Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: September 2017

Bracing for Attacks on Ashura: Extra security measures for Shia mourners

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

The Afghan government is arming local civilians and strengthening the police presence across the country to try to protect Shia Muslim places of worship in the run-up to Ashura. The commemoration will take place this Sunday (1 October 2017). With these last-minute measures, the government is reacting to demands from the community and criticism that […]

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AAN’s Kate Clark on Trump administration’s new policy for Afghanistan – September 2017

Kate Clark

AAN’s Kate Clark looks at President Trump’s ‘new strategy’ for Afghanistan.  

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Afghan Gov’t Hastily Moves to Arm Shiite Civilians, Prompting Concerns

Thomas Ruttig

The Globe Post, 30 September 2017 The website compiled quotes from experts and politicians about the recent anti-Shia sectarian terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, among them from Thomas Ruttig’s recent AAN dispatch: Thomas Ruttig, co-director and co-founder of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, said that by approving the Shia community’s demand for arms, the government is simply […]

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Afghan Government Revenue Continues to Grow: A bright spot in a weak economy

M Khalid Payenda Bill Byrd

In the first eight months of 2017, Afghan government revenues grew by nearly 13 per cent compared to the same period of 2016. This follows on from strong revenue performances in 2015 and 2016 and is one of the few positive trends in the Afghan economy, in contrast to its continuing weak overall showing in […]

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The New Kabul ‘Green Belt’ Security Plan: More Security for Whom?

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark

Following the devastating 31 May 2017 bomb attack in the Afghan capital, President Ashraf Ghani commissioned his security experts to develop a new security plan for Kabul. Although apparently not officially approved or fully funded yet, the plan called the ‘Zarghun Belt’ (Green Belt) was announced in mid-August. Jelena Bjelica and Kate Clark (with input […]

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Haji Zaher Qader on the battlements. Credit: Zaher's Facebook Page, posted 12 February 2016

More Militias? Part 2: The proposed Afghan Territorial Army in the fight against ISKP

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

In recent days, Afghan government officials have raised the possibility of standing up a new militia force, the Afghan Territorial Army (ATA), modelled after both its Indian namesake and the Afghan Local Police (ALP). AAN understands that President Ghani is currently considering a pilot project for the ATA in the Achin and Kot districts of […]

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Nancy Dupree, la gardienne de la culture afghane, est morte


Sciences et Avenir, 22 September 2017 The journal, in the Asia Press Review on its website, links to AAN’s obituary for Nancy Dupree (although incorrectly identifying us as a ‘German NGO’ – well, one of our office addresses is in Berlin).

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The Gardeners of Kabul


BBC, 22 September 2017 This time recommended watching: a lovely BBC documentary by our friend Lalage Snow about the gardeners of Kabul. Watch on Youtube. Please also read the author’s piece on the same topic for AAN, here.

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ALP and ANP prepare ammunition for a live fire training exercise in Helmand province, 2013 (US Marine photo Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

More Militias? Part 1: Déjà vu double plus with the proposed ‘Afghan Territorial Army’

Kate Clark

The Afghan government and its United States military backers are considering standing up a new militia force, an army version of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and modelled on the Indian Territorial Army. Officials claim this is their only option if isolated communities are to be protected from insurgents. Human rights groups have reacted with […]

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The U.S.-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan


In These Times (Oct. issue), 20 September 2017 Already online: This feature by May Jeong on Uruzgan (US-sponsored) militia chief Shojayi and his killings of Pashtun villagers, the “Khataba massacre”, with some AAN quote on him (by Martine van Bijlert): The Afghanistan Analysts Network reported that Shujayi spent 2013 traveling frequently to eastern Uruzgan to […]

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Non-Pashtun Taleban of the North (4): A case study from Jawzjan

Obaid Ali

The Taleban have put in place administrative and military institutions in northern Jawzjan province that function relatively well. The shadow administrative posts are held by local non-Pashtuns. The recruitment of Uzbeks, in particular, has proved effective for the Taleban. However, Daesh’s appearance in this Uzbek-dominated province has created concerns, not only for the local government, […]

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Afghanistan considers plan to arm 20,000 civilians to fight Taliban and ISIL


AFP/The National, 17 September 2017 AAN’s Kate Clark comments on plans to establish a new paramilitary set-up in Afghanistan, a so-called Afghan Territorial Army: But critics fear that rather than support Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces, a government-armed militia could aggravate factionalism and push Afghanistan deeper into conflict. “It’s a tool that the US military and […]

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