The Cabinet Vote: Confusion as Political Principle

A commentary — No, the rejection of two thirds of his cabinet proposals by the Wolesi Jirga is no ‘slap in the face of Hamed Karzai’, as some media put it. On the contrary, it is a success for him. The Afghan President – often ridiculed as mayor of Kabul – has, again, shown it […]

Parliament votes off most of Karzai’s Cabinet

After over two weeks of listening to presentations by the candidate ministers and being subjected to lobbying and negotiations, the Lower House of Parliament finally voted. And only seven out of twenty-four ministers were passed. It can be no coincidence that six of them were sitting ministers about which the internationals had made it quite […]

Aid Workers and the Military

Let’s start 2010 with something positive: German chancellor Angela Merkel commended the work of civilian aid workers in Afghanistan in her New Year address, before mentioning policemen and soldiers. That was an interesting and long overdue accent in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s New Year TV address: She commended the ‘many civilian helpers, the policemen and our […]

Afghanistan’s Most Under-Reported Stories in 2009

Read a compilation of stories that did not really make it into a lot of international headlines in the year 2009 that’s just ending – but surely would have deserved it – by our member JOANNA NATHAN*. AAN welcome contributions adding to this shortlist. Afghanistan was the forgotten war no more in 2009 with the […]

Time to Work with Warlords? What?

I did not believe my eyes when I reviewed what the international media have printed about Afghanistan over Christmas: A fellow of a famous US university’s Human Rights Policy(!) institute proposes that it is ‘time to work with Afghan warlords’ (maybe not his own headline) and that ‘if President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers […]

Happy Christmas (But war isn’t over)

‘Happy Xmas (War is over)’ – this was John Lennon’s wish in his beautiful 1971 holiday’s single already. The ex-Beatle (killed already 29 years ago) wasn’t referring to Afghanistan, obviously, then. In that year, Afghanistan was experiencing another of a series of drought years which would seriously undermine the country’s apparently so stable monarchy. Kabul […]

The Cabinet list

For those of you – sitting under the Christmas tree – who have not been able to find the complete Cabinet list yet, please find it below. With some of the most basic facts added. Corrections and additions, as always, welcome. 1. Minister of Defence, Rahim Wardak – Pashtun from Wardak, military academy in Kabul and US, […]

Rearranging election outcomes while the IEC archive burns

While people across the world are wrapping their last gifts and doing their last Christmas shopping, Afghanistan still has unfinished election business. And it is clear that we haven’t seen the last of all the bizarre twists and turns. (1)  The latest twist is a mysterious fire in the IT department of the Independent Electoral […]

Obituary Dr. Bernt Glatzer (by AGA)

The following obituary of our late Advisory Board member Dr Bernt Glatzer was published by (German) Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Afghanistan (AGA) [Scientific Working Group on Afghanistan] whose chairman Bernt was from 2001 to 2007. It cointains a comprehensive professional biography, including Bernt’s major publications. Obituary Dr. Bernt Glatzer *22 December 1942    †8 December 2009 Like almost […]

Thoughts and worries

There is a lot to worry about in Afghanistan. The politics of government, cabinet and parliament. The local power play of oppression and violence. The future, the family, where the country is headed. How bad the winter is going to be. Some conversation fragments: “How things are going? I am disappointed and optimistic at the […]

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