Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – October 2009

8 min

Concerns rise about runoff election
UPI, 29 October 2009
This analysis of the news agency quotes Francesc Vendrell saying that the people’s faith already has been badly shaken by the widespread fraud in the first round and that the IEC remaining in position in its current form ‘will only come as confirmation.’

Former UN Envoy To Kabul Suggests Emergency Administration For Afghanistan
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 28 October 2009
In this interview, AAN Advisory Board member Francesc Vendrell says the notion that a coalition between Karzai and Abdullah could work is misguided. The two men already shared power in interim and transitional administrations between 2001 and 2005 and it led to ‘paralysis’.

Taliban-Angriff gefährdet Stichwahl in Afghanistan (Taleban Attack Jeopardises Run-Off in Afghanistan)
Reporterwelt-Blog, 28 October 2009
Read here German journalist Britta Petersen’s original article (in German) submitted to Financial Times Deutschland and messed up there. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying that the attack will further limit the UN role during the upcoming run-off.

Week in Review 10/18-10/24
Yale Afghanistan Forum, 26 October 2009
This blog discusses last week’s events following the presentation of the ECC’s findings and refers to AAN’s latest blog for Afghan reactions to the prospect of a second round.

Why Afghanistan’s Run-off’s Are Doomed 
The Atlantic Wire, 26 October 2009
John Hudson’s blog describes a run-off as as “Afghanistan’s kiss of death” and quotes Martine van Bijlert on the role of the IEC: “without big changes, voters will feel that the outcome will be determined not by their votes but by the IEC”.

A Relativitiy
World of Facts (blog), 25 October 2009
Blog quotes earlier Economist article: “Among a relatively few foreign experts on the country—as opposed to the thousands of fat salaried Western consultants bunkered in Kabul—the mood is bleak. “We think we’re at the center of things, but we’re not, we’re at the margins of Afghanistan,” says Martine van Bijlert of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, a think-tank. “And we’re so busy having meetings and discussing our plans we’re not even seeing what’s coming at us.”

Taliban tells voters to boycott second round
Radio France Internationale, 24 October 2009
Martine van Bijlert comments on the recent Taliban statement and predicts “a messy” second round in terms of fraud. She called on the UN and other international actors to be ready to deal with the fraud, instead of simply hoping things will be better.

Noch viel Raum für Manipulationen (Still Much Room for Manipulations)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 24 Oktober 2009
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig explains that the IEC and the ECC operate with diiferent ‘final results’ and why Karzai’s 0.33 per cent under the 50 per cent threshold still holds open the chance that there will be no second round.

Seitensprung mit drei Pässen (Escapade with Three Passports)
Wochenzeitung (Zurich), 22 October 2009
In this article, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig explores how conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are interrelated and points at contradictory US policies: supporting Iranian Baluch group Jundullah for ‘regime-change’ in Iran while it is an ally of the Afghan Taleban.

Afghanistan’s permanent election: seconds out, round two
The Economist, 22 October 2009
In a long article about Afghanistan’s “permanent election” the Economist quotes Martine van Bijlert that without big changes, voters will feel that the outcome will be determined not by their votes but by the IEC.

Überstürzte Wahlen ohne Kontrolle (A Precipitous Poll without Monitoring: Afghanistan’s Second Round)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 22 Oktober 2009
In this article for the Berlin daily, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig points to the factors that make a better election and a more legitimate outcome of the second round on 7 November unlikely. He says that it is not sufficient to put ‘democratic paint’ over an election machine that has proven to be ‘rusted through’.

‘Demokratischer Firnis’ (‘Democratic Paint-Over’)
Rheinpfalz (Ludwigshafen), 22 October 2009
The daily from South-Western Germany quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig criticising the premature calling of a second round of elections in Afghanistan.

Mann des Südens gegen Mann des Nordens (Man of the South against Man of the North)
Frankfurter Rundschau, 21 October 2009
In an analysis of the two competitors of Afghanistan’s second round of presidential elections, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted that Karzai cannot be made responsible for everything that went wrong in the country but that much was triggered by the Bush administration’s policies.

