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: 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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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 […]

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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 […]

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Bonn2 and Civil Society: An Afghan election and German events (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

One week to go to the international Bonn 2 conference, and even less to the Civil Society Forum (CSF) on 2 and 3 November. The first delegates and representatives of Afghan civil society organisations (which is not the same) are trickling in, also for a whole string of events directly linked – or in opposition […]

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Guest Blog: ‘I have read about it…’ A day of Afghan concerns in Germany

Michael Daxner

In the run-up to the Bonn 2 conference, the debate on Afghanistan is flaring up again in Germany. But not only in Germany, there seem to be two Afghanistans that are discussed. Our guest author Michael Daxner* has looked at one day of this debate, with a conference and radio programme on 4 November, points […]

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‘The big hope has been replaced by a big concern’: the Ten Years anniversary in the Afghan Press

Fabrizio Foschini

In Afghanistan it is always a good time for stock-taking. The ten year anniversary of the US-led intervention on 7 October, though, did offer an unmatched opportunity to do so for many commentators. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini had a look at what the Afghan printed press has been saying on the occasion and what attitudes their […]

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Analysing ISAF Press Releases – AAN Responds to ISAF’s Response

Martine van Bijlert

ISAF has taken ‘serious issue’ with AAN’s latest report ‘A Knock on the Door. 22 Months of ISAF Press Releases’ (see full text of the press release below). ISAF argues that the methodology is flawed and based on incomplete information, and it worries that this will ‘confuse serious researchers or those engaged in balanced reporting […]

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Guest Blog: Why a Breakthrough is Unlikely at Bonn 2

Abbas Daiyar

On 5 December, on the tenth anniversary of the Bonn Agreement, Germany will host the Bonn II conference. There are exaggerated views in the Afghan public about what the conference is trying to achieve, that – with the ‘talks about talks’ continuing – it might even embark on setting up a new composition of power […]

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Guest Blog: Principles Sold-out – A Farewell to Afghanistan

Jan Malekzade

The 2002 Emergency Loya Jirga was more representative then anything seen in Afghanistan in the previous 25 years, writes our guest blogger, but it was sold out to the warlords for a cheap political compromise, argues our guest blogger Jan Malekzade*. Looking back at two stints with the UN, he says farewell to Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s […]

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German Government Reviews Afghan ‘Progress’

Thomas Ruttig

The online part of German magazine Spiegel comments on the Berlin government’s last update on the situation in Afghanistan* and says that it highlights the ‘open contradictions’ in Afghanistan’s ‘progress’. The magazine quotes German AfPak special envoy Michael Steiner as saying that he wants to give an ‘unvarnished picture’ and that he sees both ‘light […]

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