Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – February 2011

5 min

Afghan parliament elects ex-warlord as speaker
Reuters, 27 February 2011
AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini comments on the election of the Parliamentary speaker, saying that although his election resolves the most immediate impasse, parliament continues to face “internal problems and external manipulation,”

Taliban in PR Scramble After Attacks 
Wall Street Journal, 26 February 2011
Article quotes AAN’s Kate Clarke: “Whenever civilian-casualty accusations are leveled against the Taliban, the insurgent movement usually defends its actions in public while privately meting out punishment to guilty commanders, said Kate Clark of the independent Afghan Analysts Network.”

Don’t We Deserve Real War News?, 25 February 2011
Author, who extensively quotes Joshau Foust, also noticed Thomas Ruttig’s blog (reposted on Afpak Channel) on the Tahrir effect on Afghanistan and refers to his comments on the Special Court.

NATO’s Afghan night raids come with high civilian cost
Reuters, 24 February 2011
Emma Graham-Harrison quotes AAN Fabrizio Foschini’s doubts about the effects of night raids which target, as in Nangrahar province often happened, even civilians who have ‘normal’ social relations with insurgents.

Music and mafia: life under Afghanistan’s neo-Taliban
AFP, 23 February 2011
Article on life under the Taleban in Wardak quotes AAN report: “The Taliban movement is responsive to negative attitudes that some of the population — including Pashtuns — held against it during its regime and it is able to change positions,” Thomas Ruttig of think-tank the Afghanistan Analysts Network wrote in a report last year.

Arzyabi-ye Shabaka-ye Tahlilgaran-e Afghanistan az entekhabat-e parlamani (AAN analysis of the parliamentary elections – no link)
8 am (Kabul daily), 3 Hut 1389
The Kabul daily prints a translation of AAN’s report on the parliamentary elections – one of the first AAN appearances in the Afghan media.

Afghans see warlord footprints in new police force
Associated Press, 21 February 2011
Article on how the Afghan Local Police is faring in the different provinces, quotes AAN’s 2010 report: “The most recent [militia program without sufficient safeguards] – a 2009 program in eastern Wardak province – quickly fell prey to warlords who forced their followers onto the force, according to a report by the Afghan Analysts Network, a Kabul-based think tank.”

‘Kunduz is niet veilig’ (Kunduz Not Safe)
Dagblad van het Noorden (Daily of the North), 21 February 2011
Excerpt of an article on the Kunduz suicide bombing quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert: “Every few weeks the Netherlands will be surpised by incidents that do not come as a surprise to those who know Afghanistan. (…) It is less safe than claimed during [last month’s] parliamentary hearing”.

Proper channel rules in age of Twitter – Sole IFS follower for foreign secretary 
The Telegraph (India), 21 February 2011
India’s Foreign Secratary Nirupama Rao broke new ground by opening a Twitter account. AAN is pleased to be among the 45 accounts she folllows: “India’s abiding interest in Afghanistan is evident in her close attention to Twitter feeds from several sites in Afghanistan, including a policy research organisation, the Afghanistan Analysts Network and the Mission of the US Forces there.”

Afghanistan’s imperial presidency
Global Post, 20 February 2011
In this analysis of the current stand-off between parliament and presidency, Martine van Bijlert’s AAN report ‘Untangling Afghanistan’s 2010 Vote’is quoted.

Bank scandal highlights Afghan corruption
AFP, 20 February 2011
In an analysis of the Kabul Bank scandal, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig calls the affair ‘the tip of the iceberg of a deeply corrupt system’ and an example for the ‘shameless behaviour of the kleptocracy’, showing that in post-2001 Afghanistan with its reports of economic growth ‘the gap between the poor and the rich is widening, not narrowing’.

Report: Afghan elections crippled largely by governing bodies
Stars and Stripes, 19 February 2011
Article discusses AAN’s latest report on the 2010 elections. “The way forward is unclear. Any further investigation would likely uncover more evidence of manipulation, “but it is unlikely to bring us any closer to how people actually voted,” van Bijlert said. “And it would probably also not provide a more credible outcome, as all actors are seen as potentially partial.”