Afghan run-off faces huge challenges 
BBC online, 21 October 2009
‘The electoral commission is not independent because it has all been appointed by President Karzai,’ former EU Afghan Envoy and AAN Advisory Board member Francesc Vendrell is quoted in this piece.

Afghanistan election Q&A
The Guardian, 21 October 2009
On the role of the IEC: “If there are no proper changes in the IEC then people will still feel that this is an election that will be shaped by IEC and it’s not their votes that will determine the outcome, it’s the IEC,” said Martine van Bijlert, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

‘Die UN sind kein völlig unabhängiger Akteur’ (The UN Are Not a Completely Independent Actor)
Standard online (Vienna), 21 October 2009
On the Austrian daily’s website, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying that ‘Western governments were in favour of a smooth election outcome’ but that the UN now has moved closer to the election’s reality.

Stichwahl in Afghanistan (Run-off in Afghanistan)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 21 Oktober 2009
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert comments in this article that the run-off could open the way ‘towards more positive scenarios’ provided that the Karzai camp does not mobilise with the slogan of a ‘stolen victory’ from round one.

Martine van Bijlert over Afghaanse verkiezingen (audio in Dutch)
NOS Radio 1, 21 October 2009
Martine van Bijlert on the international pressure on Karzai to agree to a second round and the need to prevent a repeat of the fraudulent first round.

Chaos und Zahlensalat in Kabul (Chaos and a Jumble of Figures in Kabul)
tageszeitung (Berlin), 20 Oktober 2009
In this article, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig explains the ruling of the ECC (in German).

Onzekerheid in Afghanistan duurt voort (Confusion in Afghanistan continues)
Volkskrant daily (NL), 20 October 2009
Article quotes Martine van Bijlert that, if they are not careful, the two candidates may be bluffing each other into a second round without meaning to.

Afghanistan election runoff poses daunting challenges
The Christian Science Monitor, 20 October 2009
Ben Arnoldy quotes Martine van Bijlert on the possibility of a negotiated settlement after Karzai’s press conference: “It’s not that it’s not a scenario any more, (b)ut if it’s a likely scenario, you don’t come out that strongly saying there will be no coalition government.”

Nieuwe verkiezingen in Afghanistan
Radio 1 Journaal Fanlog, 20 October 2009.
This blog quotes an excerpt of a radio interview with Martine van Bijlert (although the author had trouble remembering AAN) who called Karzai’s press conference a “remarkable scene” confirming suspicions of foreign pressure.

Kazai about face could salvage Afghan election
The Christian Science Monitor, 19 October 2009
Martine van Bijlert is quoted: “This is at least not a worsening of the situation. The situation is clearer than it has been and it is potentially moving toward one of the better case scenarios,” But: “Whether this step really enhances the legitimacy of the process, depends mainly on how it is perceived. If for instance Karzai accepts the outcome, but at the same time people around him are spreading mixed messages or conspiracy theories, then it will remain a muddled matter in the public perception,”

New battleground in N Afghanistan?
al-Jazeera online, 19 October 2009
In a contribution for al-Jazeera, Aunohita Mojumdar quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig saying that the deterioration in Kunduz did not come as a surprise but was foreseeable for ‘two, three years’.

Les talibans aussi veulent négocier
Le Soir (Brussels), 19 October 2009
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on his opinion to differenciate between ‘pragmatic (and not ‘moderate’) and radical, intransigent Taleban and Francesc Vendrell on his rejection of talks with Hezb-e Islami.

Election Uncertainty Concerns Allies (audio)
ABC Radio Australia, 19 October 2009
Audio featuring Martine van Bijlert, co-director, Afghanistan Analysts’ Network; Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff; John Kerry, chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Comittee; Fahim Dashti, editor-in-chief, Kabul Weekly

Un retour aux urnes avant l’hiver ?
Le Soir (Brussels), 17 October 2009
The statements of AAN Advisory Board’s Francesc Vendrell and of Thomas Ruttig at a presentation of the European Policy Center in Brussels are quoted in a report on Afghanistan in this Belgian daily’s

Afghanistan election outcome: Karzai could face runoff
Christian Science Monitor. 16 October 2009.
Ben Arnoldy from the Christian Science Monitor qoutes Martine’s latest blog in his article on a possible runoff.

