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.

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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. […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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

Francesc Vendrell

The author, 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 […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn (2): A Day of Messaging

Thomas Ruttig

The discussion about a possible peace process that would include the Taleban dominated the discussions on day 2 of the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn on Saturday. While it became obvious that the Afghan organisations still have to do some homework, they professionally reacted to a smear campaign at home declaring that they do […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn (1): Occupy the JCMB?

Thomas Ruttig

The tone makes the music, we say here in Germany – ie: it is not only what you say but how you say it. Despite plenty of efforts by the organisers, four German political foundations, to make the 34 elected Afghan delegates to the Bonn Civil Society Forum feel comfortable there were a number of […]

International Engagement Read more