Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

  • Francesc Vendrell visiting Faizabad on 23 May 2001. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/GettyImages

    Thomas Ruttig 28 Nov 2022

    Obituary for Francesc Vendrell (1940-2022): An outspoken diplomat who cared about people, principles and peace.

    The Afghanistan Analysts Network mourns for the chair of our Advisory Board, Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, who died on the morning of 27 November 2022 in London of severe illness, aged 82. Francesc was a passionate diplomat, a seeker of peace and defender of human rights, not just with lip service but with a drive and […]

  • Roxanna Shapour Rama Mirzada 22 Nov 2022

    How Can a Bird Fly On Only One Wing? Afghan women speak about life under the Islamic Emirate

    Fifteen months after the Taleban returned to power, Afghan women have seen their country and their lives dramatically alter, as jobs evaporated, restrictions were announced and families sank into poverty. To better understand how these changes affect the day-to-day lives of women and which changes are at the forefront of their minds, AAN conducted a […]

  • Ehsan Qaane 11 Nov 2022

    ICC Afghanistan Investigation Re-Authorised: But will it cover the CIA, ISKP and the forces of the Islamic Republic, as well as the Taleban?

    The judges of the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II have ruled that the investigation into war crimes related to the conflict in Afghanistan – which was stalled for two and a half years – can be resumed. However, the authorisation relates to “all alleged crimes and actors that were subject to” a request made in […]

  • A wedding hall in Kabul, August 2022. The age of first marriage had been rising in Afghanistan. However, increasing numbers of child marriages, driven by economic distress, are being reported. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP.

    Ali Mohammad Sabawoon 20 Oct 2022

    Living in a Collapsed Economy (4): The desperation and guilt of giving a young daughter in marriage 

    The collapse of the economy has led families across Afghanistan to make desperate decisions, including giving young daughters in marriage in exchange for a bride price. AAN interviewed four fathers who spoke about the pressures of debt and the emotional turmoil and guilt that surrounded the decision.

  • Rama Mirzada 15 Oct 2022

    The Daily Hustle: One young woman’s journey to an English course in Kabul

    For many Afghans the first year of Taleban rule was marked by uncertainty and anxiety over the country’s sudden change in fortunes. Virtually every area of daily life, from banking and shopping to travelling around the country to marriage celebrations has been affected. We wanted to find out from a variety of people how an […]

  • A girl harvests cotton in Dawlatabad District, Balkh province. The Taleban have rolled out new taxes on agricultural production. This represents a massive transfer of resources from the rural economy to the state, money which till now the Emirate has not accounted for. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 28 October 2021.

    Kate Clark AAN Team 28 Sep 2022

    New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

    On 15 August 2021, much in Afghanistan was overturned or radically altered. The insurgents became the rulers and the old elites fled. Afghanistan’s relationship with the rest of the world ruptured and the country became poorer overnight. It also went from being a state where the administration was reliant on foreign donors and military support […]

  • Kate Clark 10 Sep 2022

    UN Human Rights Rapporteur warns of Afghanistan’s descent into authoritarianism

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan has released his first report to the UN’s Human Rights Council. The situation in the country has deteriorated, Richard Bennett said, “to the point where the human rights crisis matches Afghanistan’s humanitarian and financial crises.” He holds the Taleban responsible for the worsening of […]

براساس معلومات ما،مرکز باستان‌شناسی فرانسه پیش از این دریافته بود که در جریان یک سده اخیر، هزاران مجسمه از این محل به دست آمده و در موزیم‌های سرباز نگه‌داری می‌شد، اما در جریان جنگ‌ها غارت و نابود شده است. بیشتر درین مورد در گزارش ما ببینید...https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/dari-pashto/reports/context-culture/%da%af%d9%86%d8%a8%d8%af-%d8%a8%d8%b2%d8%b1%da%af-%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1%db%8c%d8%ae%db%8c-%d8%a7%d9%81%d8%ba%d8%a7%d9%86%d8%b3%d8%aa%d8%a7%d9%86-%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1%db%8c%d8%ae%da%86%d9%87-%d9%85%d8%ae/

More pictures in our report, but this is how the stupa looked before restoration work began. Afghanistan really is a place of hidden wonders.

