Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (1): A Look Back

When I read Matthieu Aikins’ brilliant reportage in Harpers (‘The Master of Spin Boldak’) about the mutation of a 1980s tribal militia into a drug trafficking network that survives to the day, I was reminded of an episode in 1988. I was living in Wazir Akbar Khan then. Around the corner was the house of […]

New Book: ‘Empires of Mud’

Antonio Giustozzi is arguably the most studious and productive researcher and author on Afghan affairs. His output is based on insight won during intensive travels to the country far beyond the capital. After editing the recently published ‘Decoding the New Taliban” – with AAN members and friends contributing some chapters – he has now put […]

Prof. Rasul Amin passed away

AAN has just learned of the passing away of leading Afghan scholar and politician Professor Rasul Amin during a stay in Australia on 31 October at the age of 72 Born on 10 May 1939 at Watapur in Kunar province, Rasul Amin was son of a prominent khan of the Safi tribe. His mother was […]

AAN Election Blog No 39: Deeper into the One-Way Street

Not the pull-out of Karzai challenger Dr Abdullah brought the Afghan election process into a crisis. It was the irresponsible decision to hold a run-off within two weeks in a country like Afghanistan after the credibility of the first round had drowned in a flood over one million votes rigged in favour of Karzai. The […]

The Guesthouse Attack and the Run-Off

This time it looks as if the Taleban really have managed to give the Afghan election – more precisely: its second round set for 7 November – its own turn. They already considerably influenced the first round of 20 August when they threatened attacks like cutting of inked fingers of voters but largely left polling […]

What possibly still could be done…

…. after the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’ anti-democratic ‘consensus’ The leaked ‘consensus’ of the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’, i.e. the foreign ministers of the most influential Western governments, that President Karzai has won the 20 August elections, is the final knock-out for the remaining democratic aspirations of Afghans. Although it has not been stated officially yet, there […]

BREAKING NEWS: Ban Fires Galbraith

Watch the UN website tonight: The UN Security Council has decided to fire Peter W. Galbraith, the American deputy head of its Afghanistan mission UNAMA. An announcement by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on this step is expected to be published tonight (GMT). The reason to be given: serious differences of opinion with UNAMA boss Kai […]

AAN Election Blog No 32: What Next in Afghanistan? (1)

What remained of a democratic process in Afghanistan had been brought to a halt with screeching brakes by the massive and systematic fraud on 20 August. Finally, this fact has been recognised on the record by impartial bodies like the EU observers and the ECC. Realities simply could not be ignored any more. The range […]

Kabul Diary (1): Glimpses of Kabul, Summer 2009

Blue sky over the Spinghar mountains through the airplane window. Small green fields along grey Kabul river. The tin roofs of Pul-e Charkhi reflecting the sun. The first traffic jam at Indira Gandhi hospital. A push-cart with eggfruit stuck amongst taxis and UN cars. Bicycle riders head on in the traffic. Landcruisers with tinted window […]

Hollow Excuses

We apologize. It was a mistake. We regret the loss of innocent life.’ How often have I heard these sentences after operations of NATO troops had caused – what a horrible trivialisation – ‘collateral damage’. How often have I heard these sentences after operations of NATO troops had caused – what a horrible trivialisation – […]

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