Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Insecurity and opium blight Afghan province as British troops leave

< 1 min

The News/AFP, 28 October 2014

The Pakistani newspaper picks up a report apparently from AFP about the closure of the UK’s Camp Bastion, on of the largest NATO/ISAF bases in the country, in Helmand province. In it, it quotes from an AAN dispatch discussing the situation in one of Helmand’s districts, Sangin:

“A report by the respected Afghan [sic] Analysts Network in July detailed how a series of mis-steps allowed one district of Helmand to sink further into the hands of the insurgents. It said the district’s “shadow governor”, Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Qayum, was on the verge of switching sides in 2010 because he was incensed by the insurgents’ brutality. But after months of secret communication with Afghan and British officials, Qayum and his entourage were bombed by US forces who hailed it as a triumph. The report also criticised the British-led Provincial Reconstruction Team for failing to deliver development projects that would have signalled good faith to Taliban commanders who had reined in violence, and subsequently allowing the fighting to return.”


“It was unfortunate that, although the coalition subscribed in public to the idea that the war in Afghanistan could only be resolved politically, military expediency usually trumped political necessity in practice,” it said.