Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: June 2010

Fighting the Viet Cong in Afghanistan (Gregor Samsa out of Coma)

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Washington Post, 15 June 2010 Although we not necessarily agree with everything author Richard Cohen says, he says it very well (and funny). And we also have additionally confusing news for Gregor Samsa: Vietnam was called Iraq before Afghanistan. (Please read in combination with Robert D. Kaplan, ‘Man Versus Afghanistan’, see below)

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Congratulations, Francesc!

Thomas Ruttig

The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) conveys its best wishes to Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, Chairman of its Advisory Board, former Special Representative of the UN and the EU to and in Afghanistan, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Find below some of his selected statement, predictions, warnings – and also some regrets for misjudgements. General […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 2: Protecting the Innocent?

Kate Clark

An unknown number of Afghans are being held in custody suspected of being Taleban or convicted of insurgency-related crimes. Complaints about wrongful arrest, detention without trial, torture and a justice system where influence and money count for more than guilt or innocence are rife – and, of course, not limited to security prisoners. President Karzai’s […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 1: Letting the Guilty Go Free?

Kate Clark

When the Afghan intelligence boss, Amrullah Saleh, said he could not, in all conscience, carry on in his post if it entailed “negotiating with suicide bombers” he became the first person to take a principled, stand against the way Afghan policy on the Taleban is developing. Saleh is particularly opposed to freeing Taleban prisoners. Yet […]

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GUEST BLOG: The Story of ‘M’: US-Dutch Shouting Matches in Uruzgan

Bette Dam

In a reply to a recent article in the New York Times, our guest author discusses different approaches of how different NATO countries deal with what could be labeled ‘allied illegitimate armed groups’. By Bette Dam (*) Last weekend the New York Times wrote an interesting pieceabout the head of a private army in Uruzgan province, Matiullah Khan, […]

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More on the resignation of Atmar and Saleh – and who might replace them

Kate Clark

The repercussions of the sacking/resignation of two of the president’s three top security officials on Sunday are still sinking in, along with the President’s decree that the status of Taleban prisoners must be reviewed. These major changes on security follow his proclaimed success in demonstrating ‘national unity’ at the peace jirga. Despite the tent being […]

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The resignation of Atmar and Saleh; early thoughts

Martine van Bijlert

After what is reported to have been a day of rather heated discussions, Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and head of the National Directorate of Security Amrullah Saleh have handed in their resignation. President Karzai swiftly accepted and has already appointed their deputies, Munir Mangal and Engineer Ibrahim, as acting heads. The palace announced that the […]

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Afghan parliament will vote on 9 April about a new interior minister, among others, after the previous one, Nur-ul-Haq Ulumi (here on a 2005 election poster in Kandahar) stepped down. Photo: Thomas Ruttig.

Afghanistan Has a Two-Party System Now

Thomas Ruttig

No, this is not a joke. It really has one, at least for a couple of days. Yesterday, 15 Jauza (5 June), was the last day for Afghanistan’s parties to re-register, as required by a law. The MoJ official responsible for party registration confirmed to AAN’s Kabul office that all the old licenses are invalid […]

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The Peace Jirga in tweets

Wazhma Frogh

There has been some formidable twitter reporting going from inside the peace jirga tent, particularly during today’s plenary session. AAN has been following @Hairan and @WazhmaFrogh and has collected all the tweets, for the record. They are blow-by-blow accounts of the group presentations and the speeches by Rabbani, Sayyaf and President Karzai, delivered in the […]

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PEACA JIRGA BLOG 9: A Déjà vu of Big Tent ‘Democracy’

Thomas Ruttig

 A commentary ‘from the gut’ (1) about democracy and democracy deficits at the Kabul peace jirga, and of jirgas in general by Thomas Ruttig. Previous publications in the series include: The Peace Jirga in tweets by Wazhma Frogh, PEACE JIRGA BLOG 8: The Afghan jungle’s big beasts and ‘lively debate’ by Kate Clark, PEACE JIRGA […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 8: The Afghan jungle’s big beasts and ‘lively debate’

Kate Clark

The peace jirga has left the older generation of factional leaders nicely split: a few (Sayyaf, Rabbani, Mujadddidi) have been honoured by the president and treated like long-lost brothers by the world’s diplomats; others (Dostum, Mohaqiq, Abdullah) are sitting, Achilles-like, sulking in their tents; while just a couple from the 80s generation of mujahideen stalwarts […]

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PEACE JIRGA (GUEST) BLOG 7: The first day of the peace jirga

Wazhma Frogh

Chevening Scholar (International Development Law and Human Rights) and civil society activist, Wazhma Frogh, reports on the first day of the Afghanistan Peace Jirga. As expected, hundreds of turbaned and bearded men who have made very critical contributions to the current plight and misery of Afghanistan, arrived in the grand assembly tent of Kabul, a […]

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