Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: March 2011

Guest Blog: Modernisation Stress – Kabul and Mazar Revisited

Michael Daxner

During his tenth trip to Afghanistan since 2003 dedicated to research on micro-social development and general political perceptions, after an interval of two and a half years, our guest blogger Michael Daxner(*) was ‘little surprised at the first glance – but at a closer look, much has changed’. Glimpses on social stratification, discussions about federalism, […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

In Afghan Kilns, a Cycle of Debt and Servitude

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New York Times, 15 March 2011 Author Michael Kamber describes the system of indentured labour usually known from the Indian subcontinent used in Afghan brick kilns, how workers are bought and sold and their children bound by their parents’ contracts. An ISAF spokesman says the force conducted frequent inspections at construction sites and had no […]

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Sal-e nau mubarak / Neway kal mubarak sha (amended)

AAN admin

The AAN Management Board wishes in particular all Afghan AAN team members, contributors, readers as well as all friends and partners a happy and more peaceful new year 1390. Let us all hope that the festival itself can be celebrated without disturbances (see text below) and continue to work together for peace and true reconciliation. […]

Events Read more

The Fallacy of COIN: One Officer’s Frustration

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Small Wars Journal, 13 March 2011 Former USAID official and marine Scott Dempsey gives a realistic description of the celebrated (and often visited) COIN model district on Nawa, of what had been achieved there really and what not.

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King Amanullah Khan’s mausoleum on verge of collapse

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Pajhwok News Agency, 12 March 2011 The mausoleum of the reformer-king needs ‘urgent attention of the authorities’, Jalalabad-based writer Lal Pacha Azmoon said and informed about the ‘cracks in the building’. Menawhile, governor Gul Agha Sherzai said the building will be repaired – hopefully.

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Discussing the Taleban in the Age of Chatham House Rules

Thomas Ruttig

It is not easy to report on current events in our times when most conferences, workshops or seminars on Afghanistan with an interesting audience, including people with inside information, are held under Chatham House Rules. For those unfamiliar with this term: It means that you, as participant of such a meeting, can quote what was […]

War and Peace Read more

Counting the Dead in Afghanistan

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Science, 11 March 2011 A detailed discussion of trends in civilian casualties, using data from Unama, the Afghan NGO ARM (called here ‘the highest-resolution data of all, describing individual incidents’), WikiLeaks and – for a first time – the full CIVCAS (civilian casualty) data collected by ISAF. Discrepancies between the data are explained: ISAF only […]

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Permanent Bases for Afghanistan?

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National Review, 10 March 2011 Ahmad K. Majidyar, a senior research associate at the American Enterprise Institute, reviews (some) Afghan opinion on this issue.

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Pentagon’s quiet shift on Afghanistan war: Maybe safe havens aren’t crucial

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Christian Science Monitor, 10 March 2011 ‘After stressing for years that removing insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan is vital to winning the war in Afghanistan, US military officials are subtly deemphasizing the importance of that goal as realities on the ground shift’, reports Anna Mulrine. She quotes Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of US troops in […]

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Is This What Population-centric Counterinsurgency Looks Like?

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Afghanistan Study Group blog, 10 March 2011 In the farmland west of Kandahar City the US Army is building what it calls a “Security and Commerce Wall” as part of its strategy to protect the Afghan people…. err…. the military convoys.

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Reality off the records: Afghan civilian casualties and NATO’s narrative

Thomas Ruttig

Facts from the latest UN and AIHRC report: 2,777 Afghan civilians have been killed in 2010 – these are more than ever before since the US-led intervention started in 2001 and 15 per cent more than in 2009. Insurgents were held responsible for 75 per cent of these casualties, Afghan government and Western forces for […]

War and Peace Read more

Stories people tell (2): Bagram prison; not a single good day

Martine van Bijlert

There are so many stories of people who get caught up in the nightly operations by American and Afghan forces. In the search for ‘kill & capture’ targets the net is cast wide: once a door is kicked in all males in a household are usually taken for interrogation. And it is then anyone’s guess […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more