Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – June 2010

7 min

The position of Hazaras in Afghanistan
The Hazara Network, 30 Juni 2010
Blogpost on the position of Hazaras quotes Thomas Ruttig’s June 18 blog ‘A New Taliban Front? (referring to it as a ‘study’ by the highly-regarded Afghanistan Analysts Network) that ‘Taleban involvement also was presumed in this year’s renewed clashes between settled Hazaras and incoming Pashtun nomads in Behsud and Daymirdad districts in Wardak/Maidan province.’.

Die Afghanistan-Strategie des David Petraeus (Whither Petraeus?)
Deutsche Welle, 30 June 2010
Audio file of an interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig about whether there will be a strategy change when Gen. Petraeus takes over as Afghan commander – with Th.Ru. expressing concern about the review of US and NATO close air support regulations which might lead to a new surge of civilian casualties again (Th.R.’s interview is the second part of the file, starts after 5 min, in German)

Haqqani talks: The leaks are important but so is the leaker
The Majlis, 29 June 2010
Blog on whether Haqqani talks are really taking place quotes both Martine van Bijlert and Thomas Ruttig, the one as saying that there is no hard evidence of any talks — direct or indirect, and the other calling the rumours “information warfare.”

Afghanistan Today Karzai, Reconciliation, and Western Strategy
New America Foundation, 29 June 2010
Watch Martine van Bijlert’s talk at the New America Foundation

Taliban extend sphere of influence, says expert
New Kerala, 29 June 2010
This Indian paper as well as a dozen German newspapers picked up the dpa news item on Thomas Ruttig’s new AAN report ‘How Tribal Are the Taleban?’

Karzai’s connections
AfPak Channel’s Behind the Lines, 28 June 2010
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert about Afghan President Hamed Karzai’s relationships with players in the country and abroad (email interview).

Northern Exposure
Passport (FP blog), 27 June 2010
Blake Hounshell, FP editor, discusses AAN report ‘The Northern Front’, describing it as “an alarming paper (pdf) by Antonio Giustozzi and Christoph Reuter, a well-regarded Afghanistan expert and a veteran German journalist. ”

McChrystal couldn’t match the myth
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June 2010
Francesc Vendrell, the EU’s long-serving former mission chief in Kabul questioned the logic of the current military effort to remove the Taliban from the south of the country in this analysis by the SMH’s chief correspondent Paul McGeough: “The areas that we want to [take from the Taliban] and hand over to Afghans are the very areas that, in a political settlement … [are] going to end up in the hands of the Taliban,”

Afghan talks raise speculation
al-Jazeera, 27 June 2010
While Michael Semple refers to Afghan sources that there was a ‘shuttle diplomacy between Ibrahim Haqqani [not Serajuddin Haqqani] and Karzai’s government’, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig remains sceptical and doubts that the Haqqanis are in a reconciliatory mood. A better title for this report would have been as follows: ‘Reports about talks fuel speculation’.

Erleichterung und Zweifel (Relief and Doubts)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 25 June 2010
taz foreign news editor Sven Hansen and Thomas Ruttig reports Afghan reactions on General McChrystal’s departure and Petraeus’ take-over (in German).

Petraeus faces tough path in Afghanistan
Financial Times, 24 June 2010
In his article, Matthew Green says that ‘the fundamental problem the US faces in Afghanistan bigger than any one commander. [It] hinges on the assumption that the host government is capable of reform”. Here, AAN’s Marrtine Bijlert chips in saying that the government ‘is dysfunctional and largely focused onextraction and survival’.

Stanley McChrystal’s Legacy
The Atlantic Wire, 24 June 2010
Thomas Ruttig’s blog ‘The General in His Labyrinth’ is quoted: “For most Afghans who usually do not read Newsweek or the Rolling Stone, The General was just another general saying what other generals have said before. What reason could they have that he would actually change things?”

