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.

A girl harvests cotton in Dawlatabad District, Balkh province. The Taleban have rolled out new taxes on agricultural production. This represents a massive transfer of resources from the rural economy to the state, money which till now the Emirate has not accounted for. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 28 October 2021.

New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

Kate Clark AAN Team

On 15 August 2021, much in Afghanistan was overturned or radically altered. The insurgents became the rulers and the old elites fled. Afghanistan’s relationship with the rest of the world ruptured and the country became poorer overnight. It also went from being a state where the administration was reliant on foreign donors and military support […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Creating the ‘idea’ of a Country: AAN dossier looks at Afghanistan in World Literature

Fabrizio Foschini

How do foreign literary works shape attitudes towards Afghanistan and Afghans? That is the subject of this dossier which brings together AAN reports from its ‘Afghanistan in World Literature’ series. Over the years, we have written many pieces on this subject, spurred not only by a passion for everything related to Afghanistan, but also by […]

Context and Culture Read more

UN Human Rights warns of Afghanistan’s descent into authoritarianism

Kate Clark

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan has released his first report to the UN’s Human Rights Council. The situation in the country has deteriorated, Richard Bennett said, “to the point where the human rights crisis matches Afghanistan’s humanitarian and financial crises.” He holds the Taleban responsible for the worsening of […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The Cost of Victory: How the Taleban used IEDS to win the war, despite the misgivings of some

Sabawoon Samim

During their long and ultimately successful insurgency, the Taleban, like their foreign enemies, were faced with choices over battlefield tactics, between military effectiveness and trying to win over, or at least not alienate, local people. As insurgents, the Taleban were up against well-drilled foreign forces with advanced weaponry and a monopoly on air power, but […]

War and Peace Read more

Transition to a New Political Order: AAN dossier takes stock of Afghanistan’s momentous Year

AAN Team

It is almost a year since the departure of the last foreign forces from Afghanistan, the collapse of the Republic and its armed forces and the Taleban’s capture of power. It is almost a year, as well, that the Taleban have been ruling Afghanistan. AAN has reported on every step of the way, on the […]

Political Landscape Read more
A still file image from a video released by al-Qaeda’s media arm as-Sahab and obtained on 8 June 2011 courtesy of the Site Intelligence Group shows the now late Aiman al-Zawahri in characteristic finger-wagging mode as he gives a eulogy for slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a video released on jihadist forums. Photo: Site Intelligence Group/AFP.

Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Kabul: What might be the repercussions for the Taleban and Afghanistan?

Kate Clark

President Joe Biden has announced the killing of the leader of al-Qaeda, Aiman al-Zawahri, in a drone strike. Zawahri was central to the founding of al-Qaeda, the intellectual and organisational force behind the group, key to the decision to attack US targets in east Africa, the Gulf, New York and Washington DC, and deputy and […]

War and Peace Read more
The flag of the fallen Islamic Republic of Afghanistan among the flags of all the state parties at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Photo: Ehsan Qaane, taken in March 2016, but an ICC spokesperson said, it still hangs there.

Delaying Justice? The ICC’s war crimes investigation in limbo over who represents Afghanistan

Ehsan Qaane

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have still not made a decision to authorise, or not, the resumption of the court’s war crimes investigation in Afghanistan, ten months after the ICC Prosecutor urged them to expedite their approval. It means that, 16 years after the ICC began to look into Afghanistan, it has still yet to […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Arbitrary Power and a Loss of Fundamental Freedoms: A look at UNAMA’s first major human rights report since the Taleban takeover

Kate Clark

UNAMA has published its first major report on human rights in Afghanistan since the Taleban came to power on 15 August 2021. It covers a multitude of issues, including detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings, the rights of women and girls and civilian casualties. One recurring theme is the arbitrary way the new administration often works […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

AAN wishes prosperity and stability for Afghanistan at Eid al-Adha

AAN

This year, Eid al-Adha[1] has once again coincided with very difficult times in Afghanistan. Many Afghans are facing economic hardship, poverty, and unemployment as the country’s economy struggles to regain lost ground. Afghanistan remains in the grip of a devastating drought for the third year running. Many families are mourning the loss of loved ones […]

Context and Culture Read more

Donors’ Dilemma: How to provide aid to a country whose government you do not recognise

Roxanna Shapour

It has been ten months since the Taleban took control of Afghanistan, setting off economic collapse on an unprecedented scale that has seen millions of Afghans fall into extreme poverty. While the Taleban continue to snub calls from Western capitals to respect human rights, including the rights of Afghan girls and women, donor countries have […]

International Engagement Read more
Asadullah Harun Gul released from Guantanamo and in Qatar, where he was met by the Taleban officials, finally on his way home. Photo: Bakhtar News Agency

Free at Last: The Afghan, Harun Gul, is released from Guantanamo after 15 years

Kate Clark

One of the last two remaining Afghans held in Guantanamo Bay, Asadullah Harun Gul, has been released after his lawyers threatened the United States government with contempt of court. A judge had ruled in November 2021 that the government was holding him unlawfully and must release him. A month earlier, a review board at Guantanamo […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Policing Public Morality: Debates on promoting virtue and preventing vice in the Taleban’s second Emirate

Sabawoon Samim

The Taleban’s ‘religious police’ are back in force, leaving many Afghans fearing a return to the notorious brutalities of the Taleban’s 1990s Amr bil-Maruf ministry. Yet, two decades on, argues guest author Sabawoon Samim* (with input from Roxanna Shapour), Taleban views on the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice have evolved, as has Afghan […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more