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: Heart of Asia Hardly Beating at the Second ‘Heart of Asia Meeting’

Niamatullah Ibrahimi

After a promising start in Bonn 2001 but almost a decade with this idea falling dormant again, a regional approach has been identified as an essential element for a peaceful and sustainable solution for Afghanistan’s problems. Turkey had given this idea a new start in November last year with a summit meeting in Istanbul. Now, […]

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Obama’s visit in ‘pre-dawn darkness’

Kate Clark

President Obama has visited Afghanistan under cover of darkness, signed a ten year strategic partnership agreement, spoken to the American – although not the Afghan – people from Bagram, claimed near victory over al-Qaida and the Taleban, said a new day was dawning for Afghanistan and left. The Taleban, meanwhile, tried to pretend the visit […]

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Handing over Night Raids

Kate Clark

Afghanistan and the United States have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘Special Operations’, ensuring that night raids will continue – with Afghans ordering and conducting them and US forces acting only in support. The agreement is a victory for President Karzai who has long insisted – up till now in vain – that […]

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Withdrawal in 2014? Myths and realities

Thomas Ruttig

A series of contradictory statements about a possible earlier start to the (mainly US) foreign troop drawdown and a quicker handover of security responsibility to Afghan forces, as well as debate over the likely form of NATO’s post-ISAF mission in Afghanistan has caused confusion in the media(1) and wider public sphere recently. Thomas Ruttig, Senior […]

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One Year of Transition: A Look Back (2)

Fabrizio Foschini

Second part of the retrospective look at the last three months’ transitions which took in many Afghan provinces. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini briefly comments on each of these and on some characteristics of the overall process. The second phase of transition continued on 11 January 2012 with a ceremony in the Wardak provincial capital of Maidan […]

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One Year of Transition: A Look Back (1)

Fabrizio Foschini

The second phase of transition, which was announced on 27 November 2011, is drawing to a close after a long winter, and after a turbulent few weeks that have refocused attention on the fall-out over the ongoing conflict. Many more areas of Afghanistan have witnessed an official transfer of security, while information about the third […]

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Guest Blog: The Quran burnings and the German retreat from Taloqan

Marcel Habler

German authorities announced on Friday, the third day of the Quran burning protests, that they have closed their ISAF base in Taloqan several weeks earlier than planned in response to the protests. Originally, the base had been slated for closure in March. This decision shows the limitations of the assumed international control of particular areas […]

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War Without Accountability: The CIA, Special Forces and plans for Afghanistan’s future

Kate Clark

That US Special Forces are likely to remain in Afghanistan after 2014 and for the long haul, has been discussed for some time. According to The Washington Post, which went to a talk by the former head of US Special Operations Forces (SOF) in Afghanistan, Admiral Bill McRaven, at the National Defence Industrial Association in […]

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A Year-Ender: The Dummies’ Guide to the Geneva Conventions

Susanne Schmeidl

While the Taleban have been stepping up their assassination campaign in the past year, another worrying development occurred: There were several cases of international forces, Special Forces in particular, entering NGO-run clinics on pursuit of alleged insurgents, bullying medical staff for treating insurgents or using clinics temporarily as bases. This clearly violates the Geneva Conventions. […]

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Guest Blog: Bonn 2 – Summit of Two Media Realities (with links to official docs)

Martin Gerner

The Bonn 2 Afghanistan Conference was not only revealing in what was said in the non-binding final statement* of the meeting, but also on how differently journalists worked and observed the event for much of the day. Our guest blogger Martin Gerner, a freelance German author and correspondent who also had organized an international seminar […]

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AAN Live: Reading between the lines of Bonn 2

Thomas Ruttig

The Bonn 2 conference was huge – with 100 delegations, it was quantitatively the biggest ever on Afghanistan. Yet expectations had grown progressively more limited over the past few months and the speeches, this morning, from the main protagonists delivered few surprises. President Karzai was particularly bland, repeating again his ‘continued’ commitment to fighting corruption […]

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From Bonn 1 to Bonn 2: Afghanistan’s missed opportunities

Francesc Vendrell

Francesc Vendrell, served in Afghanistan as both the Personal Representative the UN Secretary-General and the EU Special Representative. He looks back on the past decade, describing the pre-Bonn attempts at a political settlement, the first Bonn conference and the opportunities that were missed since then. Prolonged conflicts are particularly difficult to resolve, often depending on […]

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