. Amanullah was toppled by a mulla-led and […]

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