EU News, 19 September 2016
AAN is quoted several times in a recent report of the European Asylum Support Office, titled “Afghanistan Recruitment by armed groups”, reports the EU-related news agency, for example here:
A quality review was carried out by Kate Clark from the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), an independent non- profit policy research organisa on. It aims to bring together the knowledge, experience and drive of a large number of experts to be er inform policy and to increase the understanding of Afghan realities.
Borhan Osman, an Afghan expert in the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) who has been studying the Taliban very closely, highlights an important difference between the time of writing of the 2012 EASO report and the current situation of the Taliban (2016). He states that 2012 was a significant year for the insurgency as the Taliban came under heavy pressure due to the continued presence of many foreign forces with air support, the surge in ALP militias and local uprising organised against them (e.g. in Panjwayi and Andar). As a result, the Taliban struggled with a shortage of fighters in 2012. In 2016, however, few foreign troops are involved in the fighting and there is little air support. The Taliban is moving into more conventional warfare and is widely perceived as the winning side now. Generally, the Taliban is under less pressure than in 2012.
or here (from Christian Bleuer):
On the possibility of leaving a local armed group, AAN reports from Khanabad:
‘The result is the heavy recruitment of local youth and an increasingly complex situation as commanders seek to secure the absolute loyalty of recruits. The main tactic used by commanders is to have the recruit create an immediate and personal enemy from among the enemies and rivals of the commander by carrying out an attack or killing. Here the commander takes into account both ethnicity and family relations, as the recruit’s family could be considered a ‘rival’ if they attempt to pull their son or brother away from the commanders’ influence. For example, if the new recruit is not related to the family of the commander, then the commander will create a situation where the recruit has to attack a member of his family, such as a cousin, making it harder for th recruit to leave the commanders group and return to his own family. If the recruit is a relative of the commander’s family, then the commander pushes him to shoot someone from amongst the commander’s rivals. The alternate use of these recruitment tactics ensures the commander’s control over his young recruits. First of all, the recruit will not be able to join other parties es because of the killing, and secondly he cannot return to his family because of the newly created intra-family enmity’.
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020