Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

International Engagement

This thematic area covers reporting on various strands of the international intervention – military, diplomatic and, development and humanitarian aid. It includes analysis of high-level strategies, significant international conferences, major trends, as well as reporting on specific programmes.

Police post in Kandahar, 2005. Photo: Thomas Ruttig

The Leahy Law and Human Rights Accountability in Afghanistan: Too little, too late or a model for the future?

Erica Gaston

The Leahy Amendment, or Leahy law, is a little known piece of United States legislation that bans US assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information that a member has committed gross violations of human rights. The Leahy law has accomplished far less than its champions hoped for, but far more […]

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A Reaper drone comes into land at Kandahar Airbase (Flying Officer Owen Cheverton: 2009)

Drone warfare 1: Afghanistan, birthplace of the armed drone

Kate Clark

Using drones to carry out targeted killings has become an integral part of the United States’ ‘war on terror’. Afghanistan in the late 1990s was the laboratory where the US developed armed drones as it searched for a way to deal with Osama bin Laden who was then ordering attacks on American targets from his […]

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Abdul Zahir was detained by the US from his home in 2002 after a false tip-off that he had weapons of mass destruction. He has had successive "major depressive episodes” in Guantanamo. In July 2016, he was cleared for transfer, but is still waiting to get out. (Photo: New York Times)

Waiting for Release: Will Afghans cleared to leave Guantanamo get out before Trump gets in?

Kate Clark

American president-elect Donald Trump has said that no more detainees should be transferred out of America’s war on terror detention camp in Guantanamo Bay. He takes office on 20 January 2017, which leaves the Obama administration just a few days to get men cleared for transfer out of Cuba. Among those waiting to see if […]

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The NUG, brought to light by 'midwife' John Kerry in 2014, will be part of Obama's Afghan legacy for President Donald Trump. Photo c/o US Embassy Kabul

“People That Hate Us”: What can Afghans expect from President Trump?

Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

If Hillary Clinton had won Tuesday’s race for the White House, the world would now have a good sense of who her top officials would be and what her foreign policy would look like. With a Secretary of State-turned-president, Afghanistan could have expected business to carry on pretty much as normal. With Donald Trump coming […]

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The Brussels conference will be the eleventh donor conference since the 2001 US-led intervention in Afghanistan.

The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan: Between aid and migration

AAN Team

The Afghan Government and the EU will co-host the Brussels conference on 5 October 2016. A couple of side events will take place on 4 October, and a high-level dialogue on migration is scheduled for 3 October. Around 70 countries and 30 international organisations will come together in the Belgian capital to review the achievements […]

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To Say It Like It Is: Norway’s evaluation of its part in the international intervention

Ann Wilkens

Norway has published the first comprehensive evaluation of one country’s contribution to the international intervention in Afghanistan. The evaluation was conducted by a government-appointed commission led by Bjørn Tore Godal, a former foreign and defence minister. However, most commissioners were independent researchers. The ‘Godal report’, as it has become known, is a candid and sharp […]

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A Resolute Support team works with ‪officers from the ‪Afghan interior and defence ministries during a simulation exercise looking at the effect of different decisions on the effectiveness and affordability of ​the ANSF in the future. NATO’s Warsaw summit will also be considering funding of ANSF, as well as the deployment of international forces, 8-9 July 2016. (Photo: NATO - Resolute Support Mission, DATE: May 19, 2016)

Afghanistan at the Warsaw Summit: Looking for sustained support (with an 11 July 2016 update)

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert Sudhansu Verma

On 8 July 2016, in Warsaw, NATO begins a two-day heads of state summit for its member countries. Afghanistan is the first item on the agenda on day two. From an Afghan point of view this is an important event, the means by which Kabul secures funding for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and […]

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Bala Hissar and city of Caubul with the British cantonments from the 'Ba Maroo' Hill

The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st century

AAN Team

The latest AAN report, “The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st Century” by guest author Noah Arjomand, revisits Britain’s attempt at state-building in Afghanistan from 1839-1841. The disastrous British retreat from Kabul in January 1842 and the subsequent British pillage of the Afghan capital are well-known events that […]

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The Wrong Mission? New AAN discussion paper looks at NATO’s ‘Resolute Support’

AAN Team

AAN’s first paper of the new year – “Resolute Support Light: NATO’s New Mission versus the Political Economy of the Afghan National Security Forces” by guest author Philipp Münch – looks at NATO’s chances of achieving its goals in Afghanistan with Resolute Support (RS). The mission replaced ISAF on 1 January 2015. NATO’s motto in Afghanistan […]

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Balloons for the cabinet inauguration are still available. Photo: Martine van Bijlert.

After the Rollercoaster Comes What? Afghanistan in 2015

Martine van Bijlert

2014 was a rollercoaster of a year. The transition was completed. It did not tear the country apart or fragment the security forces, but it sometimes felt close. Afghanistan now stands at the beginning of the optimistically named Decade of Transformation. The country has a new leadership, both fuelled by confidence and ambition and bogged […]

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U.S Senate report reveals extent to CIA torture.

The ‘Other Guantanamo’ 12: Bagram closes, CIA torture revealed, US to be held to account?

Kate Clark

As grotesque revelations in a Senate report on the CIA’s torture of ‘war on terror’ detainees are being mulled over, it has been announced that the last three remaining detainees in United States custody in Afghanistan have been transferred out of American hands. The Bagram detention facility is finally, after 13 years, closed. As AAN’s […]

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A sea of green cards of approval in the Wolesi Jirga. Photo: ToloNews

Wolesi Jirga Resolutely in Favour of NATO Support: BSA and SOFA take next hurdle

Thomas Ruttig Wazhma Samandary

The Wolesi Jirga today (23 November 2014) approved the long-delayed bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States and the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) with NATO. Although the Afghan Senate’s approval is still pending, this vote opens the door for the start of the ISAF-successor Mission Resolute Support. AAN senior analyst Thomas Ruttig and […]

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