Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – January 2011

6 min

Karzai’s Governing Strategy: A Threat to ISAF COIN Implementation
Small Wars Journal, 31 January 2011
Article by James Sisco quotes several AAN blogs, including: As noted Afghanistan scholar Martine van Bijlert writes, In many ways, the list is a reiteration of the myths of the jehad, honouring those who made the emergence of the Taleban seem like a source of relief …a list like this signals that „reconciliation‟ may well end up simply adding the warlords that were excluded from Bonn to those already allowed in 2001 [sic]

“Je kunt in de problemen komen” (You can get into trouble)
Vrij Nederland (Dutch weekly), 29 January 2011
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is introduced as one of the country’s ‘dwarsdenkers’ (people who work for change). Access for subscribers or for a small fee.

Davos Open Forum 2011 – Has the West Failed in Afghanistan? (video), 27 January 2011
Full recording of the panel ‘Has the West Failed in Afghanistan’ which took place in the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum. With, among others, AAN’s Martine van Bijlert. In English and German – with English translation superimposed.

Davos: les Eglises protestantes s’attaquent à la guerre en Afghanistan 
Protestinfo, 28 January 2011
Short summary of the discussion at the Davos Open Forum panel on Afghanistan, quoting Martine van Bijlert as hitting the nail on the head on corruption and commenting that this year will be a pivotal year – like all recent years.

What a Time to be Busy
Four Continents (blog), 28 January 2011
Blogger refers to Martine’s latest blog on what comes after the transition (“asks many of the questions I’d post here if I had the time to write”).

Twijfel in Kunduz, Den Haag tevreden (Doubts in Kunduz, but The Hague is happy)
NRC (Dutch daily), 28 January 2011
Martine van Bijlert on the Dutch Cabinet’s claim that they have made strict agreements about the nature of their police mission: “They will be overruled by the Americans, worked around by the Afghans and overtaken by reality.”

Davos 2011 Open Forum: Handing over Responsibilities in Afghanistan
The Global Herald, 27 January 2011
Short article by Martine van Bijlert on the perils of transition in Afghanistan, as a taster for the Davos Open Forum panel discussion later that day (also reposted under the blog section of this website).

After 2014 in Afghanistan
Rethink Afghanistan, 27 January 2011
Steve Hynd quotes excerpts from the two latest pieces by “the respected expert Martine van Bijlert” (thank you) on the upcoming transition.

We’ve Seen This Movie Before
Democracy Arsenal, 27 January 2011
American Security Project’s Micheal Cohen compares Martine van Bijlert’s recent blog with a quote from the Pentagon Papers.

Afghanistankenner: ‘Kabinet gaat uit van papieren realiteit’ (Afghan expert: Cabinet working with ‘paper reality’)
Brabants Dagblad (Dutch daily), 27 January 2011
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert comments on the ‘firm agreements’ that Dutch-trained policemen will not be involved in military operations. She warns that there are no garantuees and that promises which cannot be kept will only force the government to revert to spin.

Schwaches Parlament in ‘Fassadendemokratie’
Rheinische Post online, 26 January 2011
This German online portal analyses the strength and weaknesses of the newly inaugurated parliament and quotes from major studies, including Thomas Ruttig and Citha Maass’ SWP paper, an ICG report and former FES Kabul representative Ursula Koch-Laugwitz.

Dispute with Parliament Leaves Afghan Leader Isolated
New York Times, 26 January 2011
Martine van Bijlert is quoted on the consequences of the parliamentary confrontation: “One thing in the mind of many Afghans is that the president is like a king, and that ultimately he can decide what happens. So if he doesn’t have the last say — and he clearly didn’t in this case — it signals something quite profound about his position.”

Parlament in Kabul darf doch loslegen
tageszeitung, 26 January 2011
Thomas Ruttig reports about the last-hour compromise between President Karzai and the winning parlamentarians that seems to allow the inauguration of the new parliament finally. Neither side has won, he says: the parliamentarians still face the danger of new investigations and possible disqualification while Karzai was openly criticised by the US and the UN and shown that he faces an unruly parliament again.

Hamid Karsai provoziert eine Verfassungskrise
Stuttgarter Zeitung, 25 January 2011 (not online)
In an analysis of the delay of the Afghan parliaments inauguration by the President, author Willi Germund quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on the bad Pashtun result. The Pashtuns are’politically badly organised’ and that the abysmal security situation in their areas of settlement have prevented many voters from turning out (only for subscribers).

More Dutch debate on police mission to Kunduz (video)
RTL-Nieuws (Dutch news bulletin), 24 January 2011
News bulletin shows excerpt from Martine van Bijlert’s testimony to Parliament in which she responds to the overly rosy picture some of the other speakers were presenting (the police are involved in fighting, their daily practice often boils down to survival, there is no ‘red button’ that allows the international to intervene if they are unhappy with how things are going).

Afghan parliament deal still tentative
AP, 24 January 2011
‘The government bodies are largely splitting along the lines of who they want to win, or which outcome they want, and making their case based on that’, AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted here.