Suicide Bombings: Why Afghans Don’t Take the Taliban to Task 
Time, 18 February 2011
Martine van Bijlert on why Afghans seem to respond less strongly to Taliban killings than to those by international forces: “It’s speculation, but I think there is a difference, because U.S. and other international forces are outsiders, It is a feeling that has grown stronger over the years. And there is this increased propaganda that they’ve come here to harm [Afghans]. (…) it’s increasingly becoming a symbol of intrusion that you don’t have in the same way with the Taliban.”

Afghanistans fragile Demokratie im Rückwärtsgang
Schattenblick,de, 18 February 2011
The German website reprints Thomas Ruttig’s article ‘Afghanistans fragile Demokratie im Rückwärtsgang’ from Blättchen, 7 February 2011.

Zwist unter Waffenbrüdern
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16 February 2011
In a comment about Strick van Linschoten and Kuehn’s paper about the not-so-cosy relationship between the Taleban and al-Qaeda, Thomas Ruttig’s AAN blog on the same paper is quoted, referring to the ‘unused opportunies’ for contacting the Taleban the authors cite: ‘This has not been tried yet, but it has to be tried.’

Why Kabul Should Expect More Suicide Bombings 
Time, 15 January 2011
In this analysis of the last suicide bombing in a shopping centre in Kabul and the attacks on ANP facilities in Kandahar, AAN analysts Gran Hewad and Fabrizio Foschini are quoted as saying that these operations are a way to ‘keep [the] pressure up’ while insurgents are under military pressure themselves and to ‘show that they are very active and can still hit the center of Kandahar’.

New U.S. envoy wades into Afghanistan, Pakistan tangle
Reuters, 15 February 2011
In an analysis of the appointment of Marc Grossman as new US special envoy for AfPak, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying that the diplomat may be in a position to relaunch the Karzai relationship without the baggage of the past. “But it is not only about this relationship. It is also about the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and the balance of influence … the U.S. military on one side and U.S. diplomacy on the other side. This needs to be re-balanced.’

The Afghanistan War: Tactical Victories, Strategic Stalemate?
Politics Daily, 13 February 2011
David Wood quotes Matt Waldman’s AAN report ‘Golden Surrender’ (“an estimated 7,000 insurgents who had given up and come over to the government later went back to fighting because of poorly managed and underfinanced programs to resettle and reintegrate them”).

Hopes Dim for Legislative Curb on Afghan President
Wall Street Journal, 11 February 2011
Maria Abi-Habib’s report quotes AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini (who anyway would like to specify that he’s not a ‘senior’, yes ‘Kabul-based’, analyst) on the disappointing performance of the newly inaugurated Lower House. This has so far been unable to elect a speaker, and it is thus crushing early hopes of a better consistency and cohesion on its part.

Facts on the ground in Afghanistan: a village perspective
Open Democracy, 7 February 2011
Author refers briefly to the Davos forum where “politicians, human rights and social activists, journalists and an excellent academic researcher, Martine van Bijlert, co-director of Afghanistan Analysts Network, are invited to be part of a panel [where] Afghanistan was debated and harsh questions were asked.”

U.S. “Choosing to get” Afghanistan “fundamentally wrong” 
Rethink Afghanistan, 7 February 2011
Steve Hynd discusses the new report by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Keuhn, adding that “it was only last month that Martine van Bijlert of the Afghanistan Analysts Network created a small storm in Afghan discussion circles by charging that the happy-talk from Petraeus’ camp about success there was simply a “media and communication strategy” focussed on international preceptions rather than honest reporting about reality on the ground.”

Afghanistans fragile Demokratie im Rückwärtsgang
Das Blättchen (Berlin), 7 February 2011
In this Berlin online journal, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig looks at the outcome of Afghanistan’s 2010 parliamentary election and the state of the country’s democratic system.

Afghan peace council risks angering US by demanding release of Taliban leader Khairullah Khairkhwa from Guantanamo
Daily Telegraph, 6 February 2011
Khairkhwa’s sway with his former comrades would depend on whether he had renounced the movement during captivity, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted here.

How to Get Enemies to the Negotiating Table
Afghanistan Study Group blog, 4 February 2011
Article quotes from AAN’s recent report on the prospects for negotiations by Thomas Ruttig and Matt Waldman, arguing that aggressive action tends to undermine negotiations.

King David’s War
Rolling Stone, 2 February 2011
Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the US military policy to work closely with the likes of border police commander Abdul Razziq: “It’s a shortcut to get out. Behind us, the flood. Most of what’s happening now is driven by an American policy to get out of Afghanistan.”


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