Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: March 2011

The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders


Rolling Stone, 31 March 2011 Large amount of mind-boggling detail on how two boys in their twenties became the main ammunition supplier for the US government support to the ANA in Afghanistan, breaking and circumventing laws, while providing Bush’s DoD and the State Department with what it needed.

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First Flickers of an Afghan Facebook Reform Movement

Gran Hewad

After the revolution in Egypt and Tunisia in which Facebook played a key role, young Afghan Facebook users have started to establish their own pages to organise anti-government protest. They have chosen corruption and reform as their rallying issues. AAN’s Gran Hewad went to the first press conference of one of the reformist groupings but […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Afghanistan’s Drug Career: from War to Drug Economy

Citha D Maas

This new AAN thematic report (with SWP Berlin) by German scholar Citha D. Maass looks into the beginnings and the evolution of drug production in Afghanistan during its three decades-long war. Starting with the Western-supported anti-Soviet jihad in 1979, drug production became a major base for the country’s war economy. After the fall of the […]

Special Reports Read more

New Afghanistan Plan: Hole Up in Fortress Districts


Danger Room (blog), 29 March 2011 A closer look at the successes in ‘key terrain district’ Baraki Barak, describing a deepening divide between ‘the half of district residents who live inside Baraki Barak’s virtual walls’ and ‘the half outside the fortress’.

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March/April 2011: Three New AAN Papers

AAN admin

Since the Afghan New Year on 21 March, AAN has two new of its own papers out, both by German scholars – Lutz Rzehak on Pashtunwali and Citha D. Maass on Afghanistan’s war economy turning into a drug economy again. And thirdly, there is a new study by AAN Advisory Board member Ann Wilkens (published […]

Events Read more

Guest Blog: A former Afghanistan jihadi in Libya’s revolution

Christopher Reuter

Our guest blogger Christoph Reuter(*) has met a former Afghanistan fighter in the liberated city of Darnah and found that Libya’s Islamists do not need a jihadi valve anymore. They even do not attempt to hijack the Libyan revolution – which is secular in character, like the ones in Egypt and Tunisia. When about a […]

War and Peace Read more

Flash from the Past: An Alternative to the Taleban?

Thomas Ruttig

A former Pakistani general pulled new strings in Afghanistan’s conflict in the summer of 2000, trying to set up a Pakistani-controlled ‘anti’ or ‘neo-Taleban’ force. It was to get rid of the increasingly discredited Mulla Omar, safeguard the alliance with the US – and Pakistan’s influence on Afghanistan. The plan failed, or was abandoned – […]

War and Peace Read more

Uneasy Truce Holds in Afghan Mountain District


IWPR, 28 March 2011 Taleban and local security forces live and let live in Kapisa’s Alasay’s district: ‘Saying that Afghanistan’s past and present conflicts had been fought on behalf of other countries, [the ANA soldier] said, “The Taleban are our brothers, too. They have certain demands, and they should be listened to. They aren’t crazy; […]

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The Survival of the Private Security Companies

Martine van Bijlert

“As we move towards the transition process, all foreign parallel functions and institutions including private security firms, the PRTs, existence of the militias, detention of Afghan citizens by foreign forces and arbitrary house searches must stop immediately.” – Karzai’s speech on 23 March 2011, announcing the first phase of the Enteqal process. There are a […]

War and Peace Read more

JIEDDO: The Manhattan Project that bombed


Public Integrity / McClatchy, 27 March 2011 A long list of failed projects and wasted money: JINs, JOLLERS, Rhinos, Devil Pups, BlowTorches, Hotshots, Trailblazers, ground-penetrating radars, aerostat balloons, million-dollar fake Iraqi villages and Furlong’s ‘Information Operation Capstone’. Leadership still insists JIEDDO is ‘not a slush fund’.

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White mountains, White City

Thomas Ruttig

On his first day in Kabul again after some time in Europe, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig finds spring scents and dust on the tongue in the Afghan capital, and the two universes – that of Afghans and that of the expat community – fully intact: one picknicking, the other one in ‘White City’ lock-down. Back to […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Enteqal Seven (1): A Nowruz chakar to Bamian

Fabrizio Foschini

Spring is here again. With the first warmth, AAN staff starts its occasional migration to higher pastures, Bamian in this case. The Nowruz holidays offer a much appreciated opportunity (and the announcement of Bamian as one of the first seven areas where Afghan security forces will take over from July onwards) to do so without […]

Political Landscape Read more