Dispatches

The IEC Announces 2016 Election Date – but what about electoral reform?

In a brief press conference on Monday 18 January 2016, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the date for Afghanistan’s next vote: 15 October 2016. But the preparations for the elections – for the lower house of parliament and, for the first time, district councils – are complicated by ongoing controversies over the legitimacy of the […]

Ghazni Jailbreak: Where the government failed and its enemy succeeded

Taleban fighters broke into the Ghazni jail and freed hundreds of inmates, including key Taleban commanders, in the early morning of 14 September 2015. It was the ninth spectacular jailbreak since 2001, but the Ghazni jailbreak was different than most of them: better planned and with more fighters. The government forces, on the other hand, […]

On the Cultural History of Opium – and how poppy came to Afghanistan

Mention drugs or Google the word ‘opium’ and the link to Afghanistan will never be far away. No wonder, since over the last few decades, Afghanistan has become the largest opium producer in the world. But where did opium come from, how did it spread and what are its cultural expressions? AAN co-director Thomas Ruttig […]

A Happy and Peaceful New Year!

  Dear friends and readers, Here at the Afghanistan Analysts Network we would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. May it be filled with good surprises and may it bring peace, in Afghanistan and in the wider world, closer. We will be here, together with you, closely following what is happening and hoping for a […]

Landai Season: a delicacy and a feast in rural Afghanistan

Many find the arrival of fall and the beginning of winter depressing, but Landai, a traditional food feast in Afghanistan, makes the season something to look forward to. In certain ways, the anticipation of Landai can be compared to the way people around the world prepare for Christmas, with happiness; with one major difference, that […]

Why capturing Helmand is top of the Taleban’s strategic goals

Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, is a strategic goal for the Taleban, who have launched more attacks there than in any other province of Afghanistan this year, making a slow pincer movement towards the provincial capital, Lashkargah. The lure of Helmand goes beyond its opium economy, with the Taleban pursuing a long-term strategy to expand their reach into the […]

Political Cleavages over Pakistan: The NDS chief’s farewell

Rahmatullah Nabil, the chief of the country’s intelligence service, submitted his resignation on 10 December 2015. This now leaves two of the Afghan government’s four major security positions filled by acting officials (the second vacancy, for more than a year, is the defence minister’s position). Nabil’s position had presumably become untenable, after he publicly criticised […]

A Bridge for the Taleban? Harakat, a former mujahedin party, leaps back into action

Harakat-e Inqilab-e Islami, one of the formerly most important mujahedin parties (tanzim) that had kept a low profile after 2001, is more visibly returning to the Afghan political scene. With a publicity campaign, it is presenting itself as the party of the religious scholars, with a history distinct from other Muslim Brotherhood-inspired tanzim, and offers itself […]

Afghanistan Breaking Bad: Crystal meth, a new drug on the market

The first methamphetamine seizure in Afghanistan was recorded in 2008, a minor capture of four grams in Helmand province. Now, seven years later, some 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, popularly known as ‘crystal meth’, were seized in the first ten months of 2015, in 14 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. The Ministry of Counter Narcotics warned […]

Page 20 of 136« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »