Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – September 2011

8 min

An Afghan whodunnit
The Guardian, 28 September 2011
Article quotes Kate Clark’s blog on the background of Wahidyar, the member of the High Peace Council who introduced Esmatullah, the assassin, to Rabbani.

U.S. Consolidated Domination of Global Arms Market in 2010
IPS, 27 September 2011
The US held 50% of the total global arms market in 2010, supplying foreign clients with 30% total global arms deliveries ($12 billion out of $35 billion). Russia comes second. Saudi was the biggest buyer of weapons during the period 2003-2010.

Luring Fighters Away from the Taliban: Why an Afghan Plan Is Floundering 
Time, 27 September 2011
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on the APRP reintegration scheme:

Killing Deals Another Blow To Afghan Peace Talks
National Public Radio, 26 September 2011
AAN’s Kate Clark gives an assessment of slain former President and NPC chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani:’I think if you were kind, you’d say he took this job at the High Peace Council as an attempt to be remembered as a peacemaker. I think if you were unkind … it was his endless ambition’. She adds thatRabbani’s presidency from 1992 to 1996 is remembered for the civil war that devastated the country, but says also thatassassination is a huge blow to the prospect of negotiations — if it was indeed a Taleban operation: “If it was the Taliban, if it was an authorized Taliban hit from the Quetta shura, then peace talks [are] off the books at the moment’.

‘Die Menschen sind demoralisiert’
Südlink 157 (Berlin), September 2011
For the Berlin-based developmental magazine and its 9/11 dossier, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has interviewed AIHRC commissioner Soraya Rahim Sobhrang who draws an ambivalent balance of the Western intervention in her country: much progress, but most of it only exists on paper (in German, article not online, use link for ordering this Südlink issue).

Wie aus Hoffnung Zynismus wurde
Südlink 157 (Berlin), September 2011
In this article for the Berlin-based development magazine and its 9/11 dossier, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig draws a balance after 10 years of Western intervention in Afghanistan, about its people’s unfulfilled hopes for democracy and the hybris of Western politics (in German, article not online, use link for ordering the Südlink issue).,

The ‘end game’ is in Pakistan
Reuters, 22 September 2011
Reuters blog on US-Pakistan relations also touches on worsening problems in Afghanistan itself, quoting AAN’s Kate Clark on how the assassination of Rabbani is “laying open again the fracture lines” of civil war.

Afghan assassination torpedoes peace bid 
The Age, 22 September 2011
Article quotes Kate Clark’s blog that described the murder as a “treacherous attack” and a “serious blow to the idea of peace talks”. “It is really symbolically important that he’s been killed. The Northern Alliance members were already feeling under threat because of fear that a peace deal would consolidate the historical pro-Pashtun bias of the Afghan state … This is going to harden their suspicions.”

Mixed Taleban messages on killing may show divide
Reuters, 22 September 2011
Reuters discusses the confusion over the Taleban (non-)claim of responsibility and quotes AAN’s Kate Clark: “Claiming or denying or condemning an action is part of the political game, and in some senses it is separate from whether the Taleban actually did or not … When Taleban operations do cause a lot of political harm, they have denied them in the past.”

The Afghan Government Needs Reconciliation with Its People, Not with the Taliban
Time, 22 September 2011
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert “When Afghans were saying that the conflict needs to be solved politically, I don’t think many of them were thinking of a high-level deal between the Taliban leadership and the government. They were rather talking about the people who didn’t really want to fight, but who had been pushed into it because of grievances; because they were badly treated, abused and insulted by members of the government and the security forces. The point they were making is that this is solvable, if we rein in the power of abusive commanders and officials and relatives.”

Fredsprocessens existens ifrågasätts
Sydsvenskan (Stockholm), 22 September 2011
Martine van Bijlert is quoted here, among others as saying: “Det är inte Rabbanis uppgift i Fredsrådet som är huvudanledningen till att han mördades. Om det finns någon substans (i fredsprocessen) så var det inte Rabbani eller den orgaorganisation han företräder, som stod för den”.

Taliban silence on Rabbani spotlights splits
AFP, 22 September 2011
AAN’s Kate Clark on the Taleban silence: “…one would expect an authorised Taliban response, whether it is confirmation or denial or condemnation. Instead, there has been confusion and silence … may indicate division in the senior ranks about this assassination and what they want to say about it.”