کار سازمان مشاوره میراث فرهنگی افغان روی گنبد در سال ۱۳۹۵ آغاز شد. سه سال بعد، زمانیکه شبکه تحلیلگران افغانستان از ساحه بازدید به عمل آورد، مخروط گنبد ترمیم و حفاظت شده و تقریبا تمام اساس آن خاکبرداری شده بود.1-2 https://twitter.com/AANdaripashto/status/1597921531031867392

گنبد بزرگ تاریخی افغانستان: تاریخچه مختصر از مکان بودایی در توپ دره پروان. بیشتر درین مورد در گزارش ما بخوانید.2👇https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/dari-pashto/reports/context-culture/%da%af%d9%86%d8%a8%d8%af-%d8%a8%d8%b2%d8%b1%da%af-%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1%db%8c%d8%ae%db%8c-%d8%a7%d9%81%d8%ba%d8%a7%d9%86%d8%b3%d8%aa%d8%a7%d9%86-%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1%db%8c%d8%ae%da%86%d9%87-%d9%85%d8%ae/

استوپه تاریخی (توپ دره پروان)، از طرف سازمان یونسکو مستحق دریافت جایزه شایستگی ولیاقت شناخته شد.این جایزه، بخشی از جوایز آسیا و اقیانوسیه یونسکو درسال 2022 است که برای حفاظت از میراث فرهنگی مدنظر گرفته شده است.1-2
https://bangkok.unesco.org/content/2022-unesco-asia-pacific-awards-cultural-heritage-conservation-announcement-winners

1/4 The UNESCO judges said: "The restoration of the Topdara Stupa reversed centuries of weathering and deterioration, reinstating the original scale and form of the ancient Buddhist monument....
(Photos, with attributions, from @AANAfgh report) https://twitter.com/AANafgh/status/1597880364688515072

Delighted to see an #Afghan project winning an Award of Merit at the 2022 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation for restoring the Topdara Stupa, in Charikar (our report below).
https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/en/reports/context-culture/the-largest-standing-stupa-in-afghanistan-a-short-history-of-the-buddhist-site-at-topdara/

quoting @sarikouvo, actually:
"Francesc was a different breed: the kind of diplomacy he stood for was principled, engaged and empathic."
Our obituary for Francesc Vendrell. As UN Envoy 2000-01, EU Envoy 2002-08 to #Afghanistan, he was a seeker of peace, a defender of human rights https://twitter.com/AANafgh/status/1597040124411359233

RIP. #Afghanistan lost one of its most steadfast friends. https://twitter.com/aanafgh/status/1596909633217908736

Yes... great quotes from Francesc in the report by @AANafgh's @thruttig. https://twitter.com/nohodge/status/1597371549606371328

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Publications

Francesc Vendrell visiting Faizabad on 23 May 2001. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/GettyImages

Obituary for Francesc Vendrell (1940-2022): An outspoken diplomat who cared about people, principles and peace.

Thomas Ruttig

The Afghanistan Analysts Network mourns for the chair of our Advisory Board, Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, who died on the morning of 27 November 2022 in London of severe illness, aged 82. Francesc was a passionate diplomat, a seeker of peace and defender of human rights, not just with lip service but with a drive and […]

Reports Read more

How Can a Bird Fly On Only One Wing? Afghan women speak about life under the Islamic Emirate

Roxanna Shapour Rama Mirzada

Fifteen months after the Taleban returned to power, Afghan women have seen their country and their lives dramatically alter, as jobs evaporated, restrictions were announced and families sank into poverty. To better understand how these changes affect the day-to-day lives of women and which changes are at the forefront of their minds, AAN conducted a […]

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ICC Afghanistan Investigation Re-Authorised: But will it cover the CIA, ISKP and the forces of the Islamic Republic, as well as the Taleban?

Ehsan Qaane

The judges of the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II have ruled that the investigation into war crimes related to the conflict in Afghanistan – which was stalled for two and a half years – can be resumed. However, the authorisation relates to “all alleged crimes and actors that were subject to” a request made in […]

Reports Read more
A wedding hall in Kabul, August 2022. The age of first marriage had been rising in Afghanistan. However, increasing numbers of child marriages, driven by economic distress, are being reported. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP.

Living in a Collapsed Economy (4): The desperation and guilt of giving a young daughter in marriage 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

The collapse of the economy has led families across Afghanistan to make desperate decisions, including giving young daughters in marriage in exchange for a bride price. AAN interviewed four fathers who spoke about the pressures of debt and the emotional turmoil and guilt that surrounded the decision.

