War & Peace

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 […]

‘Zoom In and You’ll See the Faces of Taleban’

Michael Yon travelled to Uruzgan to see what he could see. He is by his own description on “a long tour of Afghanistan” to discover what is going on in places where international forces have fought and died. Not a bad idea. These places are indeed “(n)ames that mean almost nothing to most people, but […]

A Taleban ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign

The recent string of attacks, seemingly aimed at hitting in the heart of Afghan cities in a spectacular and murderous manner, continues. Starting from the battle at the Kandahar central police station on 12 February, in a ten-day span four more attacks – unlike the former aimed at soft, largely civilian targets – hit population […]

The Start of Impunity: the killing of Dr Abdul Rahman

Everyone has their watershed moments when alarm bells started ringing over the post-2001 political settlement in Afghanistan. For AAN’s senior analyst, Kate Clark, one pivotal moment took place nine years ago in February 2002, when the minister for civil aviation, Dr Abdul Rahman, was murdered in public at Kabul airport. The newly deployed ISAF did […]

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