Dispatches

Qari Hekmat’s Island Overrun: Taleban defeat ‘ISKP’ in Jawzjan

 The Taleban have eliminated the self-proclaimed Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) group that had been holding an enclave of territory in the isolated districts of Qush Tepa and Darzab in Jawzjan province for the last three years. It was the only ISKP-aligned group with territorial control outside the east of Afghanistan. The group failed to […]

“The Eid ceasefire helped our efforts well”: Helmand peace marchers keep up the pressure

Although the Eid ceasefires have been and gone, they have rekindled hopes across Afghanistan that peace is possible. Helmand’s peace movement is keeping up the pressure. It has staged sit-ins in front of embassies in Kabul and sent letters to countries participating in or supporting the war effort. The movement has also reached other parts […]

The Insecure Spring of Ghazni: Results of third-grade treatment by the centre?

Ghazni is one province where the Taleban have long-established significant influence. Actually, they dominate it militarily, with the exception of the provincial capital, all but one of the 18 district centres and some larger areas in three districts. Over the spring of 2018, the Taleban – although not capturing more territory –, have significantly expanded […]

“The US’s Greatest Strategic Failure”: Steve Coll on the CIA and the ISI

“Directorate S” is Steve Coll’s second major study of the CIA’s role in recent Afghan wars. While “Ghost Wars” chronicled the years 1979-2001, “Directorate S” – referring to a subdivision of Pakistan’s inter-services intelligence directorate that covers Afghanistan – takes up the story in 2001 and follows it through to 2016. AAN Advisory Board member […]

Enemy Number One: How the Taleban deal with the ALP and uprising groups

It is one of the few ‘truths’ of the Afghan insurgency that the Taleban hate arbaki– their term for locally-recruited defence forces, primarily the Afghan Local Police and uprising groups.These forces have always been a mixed bag, with some abusing the local population or captured by ethnic, factional or criminal interests. However, especially where they […]

The Eid Ceasefire: What did (some of the) people think?

Coverage of the Eid ceasefire mainly focussed on the most spectacular consequence, the mass fraternisation between combatants. AAN researchers wanted to try to understand what civilians thought about the truce and what sort of Eid holiday they had enjoyed – or not. We interviewed ten Afghans, four women and six men, to try to find […]

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