Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: June 2011

New Opposition Alliance Underway

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Outlook Afghanistan (Kabul), 24 June 2011 The newspaper that is close to Hezb-e Wahdat of Ustad Mohaqqeq reports that during a meeting on 23 June in Kabul ‘three strong political parties decided to form a new opposition alliance: Jamiate-e Islami, People’s Unity Party of Afghanisatn (Wahdat) led by Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq and National Islamic Party […]

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Leaving Afghanistan: Where’s The Progress?

Thomas Ruttig

Along with other Afghanistan watchers, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has been asked to comment on President Obama’s announcement of a partial troop withdrawal by Foreign Policy Magazine and the FP-related AfPakChannel. Please read a synthesis of both articles here*. The announcement of the troop drawdown by President Obama last night will not change the military balance […]

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Special Court Suggests to Change 62 MPs: The Incoming (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

This Thursday, when President Barack Obama announced the withdrawal of 10,000 US troops by the end of the year and of 23,000 more by September 2012, Afghanistan actually was preoccupied with things domestic. The saga of the parliamentary elections of September 2010 saw a new chapter opened, and it is far from clear whether we […]

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Who cares about the Kuchi-Hazara conflict, nowadays?

Fabrizio Foschini

Having lost hope of not witnessing outbursts of Kuchi-Hazara related violence at least for this year, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini reports on the recent conflict in Ghazni province, on the situation in neighbouring areas, and a perceived lack of interest on the matter on part of the government and the mass media. It looked as if […]

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Guest Blog: Ruling from the Mezzanine – the Balkh case

Michael Daxner

The debate about the role of former commanders and warlords in the Afghan statehood and its regions, about whether they might integrate into the ‘new’ Afghanistan, become civilised by playing (in) the institutions as well as about what that means for the country’s direction is as controversial as inconclusive. Our guest blogger Michael Daxner* looks […]

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… and now: Eikenberry’s Reply

Thomas Ruttig

President Karzai’s speech of 18 June, in which he called the US – amongst other things – ‘occupiers’ that ‘have not built the roads for us but for themselves’, has obviously hit a raw nerve. Karl Eikenberry, the US Ambassador in Kabul, gave a ‘surprisingly emotional response’ (The AfPakChannel) in Herat on Sunday which might […]

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The IMF, Kabul Bank, government salaries and transition (updated)

Martine van Bijlert

The IMF and the Afghan government failed to reach an agreement last week on how to deal with the Kabul Bank crisis. The long-simmering controversy, which began months ago, is starting to have far-reaching consequences both for the cash-flow of the Afghan government and for the possible nature of the transition, as donors are making […]

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Guest Blog: Amrullah Saleh’s new language on the Taleban

Ahmad Shuja

Former NDS chief, Amrullah Saleh, wrote an op-ed article on Bloomberg.com in which he tacitly agreed to the idea of negotiations with the Taleban and called for a truth commission as a way of reconciliation. Saleh, it seems, is rebranding himself outside Afghanistan as a pragmatic opposition leader open to concessions, writes our guest blogger […]

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Taleban Contacts between Smoke and Mirrors: Karzai’s 18 June speech

Thomas Ruttig

Nothing is what it appears in the T2T drama series. Talking to the Talebs is a cabinet of mirrors. The mirrors make it appear that smoke is rising from one place while the fire is burning at another. And it is not even clear whether this is real smoke and fire, or just Javanese-style shadow […]

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Deaths Not in the News (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

Some TV stations have a programme called ‘No comment’. They just show pictures, without any explanation. Here, we just use words to report an incident from Logar, without any comment. It is from the Afghan War’s small print. Case 1 On Tuesday 14 June, around 1:30 pm, a mine went off in De Ahmadzaio Kala’s […]

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Old Traditions and New Virtuosos in Kharabat

Fabrizio Foschini

On 14 June, the day marking the anniversary of both birth and death of the Afghan song genius, Ahmad Zahir, reflectors may have been pointed to his grave in Shuhada-ye Salihin, where commemoration and musical events took place. But not too far from there, in Kucha-e Kharabat, the musicians’ quarter in the Old City, another […]

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A War of Letters between Special Court and Parliament

Thomas Ruttig

With reports that the Special Election Court will call 53 ‘sitting’ MPs to court over alleged fraud during the 2010 elections, the tug-of-war between the Court (with the President in the background) and Parliament goes into another round. The MPs, already in a protest against Karzai’s failure to fill the remaining cabinet posts, answer with […]

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