Int. Engagement

Likely a legal act of war: Death of an Afghan journalist

An investigation into the fatal shooting of an Afghan journalist by a US soldier in July 2011 has raised critical questions about the safety of local reporters working in the field, and the need for greater honesty by ISAF when operations go wrong, according to a new report by Kate Clark, a senior analyst at […]

Handing over Night Raids

Afghanistan and the United States have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘Special Operations’, ensuring that night raids will continue – with Afghans ordering and conducting them and US forces acting only in support. The agreement is a victory for President Karzai who has long insisted – up till now in vain – that […]

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 […]

One Year of Transition: A Look Back (2)

Second part of the retrospective look at the last three months’ transitions which took in many Afghan provinces. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini briefly comments on each of these and on some characteristics of the overall process. The second phase of transition continued on 11 January 2012 with a ceremony in the Wardak provincial capital of Maidan […]

One Year of Transition: A Look Back (1)

The second phase of transition, which was announced on 27 November 2011, is drawing to a close after a long winter, and after a turbulent few weeks that have refocused attention on the fall-out over the ongoing conflict. Many more areas of Afghanistan have witnessed an official transfer of security, while information about the third […]

The End of the Affair? Taleban Suspend Talks

The Taleban have announced that they are suspending talks with the Americans, only six weeks after the opening of their political office in Qatar. In a statement, they described the US approach as ‘shaky, erratic and vague’ and accused the Americans of breaching a memorandum of understanding which had been previously arrived at. This decision […]

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 […]

Guest Blog: The Quran burnings and the German retreat from Taloqan

German authorities announced on Friday, the third day of the Quran burning protests, that they have closed their ISAF base in Taloqan several weeks earlier than planned in response to the protests. Originally, the base had been slated for closure in March. This decision shows the limitations of the assumed international control of particular areas […]

Guest Blog: Karzai and the ‘Imran Khan Factor’ in Pakistan

There is little understanding of Pakistan and its internal dynamics in Afghanistan. A recent example is the visit of President Hamed Karzai to Pakistan last week, during which he met with Pakistani leaders – not only those from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) but also a number of other prominent politicians: the leaders of […]

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