Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: October 2010

Reconciliation in Afghanistan: Can the UN right some wrongs?

Horia Mosadiq

Our guest author Horia Mosadiq(*) looks at the United Nations’ role now and then in Afghanistan, with special attention to its numerous attempts to ‘peace deals relying largely on power-sharing’. She sees the latest initiatives for ‘reconciliation’ as a continuation of this approach and discusses its possible implications for justice, with its inherent differentiation of […]

International Engagement Read more

Karzai Security Contractor Ban Could Assist Humanitarian Aid Work


Eurasianet, 28 October 2010 Aunohita Mojumdar puts another part of the current spin straight: The PSC ban does NOT hamper humanitarian work, at least not that of non-governmental organisations. And even ‘[n]ot all donors use private security companies […]. The Canadian government also indicated that a ban would have a minimal impact on aid operations […]

Recommended Reads Read more

The War with the Taliban


New York Review of Books, 28 October 2010 In his review of Thomas Barfield’s Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History, Christopher Bellaigue twice quotes the AAN: One time, when talking about President Karzai’s government’s development of what Barfield calls a “patrimonial” model of government: Corruption is now so bad, says Martine van Bijlert, a former Dutch […]

AAN in the Media Read more

Pakistan: The Neros of our time


The News, 28 October 2010 ‘We wonder if today we have foolishness, or great courage, on display in Islamabad. Our president smiles often – even as killings in Karachi intensify, the war in the north becomes more and more complex, […] millions of flood victims [that] face the threat of death due to disease and […]

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War is Business, who benefits?


War is Business (blog), 27 October 2010 This blog presents the information from SIGAR’s latest report on contracting in Afghanistan is presented in “web-friendly tables”, listing which businesses got the US reconstruction contracts over the last few years.

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The Taliban’s secret weapon: security


Le Monde diplomatique, Oct. 2010 Louis Imbert analyses the political economy supporting the Taleban and, moreover, gives concrete figures on how much contractors must pay to them on certain projects and puts the number of convois supplying NATO bases in Afghanistan at 6-8,000 per month, annual value: US$ 2.16 nn.

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A Washington Diary: Partition Lite and a lot of hope

Thomas Ruttig

Less than two weeks to go to the US mid-term elections with the expected rout of Obama’s democrats, the war in Afghanistan is no issue at all in the campaign. The decision, says everyone here, is taken anyway: The US will pull out most of its troops, re-label the rest as trainers and advisers, keep […]

War and Peace Read more

2010 Elections 29: Losing legitimacy – Kandahar’s preliminary winners

Matthieu Aikins

There has been some very positive news coming out of Kandahar province lately, as the New York Times’ Carlotta Gall has reported(*). According to ISAF and Afghan government officials, the Taliban have been “routed” from the province by a massive military offensive, partly with the help of a miraculous rocket launcher, the HIMARS system, which, […]

Political Landscape Read more

2010 Elections 28: Sacrifing the vote for a semblance of control

Martine van Bijlert

Most international supporters had reached an early conclusion that whatever happened in the field, the IEC in Kabul did their job well – guarding the process and maintaining a level of independence and transparency. Candidates and voters strongly disagree and are venting suspicions of manipulation and foul play up to the highest level. The results […]

Political Landscape Read more

A Karzai-Taleban coalition won’t survive a few days

Francesc Vendrell

Former UN and EU Special Envoy to Afghanistan and the chairman of AAN’s advisory board Francesc Vendrell talked to the Voice of America about the much-reported contacts between the Afghan government and some elements of the Taliban on possible peace negotiations. Here some relatively expansive quotes from the 19 October article. Francesc Vendrell who is […]

War and Peace Read more

Digging in for the Long Haul in Afghanistan


CBS News, 22 October 2010 Nick Turse discusses the extensive plans for new American military bases and existing base expansions, that will take the US far beyond the July 2011 drawn-down date. Which poses the obvious question: How Permanent Are America’s Afghan Bases?

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Talking to the Taleban: Who’s under pressure now?

Anand Gopal

The last US plan – to have a more broad-based reconciliation process only after its military would regain the upper hand on the battlefield – has not worked. The surge has not shifted the momentum. Not the Taleban but in reality the US are under pressure, and fundamental questions open about how and where a […]

War and Peace Read more