Afghanistan’s budget for the next financial year, 1397/2018, is markedly different from previous ones. This is a budget written to ‘international standards’, giving more information, both on 2018 and earlier years, as well as future projections, with detail at the level of ministry, project and province. The Ministry of Finance has tried to be realistic […]
Expanding Afghanistan’s Special Operations Forces: Doubling their success or further diluting their mission?
One of the key elements of the Afghan government’s Road Map for pushing back the insurgency is increasing the fighting capabilities of Afghan government forces. This includes the expansion of the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) praised special operations forces. However, this expansion is spurring already existing tendencies that are turning these units into shock troops, […]
In the first eight months of 2017, Afghan government revenues grew by nearly 13 per cent compared to the same period of 2016. This follows on from strong revenue performances in 2015 and 2016 and is one of the few positive trends in the Afghan economy, in contrast to its continuing weak overall showing in […]
From ‘Traditionalist’ Islam to ‘Modern’ Islamist Nationalism: A new AAN report about ideology in the Afghan Taleban
The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]
What are the tax obligations of citizens, residents and investors in Afghanistan? This question is much harder to answer today than it was 18 months ago. Then, the 2009 Income Tax Law, a remarkably well-written and detailed piece of legislation, had gone a long way in establishing a path towards clarity, stability and integrity for […]
The Leahy Law and Human Rights Accountability in Afghanistan: Too little, too late or a model for the future?
The Leahy Amendment, or Leahy law, is a little known piece of United States legislation that bans US assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information that a member has committed gross violations of human rights. The Leahy law has accomplished far less than its champions hoped for, but far more […]
Mehrali Watandost, one of Afghanistan’s most popular actors, has died. For 23 years, he played the role of the iconic character, Nazir, in the Afghan radio drama, “New Home, New Life” which is broadcast in Pashto and Dari on the BBC. Since launching in 1994, the show has never been off the air and Watandost’s […]
Turkey is both a means and an end for Afghan migrants. Many thousands of Afghans seeking better lives have come to Istanbul, the bridge between east and west, on their way to the European Union. Many thousands have stayed on and built an expatriate community that both aids and exploits those passing through. In this […]
The Afghan government has continued to increase the amount it collects in revenue – by 22 per cent last year and 33 per cent in the first six months of this year. This revenue growth well exceeded expectations and projections. Thirty-seven per cent of the total revenue increase in the first half of 2016 was […]
Norway has published the first comprehensive evaluation of one country’s contribution to the international intervention in Afghanistan. The evaluation was conducted by a government-appointed commission led by Bjørn Tore Godal, a former foreign and defence minister. However, most commissioners were independent researchers. The ‘Godal report’, as it has become known, is a candid and sharp […]