Rabbani killing shows bleak hopes for Afghan peace
AFP, 21 September 2011
From Kate Clark’s blog: “Whether or not Rabbani and the High Peace Council were serious about making peace, if the Taliban claim this killing, it sends a powerful message that they are not interested in talking. This would make Rabbani’s assassination highly significant and dangerous for the prospects of an end to the war in Afghanistan,” she added.

Afghanistan: Rabbani Assassination May Peel Tajiks Away from Kabul, 21 September 2011
Eurasianet quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert: “The assassination of such a prominent Tajik “strengthens the argument of people who say, ‘We cannot talk to the Taliban … It definitely polarizes the political situation.”

Blow to Afghan Peace Talks?
Council of Foreign Relations, 21 September 2011
Article quotes from Kate Clark’s blog: if the Taliban claim of responsibility for Rabbani’s killing holds up, “it sends a powerful message that they are not interested in talking”.

Afghanistans Zukunft
Vorwärts (Germany), 21 September 2011
A report in the Social Democratic Party’s monthly reviews Afghanistan’s future perspectives and quotes a paper co-authored by (former, now retired) SWP analyst Citha Maass and AAN’s Thomas Ruttig with four possible and not overly optimistic scenarios (while summarising it in such a short way that it distorts some of both authors’ views.)

Afghanistan: Rabbani Assassination May Peel Tajiks Away from Kabul, 21 September 2011
Eurasianet briefly quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert: The assassination of such a prominent Tajik “strengthens the argument of people who say, ‘We cannot talk to the Taliban … It definitely polarizes the political situation.”

In death, as in life, Rabbani fails to bring peace
France 24 blog, 21 September 2011
Leela Jacinto quots from Kate’Clark’s blog that opposition politician Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has called the Taliban, “people who don’t believe in any humanity,” while Balkh governor Nur Atta Muhammad called them “wild beasts”.

Afghan peace council head killed in Kabul
Reuters, 20 September 2011
In the agency’s report about ex-president Rabbani’s assassination, AAN’s Kate Clark is quoted about his political status: I’d put Rabbani as one of the half dozen most senior Afghan figures. His more recent jobs – MP and head of the Higher Peace Council – simply did not reflect his continuing influence, which was felt at the palace, in clerical and mujahedeen networks and as a northern leader.’

Parliament Is Frozen, A Year Past Afghan Poll 
Wall Street Journal, 17 September 2011
Article on the ongoing Parliamentary crisis, which has resulted in the Support for the Law coalition holding simultaneous mock sessions, quotes AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini stating the obvious: “Parliament will become irrelevant in a very short time if the stalemate continues.”

Kabul raid a tactical victory for Taliban: analysts
AFP, 15 September 2011
Article on Tuesday’s drawn-out assault in Kabul quotes from Fabrizio Foschini’s blog: the “intensity and scope” of the latest raid “was unexpected” and “The possible perception among Afghan residents that the presence of foreigners is a catalyst for attacks may lead to a growing conclusion that the problems related to their presence far outweigh the benefits.”

Kabul siege raises handover fears
The Age, 15 September 2011
The Australian newspaper quotes AAN analyst Fabrizio Foschini about the difficulties of providing security in Kabul.

Kabul calm after 20-hour battle as doubts increase about ability of local forces
The Australian, 15 September 2011
AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini comments on the recent attack, stating that security forces were aware of an imminent threat, but unable to stop “highly prepared insurgents in greater numbers than we have seen previously”.

Kjempet mot sikkerhetsstyrker i 20 timer
Aftenposten, 14 September 2011
In a second article on the attack near the US Embassy in Kabul, the Swedish Aftenposten quotes AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini saying that the timing of the Taleban attack was not directly linked to the anniversary of a date in the same way as the previous attack on the British Council was (on 19 August, Independence Day for Afghans after the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919), as they have never seen themselves nor wished to be associated with the 9/11 attacks in the US.

After Kabul attack, pressure remains on Pakistan
Reuters, 14 September 2011
Reuters picks up the point from Fabrizio Foschini’s blog on the Kabul attack that Afghans could come to see foreign forces as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

What do Kabul attacks signal in the fight for Afghanistan’s future?
CNN, 14 September 2011
AAN’s Gran Hewad is quoted saying how the recent attack affected the population more than previous ones, because of its duration and of the central areas of the city it targeted.

