War & Peace

Until you get the wrong Ahmad…

Recently, I participated in a discussion in Washington where I drew a lot of anger when I said that ‘kinetic’ house searches still alienate many Afghans – if they don’t push them into Taleban ranks. That’s not correct, I was told, the US and NATO forces have changed their approach. Here a first-hand story that […]

Militia Sightings

Some see ‘hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban’ But how spontaneously did the new militias really emerge? Here are some reports on the new militias found in the international media (further contributions welcome). Miralam Khan is the new hero of Kunduz. […] Many are convinced that the former mujahedin commander has single-handedly […]

Ghosts of Najibullah

With President Obama’s release of the new Afghanistan strategy ahead on Tuesday and first details coming out, parts of the puzzle fall into place. As it looks it will be less than the US 40,000 troops desired by Gen Mc Chrystal that will be sent to Afghanistan – probably some 30,000. The gap is to […]

A Suicide Attack in Uruzgan (UPDATED)

13 people killed by a suicide bomber. But who did it? Finding out what really is behind incidents like this one is extremely difficult. Facts are rare, versions and opinions, however, ample to find. While a suicide attack in a bazaar in Western Farah province on 20 November that claimed at least 16 lives made […]

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (2): A Look Forward

The case of Abdul Razeq’s police-unit-cum-militia (see our recent blog ‘Militias 1’) should send a stark warning to those planning envisaging a new version of ‘community-based’ defence forces. It is not clear yet how this exactly will look like but it seems to be sure that it will come. A few titles, names and concepts […]

Surveyed: The Cost of War

The war-destroyed Dar-ul-Aman palace in the South of Kabul was the perfect venue for the presentation of the report ‘The Cost of War’ to the Afghan and international public. The palace, designed to house the first Afghan parliament established under King Amanullah (ruled 1919-29), never served its aim. Amanullah was toppled by a mulla-led and […]

AAN Guest Blog: Some ANSF Maths

The following blog is contributed by A FRIEND of AAN in Kabul who – for a good reason which in the media is usually described as that she/he is not authorized to speak about the subject – does not want to see her/his name printed here. After following the recent discussions about number increases in […]

Hollow Excuses

We apologize. It was a mistake. We regret the loss of innocent life.’ How often have I heard these sentences after operations of NATO troops had caused – what a horrible trivialisation – ‘collateral damage’. How often have I heard these sentences after operations of NATO troops had caused – what a horrible trivialisation – […]

Germans at the Front

“It couldn’t have come worse. It is mid-August 2009. American pilots bomb an Afghan village, many women and children die. The target for the attack was provided by the Germans.” [The German parliament is currently in the decision-making process about sending AWACS surveillance planes to Afghanistan.] “Two days later, three German Bundeswehr soldiers publicly brag […]

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