War & Peace

Striking at Kabul, now and then

The start of a new year is always an opportunity for reflection. 2011 was not the first and will probably not be the last year that drew to a close amid violence in Kabul. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini takes a historical look at how the conflict has reached inside the gates of the Afghan capital in […]

An Address for the Taleban in Qatar

The much heralded Taleban office in a third country seems finally about to be opened. The news that this will happen in Qatar, broken by an Indian newspaper on Wednesday* and picked up by Kabul-based Tolo TV a day later, was followed by President Karzai calling back his ambassador in Doha ‘for consultations’ claiming that […]

Bargaining over US bases: Will they stay or will they go?

US intentions – what it wants or plans or thinks it might possibly do in Afghanistan after 2014 – are again in the news. Will Washington want bases? Will US soldiers ‘just’ be training Afghan troops or participate in fighting? And how many soldiers might remain in Afghanistan? On the Afghan side, both President Karzai […]

Guest Blog: Andkhoi between Drought and Insurgency

The sale of government jobs, unexplained killings, abductions by the Taleban and a severe drought that has resulted in a nearly complete crop failure this year. It is difficult to say what is worse for the people in Andkhoi, the security situation or economic crisis, our guest blogger Marga Flader who works for a German […]

Ashura Attacks (3): A new type of violence in Afghanistan

One of the last taboos of violence in Afghanistan was broken by yesterday’s suicide attacks on the Ashura commemoration in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif. Historically, sectarian tensions or conflicts have occasionally been seen in Afghanistan, but they have usually been stirred up and leveraged by politics or war. Sectarian hatred has never enjoyed public recognition […]

Ashura Attacks 2: Flash from the Past, Ashura 2002 (amended)

The bombs which ripped through Ashura processions in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif and likely targeted – futilely – a ceremony in Kandahar killed dozens, raising the spectre of sectarianism in Afghanistan. Every year since 2001, says Kate Clark, the Ashura ceremonies have become larger and more public as the Afghanistan’s Shi’a communities have grown in […]

Ashura Attacks (1): Playing with Fire

Attacks have targeted Shi’as in two of Afghanistan’s major cities as they gathered for Ashura, to lament the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and members of his family in Iraq in 680 AD. The attack in Kabul was particularly serious and left dozens dead. Such violence is a new phenomenon, says Kate Clark, deeply troubling and […]

The Thin Red Durand Line

The air-strikes that hit two Pakistani check-posts on the border between Mohmand Agency and Kunar province, killing 24 (some sources still report 25 or 26) Pakistani security forces and injuring a dozen more, have triggered, as expected, a strong reaction from the Pakistani authorities. As of now, Pakistan, ISAF and the Afghan military have very […]

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