Taliban-angrep lammet Kabul
Aftenposten, 13 September 2011
Fabrizio Foschini is quoted (in a Swedish article) saying that insurgent attacks inside Kabul, although not new, have increased in scope and numbers.

Half a trillion dollars of broken Afghan dreams
Reuters, 11 September 2011
Martine van Bijlert on ten years of international intervention: “The most striking thing that stands out, whatever people feel about what has happened, whether it was good or bad, is they aren’t sure about their future, There have of course been achievements, but it doesn’t balance out the sense that everything could fall apart.”

Hoffnung ist knapp geworden
Neues Deutschland, 11 September 2011
In this reportage, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig walks through Kabul ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looks at the building boom and the growing social gap as well as at how the West’s security measures influences life in the Afghan capital (in German, access to subscribers only).

El día en que cambió el mundo
El Mercantil Valenciano/EFE, 11 September 2011
The article (in Spanish) quotes Fabrizio Foschini about the expectations and the disappointments of the last ten years in Afghanistan.

Angst vor dem wirtschaftlichen Kollaps in Afghanistan
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 9 September 2011
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted here as saying that the enormous financial flows into Afghanistan from 2001 onwards have not helped the country. Much of it went into the wrong channels and the lower strata of society did not partake much in this profit. Therefore, they would perhaps not suffer much from the expected post-2014 aid cuts.

Afghan govt launches campaign against self-immolation
ABC Radio Australia, 8 September 2011
In the event of a government-sponsored media campaign against women self-immolation, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini comments on the phenomenon (partial transcript of the interview).

BBC Journalist Ahmed Omed Khpulwak Killed By U.S. Forces In Afghanistan 
The Huffington Post, 8 September 2011
Article refers to Kate Clark’s findings; “strong evidence of a U.S. hand in his death. Khpulwak’s family told the AAN that they were initially suspicious when they found his body in the aftermath of the battle (…) his body was “intact, clean, whole. All he had was gun-shot wounds.” The AAN also concluded that, based on the timing of Khpulwak’s death, it seemed clear that he was killed after the Taliban fighters were already dead.”

G.I. Killed Afghan Journalist, NATO Says
New York Times, 8 September 2011
An investigation last month by Kate Clark, a former BBC journalist who now works for the Afghanistan Analysts Network, based in Kabul, said that the police had told Mr. Khpulwak’s brother, Jawid, that as American soldiers approached Mr. Khpulwak, who spoke English, he showed them his press identification cards and said, “I am a journalist.” The police later denied the claim when asked to repeat it on the record, Ms. Clark wrote.

Afghan hero Massoud’s assassination a prelude to 9/11
AFP, 7 September 2011
Kate Clark on the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud that preceded 9/11: “All of us at the time assumed there was a link between the attack on Massoud and the attacks on America, It might have been a sweetener for the Taliban for what happened next… Whether or not the Taliban leadership knew or were warned about the attacks on America, and I think that’s still unclear, I think some of them knew something was going to happen.”

War News Radio, 6 September 2011
Audio and transcript of a discussion about the use and misuse of aid money, with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, David Kilcullen and a Stars and Stripes reporter (the interviews have been recorded separately and mixed later).

9/11 Memories Fire US Troops in Afghan war
6 September 2011, AFP
“I’m deeply worried about what happens in 2014,” said Kate Clark of Kabul-based think-tank the Afghanistan Analysts Network. “The fear that many people have here is that if the politics aren’t dealt with, what we will see is, when the international forces pull out, there will be a proper civil war.”

Afganistán vive la guerra tras el 11-S como una oportunidad perdida
Spanish News Agency, 6 September 2011
Fabrizio Foschini comments on the disillusion of many Afghans after ten years of foreign presence and on how failures at the governance level have adversely affected the military situation.

9/11 ten years on: ex-Taliban fighter’s journey from AK-47s to US contracts
Guardian, 6 September 2011
In this article, AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted as opining about the transition period that ‘instead of trying to make Afghanistan into a model society, we should use the years we have left to help it to muddle through.’

Krigens korte kunnskap (not online)
Aftenposten (Norway), 1 September 2011
The Norwegian daily looks at how (short) many foreigners work in Afghanistan and how this influences political decision-making. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying:


Taliban Press Pakistan US Government