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.

Afghanistan Conference in Kazakhstan: Will the ‘Heart of Asia’ Start Throbbing?

S Reza Kazemi

The ‘Heart of Asia’ process that was launched in November 2011 in Turkey aims to galvanise regional co-operation for security and development in Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbourhood. Approximately a year and a half has passed, with a hard-to-track number of conferences and meetings. The latest is to take place on 26 April […]

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The Other Guantanamo 5: A New MoU for Bagram and, Finally, a Handover?

Kate Clark

The Pentagon has announced and the Afghan presidential palace confirmed that the US military will hand over its detention facility at Bagram Airbase to the Afghan authorities tomorrow, 25 March 2013. The presidential spokesman, Aimal Faizy, told AAN the two governments have negotiated a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which, unlike the first MoU on […]

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Rancour between the Allies: Karzai speaks to the Americans

Kate Clark

If the Americans ‘surrender’ to Afghan demands, President Karzai has said, he will sign a bilateral security agreement with them. He told an Afghan audience on national TV that the US wanted bases in Afghanistan – a globally significant country – and, as the audience laughed and applauded, he said: ‘The USA has come and […]

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Protecting Freedom at the Hindukush: Source of Famous Afghanistan Quote Dies

Thomas Ruttig

On Wednesday, former German defence minister Peter Struck died, he who coined the controversial sentence that Germany’s security needs to be defended even ‘at the Hindukush’. Almost no other statement has shaped the Afghanistan-related discussion in Germany like this one. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig looks back at this debate and finds it being more of a […]

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Transfers and Torture: The British Army halts transfers of detainees to the NDS

Sari Kouvo

President Karzai has warned British forces that they must hand detainees over and may not hold any detainees themselves. The warning follows a British government decision to stop all transfers after a former UK detainee, Sardar Mohammed, challenged their legality, given the risk of torture by the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS). Sardar Mohammed […]

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Guest Blog: Afghans or Americans on Top? The Future of Special Forces Operations in Afghanistan

Gary Owen

In July, a new task force combining all international and Afghan special forces under a unified command was set up. Known as the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan (SOJTF-A), it is led by an American general, but its spokesperson told AAN, ‘SOJTF-A does not have command of any Afghan Special Operations Forces, rather, we partner, […]

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The ICG Report and the Government’s Search for a New Narrative

Martine van Bijlert

A report by the International Crisis Group on Afghanistan’s upcoming transition has triggered a hostile response from the Afghan government. The ICG report is described as an attempt to weaken Afghanistan’s resolve in the face of the US-Afghan Strategic Partnership negotiations and as a means to pave the way for foreign interference in the upcoming […]

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The Haqqani Network Blacklisted: From US Asset to Special Foe

Thomas Ruttig

Earlier this month, the US government blacklisted the Haqqani network, labelling it a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’. Leaving aside the pros and cons of this decision, which have been fairly widely discussed, AAN co-director Thomas Ruttig looks at other questions: why did the blacklisting happen so late and why is the network singled out from the […]

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Bagram and Insider Attacks: ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ no longer?

Kate Clark

It has been a rough week for US-led international forces, with threats, tensions and setbacks multiplying. The Taleban’s spectacular attack on Camp Bastion on 15 September, which left two soldiers – including a lieutenant colonel – dead, six fighter planes destroyed and two others damaged and ISAF’s narrative of a weakening insurgency looking fragile, was […]

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The Takhar attack and Targeted Killings: the Legal Challenge

Kate Clark

An Afghan bank worker from rural Takhar, Habib Rahman, is taking the British government to court over Britain’s participation in drawing up and executing the US military’s ‘kill list’ which singles out alleged insurgents for targeted killing. Rahman lost his father-in-law, Zabet Amanullah, and several other close relatives in September 2010 when an air strike […]

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Paint It Pink: The US redefining ANA success

Gary Owen

Twice a year, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) reports to the Congress and Senate committees on defense, appropriations, and foreign relations on the ‘progress’ of the conflict in Afghanistan. AAN guest blogger, Gary Owen, a former soldier who now is working as a civilian development worker(*) has been scrutinizing the reports, teasing out, […]

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The Tokyo Conference and the Decade of Déjà Vu

Martine van Bijlert

Another conference, another set of promises, proposals and agreements. Tomorrow, representatives over 70 countries, international organisations and the Afghan government will meet in Tokyo to discuss aid post-2014. Anyone feeling confused about yet another conference with its claims of impact and importance will find AAN’s new e-book (Snapshots of an Intervention: The Unlearned Lessons of […]

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