Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Economy, Development, Environment

This priority area covers Afghanistan’s political economy, economic development and poverty, with a focus on sectors with important political and/or rule of law implications, such as mining, banking and transport and, in the past, the private security sector.

The IMF, Kabul Bank, government salaries and transition (updated)

Martine van Bijlert

The IMF and the Afghan government failed to reach an agreement last week on how to deal with the Kabul Bank crisis. The long-simmering controversy, which began months ago, is starting to have far-reaching consequences both for the cash-flow of the Afghan government and for the possible nature of the transition, as donors are making […]

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What the US Senate’s report on Afghanistan does and doesn’t say

Martine van Bijlert

Last week the US Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations released its evaluation of US foreign assistance to Afghanistan. The report received a lot of attention, mainly as a result of the power and urgency of its message: that much of US assistance is expensive, unsustainable and based on shaky premises. These issues warrant all the […]

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The Kabul Bank Investigations; Central Bank Gives Names and Figures

Martine van Bijlert

On Wednesday, 27 April 2011, the head of Afghanistan’s Central Bank, Abdul Qadir Fitrat, and the new (Central Bank appointed) chief of the Kabul Bank, Massud Ghazi, briefed the Parliament on what was going on with the Kabul Bank. They named names, gave detail of the close to one billion USD irregular loans that brought […]

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Guest Blog: Modernisation Stress – Kabul and Mazar Revisited

Michael Daxner

During his tenth trip to Afghanistan since 2003 dedicated to research on micro-social development and general political perceptions, after an interval of two and a half years, our guest blogger Michael Daxner(*) was ‘little surprised at the first glance – but at a closer look, much has changed’. Glimpses on social stratification, discussions about federalism, […]

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Afghanistan Bird Watch

AAN Team

The most underreported Afghan story of January 2010 already has been identified: One of the world rarest birds has been spotted in Badakhshan. Overshadowed by the coverage of the London conference, the BBCreported that scientists of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society found specimen of the large-billed reed warbler (photo), one of the rarest birds on earth, during […]

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UNODC Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging – With One Eye Closed

Thomas Ruttig

U.N. Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging’, reads a headline in the 2 September issue of the New York Times. Now the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) got it. Or did it? The headline reminds of a 2008 World Bank paper (William A. Byrd, Responding to Afghanistan’s Opium Economy Challenge, The World Bank, South Asia […]

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Beyond Taleban

Thomas Ruttig

Multiple suicide attacks in Gardez and Khost. July most bloody month ever for US forces in Afghanistan. More British troops to be deployed. Karzai’s empty chair at Tolo TV’s presidential candidates’ debate… Reporting about Afghanistan mainly focuses on security issues and elections currently. Very often, our own countries’ domestic politics overshadow the other reality, life […]

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