Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

Reports – previously known as dispatches – are the flagship of the AAN website and our main type of publication. AAN reports are based on extensive desk and field research and provide timely and in-depth information and analysis.

Janus-Faced Pledges: A review of the 2020 Geneva donor conference on Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva (which took place virtually) has produced pledges of 12 to 13 billion US dollars for the period 2021-24. The result represents a drop of up to 20 per cent compared to the 15.2 billion pledged four years ago in Brussels for 2017-20 and significantly below UNDP projections for the […]

International Engagement Read more

“Helmand is my soul, my mother. I never want to leave”: Obituary for murdered journalist, Muhammad Aliyas Dayee, 1988-2020

Andrew Quilty

One of Afghanistan’s most respected journalists, Muhammad Aliyas Dayee, was killed in a targeted attack on 12 November in the Helmand capital, Lashkargah. Greatly admired and loved by colleagues and listeners to his radio reports alike, Dayee’s murder has raised questions about whether the profession is a viable one as the incidence of targeted killings […]

Context and Culture Read more
Girls actually in the classroom. Getting Afghan children, especially girls, to school, has been considered a major success story for post-Taleban Afghanistan, but how many children appearing in the statistics are ‘ghosts'? (Photo: Christine-Felice Roehrs)

Less Money, More Conditionality? Stalled peace, Covid-19 and corruption foretell a sombre Afghanistan donor conference

Christine Roehrs AAN Team Ali Yawar Adili

On 23 and 24 November, the 2020 donor conference for Afghanistan takes place, which for the country matters more than ever. Rumours abound about cuts to foreign assistance, at a time when Afghanistan faces a stalled peace process and intensifying poverty and violence. Donors are concerned about the shape of the future state and corruption, with the pressure […]

International Engagement Read more

The Biden Presidency: What choices for Afghan policy remain?

Kate Clark

As of 20 January, the United States should have a new president, as Joe Biden takes over from Donald Trump. Decisions taken in Washington have, for the last 20 years, been fundamental to what happens in Afghanistan, and that is especially the case now. Biden takes power in the wake of President Trump’s decision to […]

International Engagement Read more

AAN Obituary: Mahbuba Hoquqmal, ‘friend of the law’ (1944-2020)

Thomas Ruttig

Mahbuba Hoquqmal was one of the most important legal scholars in Afghanistan. As a participant in two loya jirgas and with her working life dedicated to teaching and legal reform, she shaped the country’s constitutional history. She particularly focussed on the improvement of the legal situation of Afghan women. On 30 October 2020, she died […]

Political Landscape Read more
civcas

Behind the Statistics: Drop in civilian casualties masks increased Taleban violence

Kate Clark

Six weeks after intra-Afghan talks began in Doha, the Taleban and government teams are still arguing about protocol and what should be on the agenda. Meanwhile, UNAMA’s third quarterly report in 2020 on the protection of civilians in the conflict, published today, shows that, since the talks began, civilian casualties caused by the two parties […]

War and Peace Read more
A view of Andar district town, where the Taleban have allowed telephone companies to operate 24 hours, which was not possible before the signing of S.U-Taleban peace agreement. The Taleban closed the district town several times, but since 2019, the businesses had returned to normal.

Living with the Taleban (1): Local experiences in Andar district, Ghazni province

Sahil Afghan

Today, we publish the first of three studies exploring how the Taleban rule, and the impact of that rule on residents. Given that the talks in Doha may presage an Afghan state with key positions held by the Taleban or that, at the very least, the pattern of the Taleban controlling particular localities will continue, understanding […]

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The Intra-Afghan Peace Talks: Warring parties negotiate, victims of war are excluded

Ehsan Qaane

A clear divide has emerged in the Afghan government on the role of war victims in the peace process. In a surprising move, President Ashraf Ghani recently suggested that Afghanistan should follow the Spanish model – better known as the ‘pact of forgetting’. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Peace and members of the Afghan negotiating team […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (8): The political economy repercussions of Covid-19 and the aid response

Bill Byrd

In addition to its disastrous public health effects on Afghanistan, the Covid-19 pandemic is harming the country’s economy and has pushed more people into poverty. Covid is also creating a sizable hole in the national budget, diverting precious aid resources away from development and any possible ‘peace dividend’ and complicating rather than simplifying current political […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Taleban Opportunism and ANSF Frustration: How the Afghan conflict has changed since the Doha agreement

Andrew Quilty

Those ‘living the war’ in Afghanistan, both civilians and combatants, have had markedly different experiences in the last seven months depending on where they are in the country. Those in Taleban-controlled areas have seen unexpected peace since the United States and Taleban signed their agreement in Doha after the US largely halted air attacks and […]

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Karbala

Disappointment over Karbala: A pilgrimage off-limits in 2020… and memories of 2019

Rohullah Sorush

In normal times, millions of people, including tens of thousands of Afghans, would be gathering in Karbala in Iraq today for the Arba’in pilgrimage. It marks the 40th day of mourning after the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussain and his 72 companions in Karbala more than 1300 years ago. This year, […]

Context and Culture Read more

Disbanding the ALP: A dangerous final chapter for a force with a chequered history

Kate Clark

Funding for the Afghan Local Police (ALP), the largest and longest-lasting Afghan local defence force, ended on 30 September. Despite knowing this was going to happen for more than a year, it was only in early summer that the government decided what to do with the tens of thousands of ALP who are present in […]

War and Peace Read more