Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

Reports – previously known as dispatches – are the flagship of the AAN website and our main type of publication. AAN reports are based on extensive desk and field research and provide timely and in-depth information and analysis.

Living in a Collapsed Economy (3): Surviving poverty, food insecurity and the harsh winter

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

In this third instalment of ‘Living in a Collapsed Economy,’ we returned to the people we interviewed at the beginning of winter to find out how they had managed since we last spoke to them, especially during the harsh winter months. For many of them, not much had changed, although their situation had slowly worsened […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Regime Change, Economic Decline and No Legal Protection: What has happened to the Afghan media?

Ehsan Qaane

The Taleban takeover of Afghanistan delivered a devastating blow to one of the Republic’s few achievements – freedom of expression and a vibrant media sector. Since the fall of the Republic, nearly half of Afghanistan’s media outlets have closed and thousands of Afghan journalists and media workers have either left the country, lost their jobs, […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
A child makes bricks in a mould at a brick kiln in Kandahar. For the families in our study from Sar-e Pul, working in the brick kilns in Mazar-e Sharif was a last resort, but by 2016, 70 per cent of households were migrating there seasonally, with men, women and children working. Households could easily fall into debt-bondage. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP, November 2021

Living With Radical Uncertainty in Rural Afghanistan: The work of survival

Adam Pain

Yet again, Afghanistan is experiencing a moment of rupture, the latest in a long series of upheavals that have marked the lives of most Afghans over the age of 55. For those living in rural areas, unpredictability is created not only by regime change or violent conflict, but also drought, flooding and other natural disasters. […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

War Crimes Trial Begins in the Netherlands: Former commander at Pul-e Charkhi faces justice

Kate Clark

The trial of an Afghan man suspected of committing war crimes in Afghanistan in the 1980s will start today in the Netherlands. Abdul Razaq Arif is believed to have served in leadership positions in the Pul-e Charkhi prison from 1983 to 1990 and is being charged with being an accessory to or allowing inhuman treatment and […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Who Gets to Go to School? (3): Are Taleban attitudes starting to change from within?

Sabawoon Samim

In the last of our three reports on the Taleban and education, especially of girls, we turn to what seems to be a relatively new trend. Guest author Sabawoon Samim* has been looking at views of girls’ education within the Taleban movement and finds it notable that some Taleban are now seeking out school and […]

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Who Gets to Go to School? (2) The Taleban and education through time

S Reza Kazemi Kate Clark

In trying to understand Taleban policy on state education, especially for girls, our first report heard from people around the country. They painted a picture of primary schools for boys and girls, and boys’ secondary schools having generally re-opened after the Taleban captured power on 15 August, but of girls’ secondary schools opening only very patchily. […]

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Who Gets to Go to School? (1): What people told us about education since the Taleban took over

Kate Clark AAN Team

Taleban policy towards women and girls is one of the prisms through which the movement has been studied – and judged – ever since the Taleban first came to power in the mid-nineties. A touchstone for many Afghans and outside observers was whether, after capturing power nationally in August 2021, they would allow girls to […]

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A Community Under Attack: How successive governments failed west Kabul and the Hazaras who live there

Ali Yawar Adili

The Hazara-Shia community in west Kabul city, particularly its sprawling neighbourhood Dasht-e Barchi, has been the target of some of the city’s deadliest attacks, especially since 2016. The community has particularly been hit hard in west Kabul, but Hazaras and Shias have also been persistently targeted elsewhere in Afghanistan. While the former government promised to […]

War and Peace Read more
Head of the Culture Department in Ghazni, Mullah Habibullah Mujahid stands with toher Taleban next to a section of a wall of a former US military base with the names of US soldiers in Ghazni. Photo Hector Retamal/AFP, 15 November 2021

War, War, War: A look at which AAN reports you were reading in 2021

Kate Clark

AAN publications in 2021 were dominated by our efforts to understand the conflict and the failing peace process. More than 40 per cent of our reports last year dealt with war and peace. For our readers, the subject was even more important: among our most-read reports, more than 70 per cent focussed on the conflict. […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghanistan in World Literature (V): Two French portraits

Fabrizio Foschini

Over the years, AAN has written about how Afghanistan is portrayed in the literature of other countries. Such portrayals have been instrumental in shaping the views and impressions of the country up to the present and given the continuing influence of outsiders on Afghanistan, it seems important to map this literature. In this report, AAN’s […]

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Taleban fighters celebrate their capture of Jalalabad, on 15 August 2021. Photo: AFP

Afghanistan’s Conflict in 2021 (2): Republic collapse and Taleban victory in the long-view of history

Kate Clark

For the first time in the long decades of conflict endured by Afghans since the 1978 communist coup sparked armed rebellion, Afghanistan is largely at peace. And for only the second time in that period, the country is under one unitary authority. This then is a historic moment, but will it last? In the second […]

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Afghanistan’s Conflict in 2021 (1): The Taleban’s sweeping offensive as told by people on the ground

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

As Afghanistan’s former leaders publicly reflect and comment on the events that led to the fall of the Republic, it has been easy to lose sight of what those months in the summer of 2021 were like for the people who lived through them. In this first of two reports we look back at 2021’s […]

War and Peace Read more