Dispatches

Security Forces Spread Thin: An update from contested Faryab province

On the day after the Afghan vote, nearly unnoticed in the election frenzy, Faryab province experienced yet another complex Taleban attack. Taleban fighters stormed large parts of Qaisar district, and ruled the area for almost three weeks. The Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan Local Police (ALP) retreated immediately, outnumbered and faced with more and […]

Elections 2014 (24): The IECC’s performance addressing provincial council complaints

While most observers are focused on the upcoming second round of the presidential election, the process surrounding the provincial council vote is still ongoing. The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) finished its open sessions last week and, in response to allegations of manipulation by IEC staff, ordered a widespread recount of votes, which had already […]

Election 2014 (23): Deals and insults in Afghanistan’s second round campaign

Less than a week before the second round of the presidential election on 14 June 2014, the campaigns of both contenders are well under way. Alongside the main campaign methods of the first round – billboards, large public rallies – the process of deal-making and recruiting influential supporters seems to have now moved to the […]

Death in Aleppo: A group of Afghan fighters located in Syria

Are Afghans fighting in the war in Syria? There have been a few reports to that effect in the international news media over the past months, detailing recruitment efforts mainly by the Iranian government among Hazaras in order to bolster the Assad regime’s manpower. However, there has never been evidence of Afghan fighters actually present in […]

How good are Afghanistan’s private universities? An interview with the author of AAN’s latest paper

AAN is launching its latest paper, looking at the state of Afghanistan’s private higher education sector (download paper here). Over the past five years, private universities have experienced an unprecedented boom. This is not only good news. In this interview, the author of the paper, Niamatullah Ibrahimi (*), an Afghan analysts who has extensively researched and written about current and […]

The Other Transfer of Power: Fahim’s death and Massud’s succession

Until the elections of 5 April, the demise of Marshal Mohammed Qasim Fahim constituted the single major political event of 2014 in Afghanistan. His death directly affects the internal politics of a large group of Afghans: all those living in the north-eastern quadrant of the country. Tracing the political ascent of Fahim and assessing the […]

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