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: ‘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‘The big hope has been replaced by a big concern’: the Ten Years anniversary in the Afghan Press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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Bonn 2: A Top-down Approach to Civil Society Again

Thomas Ruttig

In November 2009, three months before the London Conference on Afghanistan, AAN’s Senior Analyst Thomas Ruttig wrote a blog under the title ‘A meaningful Afghanistan conference needs civil society involvement’. Re-reading it five months before the next one in the long series of Afghanistan conferences*, in Bonn again, he thought he can simply re-post it: […]

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… and now: Eikenberry’s Reply

Thomas Ruttig

President Karzai’s speech of 18 June, in which he called the US – amongst other things – ‘occupiers’ that ‘have not built the roads for us but for themselves’, has obviously hit a raw nerve. Karl Eikenberry, the US Ambassador in Kabul, gave a ‘surprisingly emotional response’ (The AfPakChannel) in Herat on Sunday which might […]

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Deaths Not in the News (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

Some TV stations have a programme called ‘No comment’. They just show pictures, without any explanation. Here, we just use words to report an incident from Logar, without any comment. It is from the Afghan War’s small print. Case 1 On Tuesday 14 June, around 1:30 pm, a mine went off in De Ahmadzaio Kala’s […]

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How the West Contributed to the ANSF’s Dire State

Thomas Ruttig

The Independent on Sunday came out today with an article highlighting the dire state of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The article’s headline is self-explanatory: ‘After 10 years, no security unit is fit to take over from coalition in Afghanistan’. Indeed, there are grave concerns whether the ANSF can fully take over by 2014 […]

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Towards a More United Voice of Afghan Civil Society: Step Two

Fabrizio Foschini

During the last week of May a delegation of Afghan civil society activists visited Italy in a follow-up to the Kabul conference of two months ago, by the title ‘Promoting Dialogue and Peace in Afghanistan: Strengthening Afghan Civil Society’. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini followed to Rome the members of the steering committee composed of several Afghan […]

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The Enteqal Seven (4): Herat, the Seeds of Fear

Fabrizio Foschini

Herat was a logical choice for the transition: rich, cultivated, well-connected, Herat makes the kind of city that can stand on its own feet without much effort. But of course, transition comes with a price. As it seems more and more apparent, the insurgents are keen on targeting these new would-be symbols of success for […]

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