Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – December 2010

4 min

Taliban making inroads in Northern Afghanistan
The Washington Examiner, 30 December 2010
Article quotes heavily from AAN’s 2010 report ‘The Northern Front’.

La lunga ritirata afgana dell’America
Aspenia Online, 23 December 2010
An international analysis website quotes (in Italian) AAN’s Kate Clark comments on the US false assumption of progress in Afghanistan

Obama’s Review Upgrades Situation from “Quagmire” to “Morass”
EA Worldview (blog), 18 December 2010
This reaction to the US Afpak review refers to AAN blog ‘Stamping Out the Fire by Pouring on Gasoline’ (“Perhaps a twist of an aphorism might do, as in this from the Afghanistan Analysts Network”).

A formerly persecuted minority gains clout in Afghanistan
Los Angeles Times, 16 December 2010
Minor quote by AAN’s Martine van Bijlert….

Afghanistan: Will TAPI Pipeline Be Able to Beat Back the Taliban?
Eurasianet, 13 December 2010
The recent signature of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline agreement represents a potential economic asset for Afghanistan. However, much depends on the capacity of Kabul to turn the project into something which benefits local inhabitants, argues Gran Hewad, and to avoid its becoming a ‘protection-racket cash cow’ for local armed groups.

Afghanistan-Fortschrittsbericht des Bundesregierung
German government’s website, 13 December 2010
Not exactly media, but some of AAN’s Thomas Ruttig’s reports are used as sources in this Progress Report on Afghanistan by the German government to the German parliament. The good news: We are read in Berlin, too.

Warlord ally ‘plotting with Taliban’ 
The Age (Australia), 12 December 2010
Martine van Bijlert is quoted on the allegations that Uruzgan strongmen Jan Mohammad and Mattiullah may have conspired with the Taleban in the recent killing of an Achekzai tribal leader (and brother of former MP Abdul Khaleq):

Afghan official calls for election to be tossed out 
McClatchy, 11 December 2010
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert on the current election impasse: “We have all these different institutions that are sort of making the rules up as they go along, There’s no clear authority, no clear hierarchy, and it’s not clear who can order who around.”

Despite Western praise of election, Afghans say tarnished results outweigh perceived gains
Stars and Stripes, 11 December 2010
One of the few Western media reports that takes note of the Afghan protests against what AAN’s Thomas Ruttig calls an ‘entirely murky performance’ applauded by the international community. ‘They say it’s another step forward in the democratic process. No, it’s not. We are going step by step backwards.’

Afghanistan: Land of the unvanquished 
Independent, 8 December 2010
In an article on the fact that US-led troops in Afghanistan now have been staying longer than the Soviets in the 1970s and 1980s, German diplomat and AAN author Martin Kipping is quoted as finding it ‘astonishing to see that so far, no systematic comparison has been drawn between the current US-led intervention and the previous external intervention aimed at strengthening and transforming the Afghan state: the Soviet intervention between 1979 and 1989.’ His own study seeks to remedy this, adds the article’s author.

Checkpoints and rivalries on the road to reconciliation 
CBC News, 7 December 2010
Naheed Mustafa asks whether the government of Afghanistan has the trust of its own people to negotiate a way out of a conflict that is ‘mind-numbing in its complexity and heart-breaking in its consequences’ and quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert: ‘Time and time again what people will tell you is that the obstacles for fighters to return have to be removed first, And a big obstacle is how they’ve been treated by the government or powerful people linked to the government.’

Karzai seen as weak by U.S., own cabinet: WikiLeaks
Reuters, 3 December 2010
Article quotes Martine van Bijlert on wikileaked documents describing how Karzai’s closest associates talked about him in conversations with the US Embassy, saying “(The comments) will feed into Karzai’s sense of isolation and his distrust of those officials that he fears are too close to the foreigners, Those quoted will probably try to argue that they were talking to an American audience, giving them what they wanted to hear. But the personal attacks on Karzai, the ones saying he is weak and paranoid, will probably stick.”

Why it’s so hard for NATO to train Afghan forces 
Christian Science Monitor, 2 December 2010
‘Already the timeline of handover by 2014 makes it hard enough to meet the target figures’, comments AAN’s Thomas Ruttig. ‘Vetting has never been very good of policemen and the feeling is that the criteria have been lowered.’

Trener for å ta kontroll i Afghanistan (not online)
Aftenposten (Norway), 1 December 2010
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted here on the perspectives of a NATO withdrawal by 2014: ‘Jeg er veldig skeptisk til at de vil bli klare før utgangen av 2014. Målet om kvantitet kan bli nådd, men ikke målet om kvalitet, sier han.’

Contrary to Hopes, Afghan Vote Disappoints
New York Times, 1 December 2010
This analysis of the election includes a quote of AAN’s Thomas Ruttig saying that the perception is that election officials acted arbitrarily: ‘Many people who stuffed ballot boxes got through, others were disqualified. If we take the votes at face value, these people are now in Parliament and you have to make a decision about whether that is good enough.’

Flawed polls weaken Afghan leader’s grip
Reuters, 1 December 2010
Article on the elections quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert on how Washington and the United Nations are happy to put it behind them: “The message is clear and by now a familiar one: ‘The process was messy, it has been dealt with, everybody move along now, there is nothing to see here’.”


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