War & Peace

In Kabul’s Shadow: the attacks in the provinces on 15-16 April

The attacks that took place a week ago in Kabul received more than their fair share of media coverage. The same thing cannot be said for the parallel attacks launched by insurgents simultaneously in three other provincial capitals. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini and Obaid Ali look into the attacks in Nangrahar, Paktia and Logar, to try […]

Farah (2): Empty Spaces Beyond the Road

Part two of the report on the vast and far-off western province of Farah. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini looks at the threat that insurgents pose to communication routes and at the successes and shortcomings of security arrangements in the districts, complicated by poppy crops, social divides and the lack of an effective government presence. If mass […]

‘Spring Offensive’ and the War of Perceptions

It is not easy to strike the right balance when discussing yesterday’s attacks by the Taleban in Kabul and three provinces. The international media, particularly those without correspondents on the ground, have talked up the intensity and relevance of the attacks in eye-catching headlines, referring to them as a ‘Taleban offensive’, ‘attack on the diplomatic […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Quran burnings and the different faces of anger

Yesterday’s thoughtless and avoidable burning of several Qurans at Bagram air base has sparked a second day of protests across Afghanistan. The repercussions are expected to reverberate for several more days, at least. The demonstrations are a combination of religious outrage, pent-up frustration and groups wanting to stir trouble. It is difficult to predict how […]

Quran Burning on Bagram Base

This blog can be very short, thinks Thomas Ruttig, a Senior Analyst at AAN, and doesn’t require any Afghanistan expertise: Books and other reading material, Islamic or otherwise, do not belong in the garbage. If you stick to this basic rule, Quran burnings and retaliatory riots can be avoided. For an alternative to dispose of printed […]

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