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.

Guest Blog: A Dangerous Case for Intervention: A response to the CNAS report on Afghanistan

Gary Owen

The US-based Think Tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has released a report about the current political and security situation in Afghanistan and also looks at the future of US military involvement there after 2014 Afghanistan by some prominent authors, led by the previous ISAF commander General John R. Allen. It would be […]

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Legalities of the Post-2014 Landscape: The US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement

Kate Clark

By 1 May 2013, the United States and Afghanistan should have finalised a Bilateral Security Agreement and associated Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) for governing a post-2014 US military deployment. There is, as yet, no sign yet of any deal. These new agreements are supposed to supersede the Status of Forces Agreement ratified in May […]

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Over-promising, Under-delivering: The Outcome of the Afghanistan Conference in Kazakhstan

S Reza Kazemi

The third Afghanistan-focussed ‘Heart of Asia’, also known as Istanbul Process, ministerial conference came to an end on 26 April 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. At least three issues stood out: (1) the growing importance the Afghan government attaches to the regional initiative towards and after 2014, (2) the major conflicts involving some of the prominent […]

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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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