Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: January 2012

Talking and Killing in Early 2012

Kate Clark

A series of suicide attacks have left dozens of people killed and injured in the last few days in southern Afghanistan. There was inevitable carnage among civilians when suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowded bazaar in Helmand on Wednesday (18 January) and at the entrance to the NATO base in Kandahar on Thursday. […]

War and Peace Read more

The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship in the Year Ahead

admin

CTC Sentinel, January 2012 Ahmed Rashid looks ahead on possible developments in the US-Pakistani relations. He writes that ‘Certainly, military-to-military relations will improve in 2012, but Pakistan will not give the United States the kind of carte blanche it had in the past.’ And he warns: ‘In 2012, however, there is a real danger that […]

Recommended Reads Read more

A Katanga Scenario for Afghanistan? (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

When former Northern Alliance leaders met with a group of influential US congressmen and businessmen in Berlin in early January, the meeting made a lot of waves in Kabul, because it created the impression that a broad anti-Karzai alliance was in the making and that it had started to muster support in the US. Furthermore, […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Gains In Afghan Health: Too Good To Be True?

admin

NPR, 17 January 2012 A U.S.-sponsored mortality survey released last year announced huge improvements in health across Afghanistan. But the gains are so great that experts are still arguing about whether it’s correct, writes NPR’s Quil Lawrence. His conclusion: It’s unlikely that both the old life expectancy of 42 years and the new estimate of […]

Recommended Reads Read more

Striking at Kabul, now and then

Fabrizio Foschini

The start of a new year is always an opportunity for reflection. 2011 was not the first and will probably not be the last year that drew to a close amid violence in Kabul. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini takes a historical look at how the conflict has reached inside the gates of the Afghan capital in […]

War and Peace Read more

-2 February 2012, Barcelona: Afghanistan: Challenging the International Exit Strategy

AAN admin

AAN will start the year with a conference on Afghanistan’s transition and its aftermath. Some of the questions to discuss are: Will Afghan security forces be ready to tackle the security challenges facing Afghanistan during and after transition? How can peace and justice be balanced in a reconciliation process? What prospects are there for economic […]

Events Read more

Was $73 bn of Afghan aid wasted?

admin

Politico, 12 January 2012 A former US auditor throws a telling light on US aid (in-)effectiveness, pointing out that USAID ‘has struggled’ to keep NGOs (probably those famous for-profit NGOs) overhead costs ‘under 70 per cent’ and that ‘NGO’s raw accounting data is unaudited and unverified’. He also estimates that up to 15 per cent […]

Recommended Reads Read more

How German Diplomats Opened Channel to Taliban

admin

Spiegel, 10 January 2012 The German magazine – in an article co-authored by Christoph Reuter who also has written for AAN – discloses further details on how Germany opened the channel to the Taleban’s Tayyeb Agha: that the original contact was provided by ‘an Afghan exile living in Europe’ to the German intelligence that took […]

Recommended Reads Read more

Karzai and the Taliban in a Tizzy Over News of Secret Peace Talks

admin

The Daily Beast, 10 January 2012 Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau contribute another of their usually very enlightening reports, after talking to a ‘former Taleban diplomat’ (guess who) in Kabul and an active Taleban commander who provides some interesting thoughts and info: that the Taleban negotiators ‘care about only one issue: winning the release of […]

Recommended Reads Read more

Electricity only reaches one in three Afghans

admin

Reuters, 9 January 2012 Only one in three Afghans has access to electricity despite years of spending to improve supply, the head of the country’s state owned power utility DABS says. Kabul is far better than the rest of the country, with around 70 percent of households connected.

Recommended Reads Read more

Afghanistan’s poor face difficult decisions amid winter cold

admin

Los Angeles Times, 9 January 2012 A combination of factors is making this winter harder to bear as the number of displaced soars in Kabul.

Recommended Reads Read more

Guest blog: The logic of bandit life: From 20th century Chinese bandits to the contemporary Afghan insurgency

Deedee Derksen

Chinese bandits never cleaned their guns before noon. That could lead to an attack by the enemy. They didn’t say ‘tiger’ or ‘spirit’, as these words would bring bad luck. Socks were ‘smelly tubes’, bullets ‘white rice’, and they called giving up banditry ‘washing their hands’. Deedee Derksen reads ‘Bandits in Republican China’ by Phil […]

Context and Culture Read more