Int. Engagement

Talk about Talks Again (updated)

‘Bazaar du-bara garm shud’ – the market has become hot again. That’s how many Afghans reacted to the breaking news of ‘high-level talks’ between Taleban leaders and the Kabul government (and possibly some US actors) as well as about the not-so-secret-anymore talks in the Kabul Serena. But look at the small print: The talks were […]

General Petraeus about Taleban contacts (updated)

Reconciliation – a.k.a. talking to the Taleban – is a hot issue. Anything new is picked up quickly by the media world-wide, in particular when it comes from someone with a political weight like Gen. Petraeus. But please also read the small print. So, here is what Gen. Petraeus said: ‘There are very high-level Taliban […]

Empire Going Mad

The current US clue- and helplessness in Afghanistan, with its strategy that no one knows whether it will work and with no Plan B, is definitely crying out for some ‘out of the box’ thinking. But the ideas which have started to appear on various websites reminds one of the mad Dr. Strangelove, who learned […]

Footnotes to an AAN political parties blog

On 13 September 2010, we published a piece about the role of political parties in the current Afghan election process and also touched upon the issue of the election system, the Single Non-Transferable Vote or SNTV. We called the latter ‘a party-less party-hostile system’. Our frequent author Aunohita Mojumdar disagrees – and finds the Afghan […]

Guest Blog: Why the West should care about Afghan election fraud

There is a strange detachment of international actors in Kabul when it comes to the parliamentary elections here in just under two weeks’ time. Our guest author Scott Warden(*) calls it a ‘see no evil, speak no evil’ approach. He asks what the consequences of another flawed election will be and advocates a ‘strict scrutiny […]

Ten Dead in Badakhshan 7: An Afghan aid worker speaks up

Belquis Ahmadi(*) is an Afghan aid worker who had known, cooperated and traveled with Tom Little under the most difficult conditions of the 1990s civil war. Read her warmly commemorating the slain aid worker in this guest contribution to our blog. My heart began to ache when I saw the name – Tom Little – […]

A Wikileaks Leak and Human Rights Matters

A series of emails sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by human rights groups from or based in Afghanistan has been leaked to the media. The groups ‘called on the whistleblower website to expunge the names of Afghans mentioned in the war logs because of fears that they could be targeted by insurgents’. AAN’s co-director […]

Pakistani Anger with WikiLeaks

Pakistan has remarkably free media. However, this freedom has been limited on a few subjects. Journalists would not touch the Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan during the ‘jihad’ against the Soviet occupation in a critical way, for example. It looked as if the ISI often was dictating the leaders on this subject in at least some […]

Afghanistan is (still) not Iraq

One of the monsters thought to be slain has raised one of its ugly heads again: the ‘let’s replicate our Iraq success in Afghanistan’ discussion, seasoned with ‘yes we know Afghanistan is not Iraq but…’ attachments. See the surge that supposedly has brought a decrease of violence in Baghdad and elsewhere and has been replicated […]

Wikileaks, Strategic Communications and (Im-)Plausible Denials

Wikileaks, with its publication of some 75,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan on Sunday, has brilliantly made use of the summer slump. Instead of escaped crocodiles at lakes popular with swimmers (a favourite of the German media in former years) or silly ideas of backbenchers, we have been given the chance […]

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