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.

"Resolute Support" follows "Help and Cooperation"; the new mission will need a new logo. Photo: AAN

Three Birds with One Stone: Signing the BSA and NATO SOFA to project reliability

Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

By signing long-delayed security agreements with the US and NATO on the second day of its existence (30 September 2014), the new Afghan leadership has hit at least three birds with one stone. It has projected an image of itself as reliable to Afghans and to its international partners, and it has secured an important […]

International Engagement Read more
The US handed over the Afghan side of Bagram eighteen months ago. The newly signed BSA suggests it will be ending foreign detentions too, by the end of the year. (photo: Tolo)

The ‘Other Guantanamo’ (9): Bagram prison to close with BSA, 13 foreign detainees left

Kate Clark

The US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), now officially called the Security and Defence Cooperation Agreement, a copy of which AAN has obtained, says the US shall not “maintain or operate detention facilities in Afghanistan.” It appears then, that the US foreign detention facility at Bagram, often referred to as the ‘other Guantanamo’, will close by […]

International Engagement Read more
Dr Abdullah and Dr Ghani signing their first bilateral agreement on 8 August 2014.

2014 Elections (43): The second installment of a Kerry-brokered agreement

Martine van Bijlert

US Secretary of State John Kerry made his second visit to Kabul in a month, in a repeated attempt to help Afghanistan finally arrive at an election outcome – preferably before the NATO summit in early September. The press conference at the end of his visit, together with both presidential candidates, was in many ways […]

International Engagement Read more

Bergdahl and the ‘Guantanamo Five’: The long-awaited US-Taleban prisoner swap

Kate Clark

The prisoner swap negotiated between the Taleban and United States has seen the release of the captured US soldier, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in return for five Taleban held at Guantanamo Bay, including one of the movement’s founders, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and the former chief of the army staff, Mullah Fazl. Much of the reporting on the […]

International Engagement Read more

‘Secret NATO Jails’ that Aren’t Secret: Ambush and drama over detainees

Kate Clark

In the Afghan government’s latest attempt to wipe out any foreign role in detentions, the commander of the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP) on Bagram Air base, General Faruq Barakzai, has said detainees can no longer be sent there. Both US and UK forces have been transferring detainees to the DFIP, which the US finally handed […]

International Engagement Read more

Changing of the Guards: Is the APPF program coming to an end?

Fabrizio Foschini

In 2014, the performance of the Afghan National Army (ANA) will be under intense scrutiny. However, it is also high time for another key element of the Afghan security set up to be evaluated: the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF). The 20,000 men strong, state run security program in the past two years has – with […]

International Engagement Read more

A Mutual Interdependency? The BSA and why the US still wants it

Gary Owen

Early in December 2013, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, made it clear that if the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the governments of Afghanistan and the United States was not signed by the end of the 2013, there would be no more American troops in Afghanistan in 2015. […]

International Engagement Read more

Some Things Got Better – How Much Got Good? A review of 12 years of international intervention in Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

2013 marked the year in which the international community started to wrap up many of the initiatives to re-build Afghanistan – arguably the biggest international effort since the post-Word-War-II Marshal Plan. But where did this effort leave the country? For AAN’s year-end piece, co-director Thomas Ruttig has summarised what has happened, what has been achieved – […]

International Engagement Read more

The Incident at Coordinate 42S VF 8934 5219: German court rejects claim from Kunduz air strike victims

Thomas Ruttig

A district court in the former West German capital Bonn has rejected a case in connection with a lethal airstrike ordered by the commander of the German PRT in Kunduz province four years ago. Families of some of the dozens of victims and a German lawyer of Afghan origin had wanted to sue the German […]

International Engagement Read more

Reluctant Interventionists: ISAF’s influence on local power structures in Kunduz and Badakhshan

Deedee Derksen Thomas Ruttig

The latest AAN report, ‘Local Afghan Power Structures and the International Military Intervention,’ examines how the presence of German and other international military forces has impacted local power structures in Kunduz and Badakhshan. Author Philipp Münch presents these two provinces in Afghanistan’s northeast as detailed case studies, helping to answer the critical question as to […]

International Engagement Read more

Mali, Afghanistan – Conflicts Worlds Apart? Parallels and Lessons to be Learnt

Thomas Ruttig

When jihadist groups took over the northern half of Mali last year and French troops intervened in January this year, a discussion ensued in the media and among analysts about whether Mali was, or would become, a ‘second’ or ‘African’ Afghanistan. Most found a comparison ludicrous. With Mali’s presidential election coming up on today, 28 […]

International Engagement Read more

Winding Down or in for the Long Haul? The emergence of a new US counter-terrorism strategy

Kate Clark

The great behemoth of US counter-terrorism strategy is shifting. President Barack Obama has said he wants to end the war, not just in Afghanistan, but also, ultimately against al-Qaida. Congress has also been making its first attempts to claw back some of the unprecedented powers it gave the president to wage war when, just after […]

International Engagement Read more