Divided we stand 
The Age, 23 June 2010
In this article, AAN Advisory Board Chairman Francesc Vendrell is extensively quoted on the – “never so divided” – stand of the international community in Afghanistan. His conclusion: ”Having failed dismally to make the Afghan people our allies, we will inevitably abandon them to a combination of Taliban in the south and the warlords in the north and – having somehow redefined success – we will go home convinced that it is the Afghan people who have failed us.”

Funding the Afghan Taliban
al-Jazeera, 22 June 2010
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, Kabul professor Faruq Bashar and US-based analyst Brian Katulis discuss the congressional report about US money sipping to the Taleban, McChrystal’s Rolling Stone interview and the US strategy on the “inside” programme.

Karzai’s Prisoner-Release Plan: How It Could Backfire
Time, 22 June 2010
In this analysis of the pros and cons of the already started release of prisoners linked to the Taleban, both Kate Clark and Thomas Ruttig of AAN are quoted, Thomas on a pro: That it could

Australian commando deaths in Afghanistan being investigated
ABC radio (Australia), 22 June 2010
In this report, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying: ‘There are things we should say goodbye to: that Afghanistan will be stable by next summer and in that sense I am not convinced that there is a military solution in Afghanistan and also not convinced that the Taliban can be weakened.’

UNO: Gewalt nimmt deutlich zu (UN: Violence Rises Markedly)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 21 June 2010
Thomas Ruttig reports on the latest UNSG report about Afghanistan and calls the rising violence in Afghanistan ‘a bad omen’ for the September elections.

New Afghan commission is setting Taliban suspects free 
McClatchy, 20 June 2010
Commission is moving fast. Martine van Bijlert on the releases: “There is in particular a suspicion that the committee may be saying it is doing one thing, while in practice becoming a cover for much more far-reaching and unchecked releases.”

Afghanistan: Has Hamid Karzai Already Joined the Taliban?
Huffington Post, 16 June 2010
‘Afghanistan Blogging Fellow’ Josh Mull quotes from Thomas Ruttig’s AAN blogs and interview with the AfPak Channel in his piece discussing what exactly Karzai is doing when he addresses the Taleban.

NATO Predicts Decades-Long Battle Against Corruption in Afghanistan
VOA News, 15 June 2010
AAN’s Kate Clark is quoted on corruption: “[Afghans] thought the foreigners were coming in to protect Afghan civilians, but actually, they give political support and often big contracts multi-million dollar contracts to the biggest commanders in the area, many of whom have past allegations of serious war crimes or human rights abuses”

Taliban reconciliation
The AfPak Channel, 14 June 2010
Thomas Ruttig was the first guest on the ‘Behind the Lines’ series of email interviews, a new feature of the AfPak Channel blog

Los desafíos a los que se enfrenta el general Petraeus
Atenea, 12 June 2010
Martine van Bijlert is quoted as saying: “el problema fundamental del gobierno afgano es que no es un aliado fiable. No es funcional y además está enfocado a obtener beneficios y su supervivencia”.

Afghanistans fremtid omfatter magt til Taleban
Kristeligt Dagblad (Denmark), 9 June 2010
In this analzsis of the peace jirga, Thomas Ruttig says: “Selv hvis det var sådan, at Taleban ville forhandle, er der stadig så langt mellem synspunkterne, at det ville være svært at nå et kompromis. Jeg ser intet gennembrud tegne sig. Der vil gå nogle år endnu, før der tegner sig nogle mere rene linjer,”

Resignations Of Top Afghan Security Officials Have Broad Implications 
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 7 June 2010
Thomas Ruttig is quoted here as saying that the President ‘is probably tired about being told who to keep as a minister and who not to keep as a minister, which has happened quite often. On the other hand, Karzai showing independence from his donors does not necessarily mean that it is for the good of Afghanistan when the result is only strengthening his own patronage networks’.

With U.S. Aid, Warlord Builds an Afghan Empire
New York Times, 6 June 2010
Martine van Bijlert is quoted in Dexter Filkins’ article on Mattiullah in Uruzgan.

