Guest Blog: Electricity Matters

The often still poor socio-economic situation rarely makes the headlines which are dominated by stories about attacks like the ones on Kabul Interconti hotel and Ahmad Wali Karzai. But it is a scandal that Mazar-e Sharif, one of Afghanistan’s major cities, still has one to three hours of electricity per day after ten years of […]

Guest Blog: Ghori Cement – A loss-making goldmine

Under pressure to repay his loans to Kabul Bank, the president’s brother, Mahmud Karzai, has sold his shares in the Afghan Investment Company. This could open a new future for the country’s biggest cement factory, Ghori Cement in Baghlan, that has so far been plagued by nepotism, reports Mir Sediq Zaliq*, an Afghan journalist working […]

Kill or Capture 2: Another Takhar Night Raid Fans Ethnic Discontent

The repercussions of a night raid by US Special Forces and Afghan police, which left two men, a woman and a girl dead in Takhar a week ago (whether they were civilians or insurgents, depends on whose version of events you believe) are still being played out. The provincial council has gone on strike in […]

Guest Blog: A hard time for Afghanistan’s independent media

The world and Afghanistan ‘celebrated’ World Press Freedom Day a short while ago. The annual international press freedom index, published by Reporters sans frontières (RSF), (*) ranks Afghanistan number 147 of 178 states, better than a number of its neighbouring countries, including Pakistan (151), Uzbekistan (163), China (171), Turkmenistan (176) and Iran (175). Our guest […]

2010 Elections 17: A tense electoral run in Takhar

The first, very partial election results in Takhar have appeared on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) website. This offers the opportunity to go back to notes taken on a field trip over election-day, and present them along with our perceptions of the situation in the province. By AAN researchers Fabrizio Foschini and Obaidullah Ali. The […]

News from the German Front: The West’s Afghan Policy ‘has failed’

Five German institutes draw a condemning conclusion about the West’s policy in Afghanistan +++ Another institute alleges that the German government hides the larger portion of its Afghan military mission’s cost +++ Germany’s Minister of Defence does not know what happened to Afghans taken into custody and handed over to Afghan authorities +++ The ‘German […]

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 […]

Corruption, corruption, corruption

Karzai’s international backers have made no secret of what their priorities for his new administration were: transfer of security responsibilities, reconciliation, economic development, relations with the neighbours, and corruption, corruption, corruption. They were well served by Karzai’s inaugural speech: everything was included – reason for a (small) collective sigh of relief. Another potential confrontation, with […]

Germans at the Front

“It couldn’t have come worse. It is mid-August 2009. American pilots bomb an Afghan village, many women and children die. The target for the attack was provided by the Germans.” [The German parliament is currently in the decision-making process about sending AWACS surveillance planes to Afghanistan.] “Two days later, three German Bundeswehr soldiers publicly brag […]

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