War & Peace

The Enteqal Seven (6): What is left to transition in Kabul

Against the blazing red background of increasingly brazen attacks carried out inside the capital, Kabul province moves towards the imminent transition of security. How this is going to affect the situation in the province, as the city and most of the districts have already been transitioned de facto in 2008-09, is not clear. However, it […]

Ghorband – A Valley Once Friendly

In May, we have been reporting about the deteriorating security situation in Eastern Afghanistan. There, it appears, an ‘insurgency corridor’ has been emerging, through which insurgents ‘will be able to move unhindered from the Pakistani border to Laghman, and from there into Kapisa and Kabul provinces’*. The killing of the Bamian Provincial Council (PC) chairman […]

Who was Jan Muhammad Khan?

Another closest Karzai aide killed within five days: after Ahmad Wali Karzai on 12 July, now Jan Muhammad Khan, the former governor and grey eminence of Uruzgan. While the circumstances of the assassinations are distinct (AWK killed by a lone gunman and ostensible friend, JMK by a suicide bomber crew), both men had a lot […]

Dad Noorani, critic of warlordism, passed away

Wednesday night, Dad Noorani, one of Afghanistan’s best political analysts and most courageous journalists, succumbed to a heart attack. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig commemorates the determined opponent of warlordism and defender of the rule of law. Born in Farah in 1956, Dad* Noorani – he also used the first name Paghar – studied medicine at Kabul University […]

Guest Blog: The Enteqal 7 – Fear in the valley of the Five Lions

The starting handover of security responsibility to the Afghan government, reports about talks with the Taleban and a feeling of alienation are contributing to a sense of increasing fear in the Panjshir valley, a stronghold of anti-Taleban reisstance. Our guest blogger Sayed Salahuddin* looks at the background, both in history and current events. The handover […]

Ahmad Wali Karzai, the node of the southern networks, killed

In the long line of assassinations carried out by all sides in the war since 2001, Ahmad Wali Karzai is surely the most powerful man yet to be killed. Formally, his powers were limited to being the head of Kandahar’s provincial council, an elected body. Informally, he was the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan, […]

Fire at the Durand Line

Since mid-June, warming relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have run into serious trouble again. Pakistan accuses Afghanistan (and ISAF) of doing nothing to stop militants from attacking Pakistani border posts and villages, Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of shelling villages in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, killing civilians and causing hundreds of families to flee. AAN Advisory Board […]

Guest Blog: ‘What are the Taleban supposed to do if they won?’

Berlin daily die tageszeitung (taz) met former Taleban ambassador Mulla Abdul Salam Za‘if and Muhammad Massum Stanakzai, head of the APRP secretariat, together and asked them about negotiations, red lines, preconditions and Afghanistan’s future. It was ‘as if the war already was over’, as taz interviewer Sven Hansen* remarked. taz: Mr Stanekzai and Mullah Za‘if, why […]

Najib Who? Or: A Faux-pas Transition Press Release

Press releases of NATO and ISAF in Kabul are not known for their literary quality. Mostly, they inform matter-of-factually about successes of the Western troops and political progress achieved and often are full of euphemistic language, military neologisms and acronyms. Not different those of DVIDS, the ISAF Joint Command’s Defence Video & Imagery Distribution System. […]

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