Context & Culture

AAN Guest Blog: Some ANSF Maths

The following blog is contributed by A FRIEND of AAN in Kabul who – for a good reason which in the media is usually described as that she/he is not authorized to speak about the subject – does not want to see her/his name printed here. After following the recent discussions about number increases in […]

AAN Guest Blog: A ‘weapons system’ based on wishful thinking

Recently, indications are appearing that a new round of massive money dropping is about to start in Afghanistan order marginalise the Taleban. By ANDREW WILDER* The theoretical basis of this approach seems to be twofold. First, there is the old and often-disproved formula that ‘development’ kind of automatically translates into ‘security’ and wins a lot 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Another Day without an Orange Revolution

Quite some people here in Kabul – maybe internationals more than Afghans – had been looking forward to the day that just passed with mixes feelings. It was 9/9 – and eight years ago Ahmad Shah Massud, the leader of the Northern Alliance mujahedin was killed … … during a fake interview in Khwaja Bahauddin […]

UNODC Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging – With One Eye Closed

U.N. Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging’, reads a headline in the 2 September issue of the New York Times. Now the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) got it. Or did it? The headline reminds of a 2008 World Bank paper (William A. Byrd, Responding to Afghanistan’s Opium Economy Challenge, The World Bank, South Asia […]

Theatre about conflict – and how we all have to relate to it

Mid-June, I had the opportunity see the revival performance of a play entitled ‘AH 7808’ that toured most Afghan regional capitals in 2008. The play is an adaptation of an Irish script addressing conflict and each individual’s responsibility to overcome it. Through the play, the audience gets to take part in one man’s struggle to […]

Teeth, flowers and another tale of violence

Every day in Afghanistan is full of stories. Most of them with a fair share of bad luck and wry humour and usually quite a bit of violence. This story is about – let’s call him Hamidullah. Hamidullah comes from a place not far from Kabul. It is commander country. In the past he fought under […]

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