Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: August 2020

Thematic Dossier XXVI: Big Tent ‘Democracy’ – Afghanistan’s loya jirgas, 1915 to 2020

AAN Team

The loya jirga – or grand assembly – has been used as a political instrument by almost every Afghan king and president for the last century, with the first held arguably in 1915 and the last, for now, in August 2020. These jirgas typically bring together hundreds, sometimes thousands of delegates from the various ethnic […]

Dossiers Read more

The Rise Of Mullah Yaqoob, The Taliban’s New Military Chief

RFE/RL, 27 August 2020 AAN’s Obaid Ali is quoted in this piece, about the importance relations of current high-ranking Taleban officials had with late founder Mullah Omar for their current standing in the movement. “Mullah Omar was a charismatic leader and there remains huge respect for him, his family, and even his close associates, many […]

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Is Afghanistan Waiting For The U.S. Election Before Starting Peace Talks?

NPR, 18 August 2020 Kate Clark is quoted in this NPR analysis of how the Afghan peace process is faring and how US electoral politics might affect it – and affect Afghan politicians’ calculations: “The Kabul government does seem to be holding out for a Biden presidency.” Yet a Biden win might not help, says […]

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With Delay in Afghan Peace Talks, a Creeping Sense of ‘Siege’ Around Kabul

New York Times, 23 August 2020 “Instead of mass-casualty attacks, the Taliban are carrying out targeted assaults in the capital and neighboring districts. The country’s security forces seem unable to control them.” North of Kabul, the Taleban seem to cooperate with criminal networks – which is remarkable, as this area is controlled by strongmen of […]

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New special report on Afghanistan’s newest local defence force: Were “all the mistakes of the ALP” turned into ANA-TF safeguards?

Kate Clark

Today, AAN publishes a special report looking at Afghanistan’s newest local defence force, the Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA-TF). Set up by presidential decree in February 2018 and funded and supported by NATO’s United States-led Resolute Support mission, it was intended to be a lightly-armed, low-cost, local arm of the ANA which could hold […]

Special Reports Read more

Stalling Strategy? Long-Delayed Afghan Peace Talks Hit By New Obstacles

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 19 August 2020 AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili is quoted here on the demands of the governments of France and Australia to President Ghani not to release certain Taleban prisoners, as they had killed soldiers of these countries: “Ghani might use some of these issues to make sure he is in control […]

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AAN Obituary: PDPA leader and poet Sulaiman Layeq (1930-2020)

Thomas Ruttig

Sulaiman Layeq, one of the last surviving founding members of the leftist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which changed the country’s history with its coup d’état in 1978, has died in late July. In 1992, he even made it to the top of the party, albeit in its final moments. The circumstances of his death […]

Context and Culture Read more

Frieden durch Abbau von Rechten? Die innerafghanischen Verhandlungen bergen viele Fallstricke

Neues Deutschland, 17 August 2020 Op-ed by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, looking ahead at the format and possible stumbling stones for intra-Afghan peace negotiations (in German).

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Afghans Worried About Pressure from Trump as Talks With the Taliban Get Underway

Foreign Policy, 16 August 2020 AAN’s Obaid Ali is quoted extensively about possible motifs for the Taleban’s uncompromising stance before the planned start of peace talks with the Afghan government. “The Taliban don’t want to become like the old jihadi factions and made useless. They can’t lose their religious dignity in this deal,” said Obaid […]

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War in Afghanistan in 2020: Just as much violence, but no one wants to talk about it

Kate Clark

As memories of the relative peace of the Eid ul-Adha ceasefire fade and direct talks between the government and the Taleban should be about to begin, it seems a good time to look again at what has been happening in the conflict since the United States and the Taleban signed their agreement on 29 February. […]

War and Peace Read more

Suche nach Frieden in Afghanistan

ORF, 14 August 2020 Listen to a radio interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig (in German) on Austrian radio, looking ahead at planned Afghan government-Taleban peace talks. Among other things, he underlines that the political concepts of the current Islamic Republic and the Taleban’s emirate. (Available for one week; after that search for Mittagsjournal under “Ö1 […]

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COVID-19 Creates New Challenges for Migrants in Afghanistan and Abroad

IOM, 12 August 2020 After four decades at the epicentre of conflict and natural disasters, Afghanistan today is teetering on the brink of a public health catastrophe, facing the collapse of an economy whose most marginalized are heavily reliant on remittances at a time when traditional donor countries are increasingly focused on domestic economic recovery […]

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