Reports Read more
Head of customs for the Hairatan border crossing in Balkh province, Abdul Sattar Rashid (second left), with other Taleban on the Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge.
The Taleban moved swiftly to organise and regularise the collection of customs and taxes as they took power in 2021. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 27 October 2021

New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

Kate Clark

As insurgents, the Taleban taxed farmers, businesses and NGOs in areas under their control, using the money to fund their war effort. On taking power in August 2021, they swiftly moved to collect taxes in the whole of the country. That serious-minded pursuit of domestic revenue collection is both a practice carried over from the […]

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New special report: ‘Between Hope and Fear. Rural Afghan women talk about peace and war’

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

As the United States pushes ahead with the rapid and unconditional withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, an unrelenting Taleban offensive has driven the Afghan government out of scores of districts across the country. Many Afghans are seeing their fears about the fallout from the ill-considered US-driven peace process come true. Against this backdrop, AAN’s […]

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New Special Report from AAN: “Kafka in Cuba, a Follow-Up Report: Afghans Still in Detention Limbo as Biden Decides What to do with Guantanamo”

Kate Clark

As newly-elected United States President Joe Biden considers what to do with the almost two-decades-old ‘war on terror’ detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, we publish a special report on the last Afghans held there. Two Nangraharis, Asadullah Harun Gul and Mohammad Rahim, have both been detained since 2007. We also trace the fates […]

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New special report on Afghanistan’s newest local defence force: Were “all the mistakes of the ALP” turned into ANA-TF safeguards?

Kate Clark

Today, AAN publishes a special report looking at Afghanistan’s newest local defence force, the Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA-TF). Set up by presidential decree in February 2018 and funded and supported by NATO’s United States-led Resolute Support mission, it was intended to be a lightly-armed, low-cost, local arm of the ANA which could hold […]

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Not at COP27, but Already in Crisis: A dossier on Afghanistan and the climate emergency

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan is projected to be the sixth most badly affected country by climate change but is also among the lightest emitters of greenhouse gasses. Yet, it is not represented at the COP27 conference, a meeting of the member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change now underway in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Afghanistan signed […]

Dossiers Read more

Creating the ‘Idea’ of a Country: The ‘Afghanistan in World Literature’ dossier

Fabrizio Foschini

How do foreign literary works shape attitudes towards Afghanistan and Afghans? That is the subject of this dossier which brings together AAN reports from its ‘Afghanistan in World Literature’ series. Over the years, we have written many pieces on this subject, spurred not only by a passion for everything related to Afghanistan, but also by […]

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Dossier XXX: Afghan Women’s Rights and the New Phase of the Conflict

AAN Team

Afghan women are generally more talked about than heard from. From 1978 and the start of Afghanistan’s conflict onwards, the argument over women’s rights and roles has been an ideological fault line running through multiple phases of the war. Girls education, women in the workplace, women’s rights in marriage and the household, and in the […]

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AAN Dossier XXIX: Living with the Taleban

AAN Team

With the Taleban rapidly gaining ground in Afghanistan, it seemed useful to turn to AAN’s past research on what life under the Taleban has looked like for those living in insurgency-affected areas over the last few years. From December 2018 to January 2021, AAN conducted research first into how public services were delivered in a […]

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Afghanistan’s War Economy

Thomas Ruttig

Maldekstra, 22 September 2022 This article was contributed by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig to a special issue of the international affairs journal Maldekstra (no 16, September 2022), published by German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, titled “Economy in War.” His contribution looks at the two categories of profiteurs from the last Afghan war, the international military-industrial complex and […]

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Who Opposes the Taliban? Old Politics, Resistance and the Looming Risk of Civil War

Fabrizio Foschini

ISPI, 11 August 2022 This article by AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini is a contribution to a dossier published by the Milan-based Italian Institute for International Political Studies and edited by Giuliano Battiston and Nicola Missaglia, titled “Afghanistan, One Year Later.” He looks at three groups in particular, the political that “lack[s] the means to effectively influence Afghan […]

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Afghanistan After the US Withdrawal: An Elusive Peace – Three Questions to Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig

Institut Montaigne, 30 April 2021 The Paris-based nonprofit, independent think tank did an interview for its blog with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig to map out possible scenarios after the US and allied troop withdrawal from Afghanistan (in English).

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Have the Taliban Changed?

Thomas Ruttig

CTC Sentinel, March 2021 This is a guest article by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig for the March 2021 issue of the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC’s) monthly Sentinel, at the Department of Social Sciences of the US’s West Point military academy. It is based on Thomas’s experience from working with the UN during and after the Taleban’s rule […]

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