War & Peace

Al-Qaeda headless – Taleban unaltered

The symbiotic relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taleban had been over-emphasised. Therefore, the impact on them by OBL’s death will remain limited, argues AAN’s Thomas Ruttig – in part 2 of a series of still raw thoughts on the Abbottabad raid. ‘Bin Laden had mostly taken on a symbolic role and his removal doesn’t directly […]

The Afghan War without Osama – seven boiled-down thoughts

So what to add to the cacophony of opinion and analysis that has already filled the airwaves and the internet? Some thoughts, boiled down to their very basic bottom-line. I don’t think the death of bin Laden will directly impact the fighting capabilities of any of the parties engaged in the war in Afghanistan. I […]

One Week in Vain: An operation in Nerkh

In March, US troops carried out an operation to secure the volatile district of Nerkh, just south of Kabul. They thought it will take them less than a week to bring ‘visible improvements’, establish a couple of shuras and ‘local police’. A Spanish journalist witnessed this operation and found that nothing of this finally materialised […]

Guest Blog: A former Afghanistan jihadi in Libya’s revolution

Our guest blogger Christoph Reuter(*) has met a former Afghanistan fighter in the liberated city of Darnah and found that Libya’s Islamists do not need a jihadi valve anymore. They even do not attempt to hijack the Libyan revolution – which is secular in character, like the ones in Egypt and Tunisia. When about a […]

Flash to the Past: An Alternative to the Taleban?

A former Pakistani general pulled new strings in Afghanistan’s conflict in the summer of 2000, trying to set up a Pakistani-controlled ‘anti’ or ‘neo-Taleban’ force. It was to get rid of the increasingly discredited Mulla Omar, safeguard the alliance with the US – and Pakistan’s influence on Afghanistan. The plan failed, or was abandoned – […]

The Survival of the Private Security Companies

“As we move towards the transition process, all foreign parallel functions and institutions including private security firms, the PRTs, existence of the militias, detention of Afghan citizens by foreign forces and arbitrary house searches must stop immediately.” – Karzai’s speech on 23 March 2011, announcing the first phase of the Enteqal process. There are a […]

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