2 Afghan officials with strong U.S. ties resign over rocket attack 
McClatchy Newspapers, 6 June 2010
Article quotes Thomas Ruttig and Martine van Bijlert on the resignation of Atmar and Saleh: Their removal could weaken security ties between Karzai’s cabinet and the international community, said Thomas Ruttig. (…) Martine van Bijlert said that Karzai may have used the attack as an excuse to get rid of two men he considered unreliable.

Demokratie und Defizite (Democracy and Deficits)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 5 June 2010
Thomas Ruttig comments on the last day of the peace jirga – see his PEACE JIRGA BLOG 9 as an extended version of this.

Afghanistan’s fluffy peace jirga
Foreign Policy AfPak Channel, 4 June 2010
This analysis of the peace jirga refers and links to several of the AAN jirga blogs.

Karzai’s peace jirga: Does the Taliban have a point?
The Majlis, 4 June 2010
Blogger quotes AAN jirga reporting by Thomas Ruttig and Kate Clark.

Vergoldete Verhaftungen (Compensated Arrests)
vorwaerts, 3 June 2010
The analysis in the German Social Demicrats’ party newspaper of Pakistan’s handling of the Taleban quotes Thomas Ruttig’s blog on Mulla Baradar’s arrest.

Karzai dans le trouble jeu de la paix
Liberation, 3 June 2010
Martine van Bijlert on the peace jirga: “Mais il ne faut pas s’attendre à un quelconque résultat significatif”.

Raketen gegen Friedensdschirga (Rockets against Peace Jirga)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 3 June 2010
The Taleban answer Karzai’s ‘naive coalition proposal’ with rocket attacks and ridicule, writes Thomas Ruttig in this contribution to the Berlin daily.

Karzai calls on ‘dear Taliban’ to make peace with his government 
The Globe and Mail, 2 June 2010
Martine van Bijlert is quoted.

Violence Shakes Afghan Assembly
New York Times, 2 June 2010
Martine van Bijlert on the peace jirga: “If you were serious about a reconciliation process, a jirga like this would be the right thing to do, to consult the population, to discuss grievances, resolve issues. But it doesn’t look like it will seriously provide a platform for any of this.”

Taliban target Afghan peace jirga
Deutsche Welle, 02 June 2010
Listen to an audio of Thomas Ruttig talking about his expectations from the upcoming peace jirga (in English)

AfPak News, 2 June
Huffington Post, 2 June 2010
The web’paper’ picks up – via the AfPak Channel – Thomas Ruttig’s today’s commentary that ‘the conference will produce a “pseudo-consensus” around giving up women’s and human rights in exchange for peace with the Taliban’.

Gute Regierungsführung im Schattenreich (Good Governance in the Shadow Empire)
Frankfurter Allgemeine, 2 June 2010
In this analysis of the ourtcome of Operation Mushtarak in Marja, Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the role of ‘tribal elders’ which in reality are often ‘warlords and commanders of which the population is tired’ (in German, access only for subscribers or paid).

Karsais große Show (The Big Karzai Show)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 2 June 2010
A commentary by Thomas Ruttig on the chances of success of the Peace Jirga (see an English version under ‘blogs’).

Verhandlungsweg gesucht (Looking for a Way to Negotiate)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 2 June 2010
Thomas Ruttig analyses the Kabul peace Jirga, opening today, pointing at the ‘intense screening’ of delegates and discussion group facilitators and doubts of women delegates.

Wenig Hoffnung auf einen Durchbruch (Little Hope for a Breakthrough)
Hamburger Abendblatt, 1 June 2010
Martine van Bijlert describes the peace jirga as “mainly symbolic”; more a workshop or a conference than a tribal jirga.

Soldiers, no – investment, yes
The Asia Pacific Times, June 2010
Article by Thomas Ruttig about China’s role in Afghanistan which emphasises ‘equitable consultations’ and might give President Karzai an option to diversify his allies.


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