Dutch debate on police mission to Kunduz (video)
Nieuwsuur (Dutch nieuws bulletin), 24 January 2011
Martine van Bijlert is presented as ‘critical’ with regard to the proposed mission and quoted: “We cannot pretend that Kunduz is safe, just because the Netherlands only wants to work in the safe areas”.

U.N. envoy scrambles to save deal over Afghanistan’s parliament
McClatchy newspapers, 23 January 2011
‘The Intercon (hotel) is not parliament. It is not sitting, not doing its job. Parliament is still struggling to survive’, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini is quoted here.

New Afghan ‘crisis’ brewing
AFP, 21 January 2011
The agency quotes from AAN’s analytical blog about the latest postponement of the parliament’s inauguration, including its conclusion: ‘At the start of its second legislative period and in the first year of the Western drawdown looms another institutional deadlock which makes [the West’s] intentions to hand over responsibilities not look like a good idea.’

Karsai trickst Parlamentarier aus
tageszeitung, 21 January 2011
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and co-authors Fabrizio Foschini und Gran Hewad report about the last-minute postponement of the inauguration of Afghanistan’s newly elected parliament originally planned for 23 January.

Theaterpremiere: “Potsdam – Kundus”
Afghanistan blog, 21 January 2011
This German-language blog that mainly follows political events in Afghanistan and the discussion about it in Germany, picks up the first AAN theatre guest blog written by Kathrin Ost.

Afghan underworld shows challenges for stability
Associated Press, 17 January 2011
Kate Clark is quoted linking the weakened chain of command and control among local Taleban and the increased presence of non-Afghan fighters with the insecurity experienced by the local population.

Obama’s Afghanistan strategy must be flawed if Mitch McConnell is praising it 
Afghan Headline Examiner, 18 January 2011
Blogger Michael Hughes attacks a US Senator who defined success in Afghanistan as ‘returning Afghanistan to conditions that existed 30 years ago’ (well, that’s really utopian but would be nice), hold against him that too many groups are interested in maintaining the war – and finally quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert saying that ‘international contractors, policy makers and military have become part of [that] intricate patronage and racketeering network, sometimes as hostage, sometimes as unwitting contributors, but often as an active party seeking to further their perceived economic, political or security interests.’

A kinder, gentler Taliban
Reuters, Afghan Journal (blog), 16 January 2011
Blog by Reuters editor Sanjeev Miglani on claims that the Taleban has initiated a new education policy quotes extensively from Thomas Ruttig’s recent blog.

Iran fuel ban targets NATO but hurts Afghans
AFP, 16 January 2011
AFP article quotes AAN’s Gran Hewad comments about the international and regional aspects of the Iranian decision to blockade fuel transport to Afghanistan.

Der schwierige Weg zum Frieden
Deutsche Welle (German), 15 January 2011
Review of a docu play at Potsdam’s Hans Otto Theatre which includes video interviews with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig

Why Peace Is the Business of Men (but Shouldn’t Be)
Huffington Post, 13 January 2011
‘Looking for a way out of Afghanistan? ‘ asks Ann Jones in her recent blog and proposes: ‘Maybe it’s time to try something entirely new and totally different. So how about putting into action, for the first time in recorded history, the most enlightened edict ever passed by the United Nations Security Council: Resolution 1325?’ Thomas Ruttig’s AAN analysis of the HPC composition is quoted here.

Von unserer Unfreiheit am Hindukusch
Nachtkritik, 12 January 2011
Reviews (in German) about the Christoph Bechtel’s docu drama ‘Potsdam-Kundus’ staged in Potsdam which included video interviews with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig (also quoted in some of the reviews).

U.S. keeps funneling money to troubled Afghan projects
McClatchy newspapers, 12 January 2011
The US newspaper found that US government funding for at least 15 large-scale programs and projects grew from just over $1 billion to nearly $3 billion despite the government’s questions about their effectiveness or cost. On this, AAN’s Martine van Bijlert comments that ‘as long as you spend money and you can provide a paper trail, that’s a job well done, It’s a perverse system, and there seems to be no intention to change it.’

Reconciling Afghanistan
UN Dispatch (blog), 11 January 2011
Una Moore writes a long and thoughtful piece on reconciliation and quotes Martine van Bijlert (although the link is wrong) describing the High Peace Council as “a reconfirmation of where the armed – and increasingly economic – power lies and where it will remain; of what kind of people are trusted by ‘the palace’, regardless of their impact.”

Ex-Taliban werden zu Hilfspolizisten
tageszeitung, 10 January 2011
Contrary to an Afghan government decision, ISAF has confirmed that the way for ‘reconciled’ Taleban into the ALP is open – at least in RC North. based on Kate Clark’s 8 January AAN blog.

Chancen vertan (Chances squandered)
Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, 9 January 2011
Interview with director Clemens Bechtel who poduced the docu play ‘Potsdam-Kundus’ in Potsdam Hans Otto Theatre which had its premiere on 12 January and which features videos with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig.

Happy New Year?
Huffington Post, 1 January 2011
Nick Mills quotes new year’s observation by USIP’s Shahmahmoud in AAN’s year-ender (see blog section).


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