Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Long neglected, Afghan villagers look to outside world for aid

< 1 min

Christian Science Monitor, 27 January 2022

The U.S. web-based daily quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on reasons for the negligence of difficult-to-access, rural areas:

“In the beginning, it was a conceptual mistake”, says Thomas Ruttig, a co-founder of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) who has worked on Afghanistan, including for the United Nations, since 1988. “The U.S. military did not consider ‘the dusty districts’ in Afghanistan’s hinterlands strategically important, although that was where parts of the Taliban survived.”

“Although some NGOs still made efforts to reach remote villages, it became more and more a security problem to access such areas outside of government control,” adds Mr. Ruttig, the AAN analyst. “The decision of donor countries to focus more on rural areas and agriculture was only made … in 2010. And by then it was probably already too late.”