The Af-Pak Rubik’s Cube Changes Again
Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish, 16 October 2009
One of the US’ most influential bloggers, Andrew Sullivan, finds Martine’s ‘whole post is well worth reading’. Thanks, Andrew.

US focuses on Taliban’s border ‘post office’
Financial Times, 12 October 2009
In an article that reports that the US military has started ‘watching’ Taleban activity in Quetta, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the significance of the Taleban leadership council and relations between Afghan and Pakistani Taleban.

Afghanistan: Is it Mission Impossible? (with F. Vendrell)
BBC Radio 4, 6 October 2009
This is the transcript on a BBC Radio 4 dicussion in which our Advisory Board member Francesc Vendrell took part. On the question whether mission Afghanistan is still possible to accomplish he said that it becomes increasingly difficutl for ‘lack of vision and courage on the part of the international community […]. It requires a basic shift in policy that I fear many governments may well shy away from.’

Am Ende profitieren die Radikalen (In the end, the radicals will gain)
Suedwestpresse (Ulm), 10 October 2009
The daily from Ulm in Southern Germany publishes an interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig saying that ignoring electoral fraud will play into the hands of the Taleban. He pleads for establishing a ‘new consensus’ about where Afghanistan should head to. (In German.)

Afghan election audit ends, but no results yet
McClatchy, 9 October 2009.
On the subject of election-related violence Martine van Bijlert is quoted as saying that politically violence wasn’t a rational option for Abdullah.

How the War in Afghanistan undermines Obama’s Other Goals
Media Monitors Network, 9 October 2009.
The article quotes AAN’s report “The Other Side” as warning that “a deepening sense of occupation and undercurrents of anti-Westernism” were increasing the Taliban’s appeal.

Karzais versteckte Urnen
WOZ (Zurich), 41/2009 (8 October 2009)
Six weeks after Afghanistan’s presidential election, and still no result. And, considering the confused counting process, there must be doubt that there ever will be, reports AAN’s Thomas Ruttig.

‘Hier fallen sie nicht ins Gewicht’
Frankfurter Rundschau, 6 October 2010
In this interview, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig says that the propganda effect of the German jihadists at the Afghan-Pak border is stronger then their fire power; that US reports about killings of hundreds of Haqqani fighters had no effect on the scope of the network’s activity and that he doubts whether there is a ‘strategy of talks’ with the Taleban wenig.

Experte: Duldung des Wahlbetrugs stärkt Taliban (Expert:: Condoning Electoral Fraud Strengthens Taleban)
Maerkische Oderzeitung (Frankfurt/O.), 5 October 2009
This German daily also prints parts of an interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig distributed by dpa (German Press Agency, in German) – see ‘Der Standard’, 3 October 2009.

Experte: Duldung des Wahlbetrugs stärkt Taliban (Expert: Condoning Electoral Fraud Strengthens Taleban)
Der Standard (Vienna), 3 October 2009
The Austrian daily prints parts of an interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig distributed by dpa (German Press Agency, in German) saying that a lack of Western reaction to electoral fraud strengthens feelings of resignation amongst Afghans. He pleads for establishing ‘a new consensus’ amongst Afghans in which direction their country should head.

‘Eide steht auf der Seite Karzais’ (‘Eide stand on Karzai’s side’, not on the web)
Frankfurter Allgemeine, 2 Oktober 2009
In an article about Peter Galbraith’s criticism of Unama’s approach regarding electoral fraud, Thomas Ruttig’s AAN blog of 29 September is quoted calling the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’ reported ‘consensus’ about a Karzai victory a ‘disservice to Afghan democracy’ (in German, not on the web).

Ausbilder gesucht (Trainers looked for)
Rheinischer Merkur (Bonn), 1 October 2009
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted in an analysis that deals with the new German governments ‘first foreign policy dossier’, Afghanistan.

The Afghan Elections: Who lost What?
Testimony to the US House of Representatives by Christine Fair, 1 October 2009
Quoting Martine van Bijlert: “The standard line in this kind of case is that there were irregularities, but that they didn’t affect the outcome of the elections. Reports from the provinces suggest otherwise. They suggest that these irregularities were actually designed to affect the outcome of the elections and that they probably did.”


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