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.

2010 Elections 29: Losing legitimacy – Kandahar’s preliminary winners

Matthieu Aikins

There has been some very positive news coming out of Kandahar province lately, as the New York Times’ Carlotta Gall has reported(*). According to ISAF and Afghan government officials, the Taliban have been “routed” from the province by a massive military offensive, partly with the help of a miraculous rocket launcher, the HIMARS system, which, […]

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2010 Elections 28: Sacrifing the vote for a semblance of control

Martine van Bijlert

Most international supporters had reached an early conclusion that whatever happened in the field, the IEC in Kabul did their job well – guarding the process and maintaining a level of independence and transparency. Candidates and voters strongly disagree and are venting suspicions of manipulation and foul play up to the highest level. The results […]

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A Karzai-Taleban coalition won’t survive a few days

Francesc Vendrell

Former UN and EU Special Envoy to Afghanistan and the chairman of AAN’s advisory board Francesc Vendrell talked to the Voice of America about the much-reported contacts between the Afghan government and some elements of the Taliban on possible peace negotiations. Here some relatively expansive quotes from the 19 October article. Francesc Vendrell who is […]

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Talking to the Taleban: Who’s under pressure now?

Anand Gopal

The last US plan – to have a more broad-based reconciliation process only after its military would regain the upper hand on the battlefield – has not worked. The surge has not shifted the momentum. Not the Taleban but in reality the US are under pressure, and fundamental questions open about how and where a […]

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2010 Elections 27: And finally… the preliminary results

Martine van Bijlert

The 2010 preliminary results were announced on 20 October 2010, but as usual information, as well as an understanding of what that information means, is trickling in rather slowly. So far we have a series of figures provided by the IEC, but no answers on why they don’t match or add up; and an internet […]

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Are Talks with the Taleban Snow-Balling?

Martine van Bijlert

There has been a lot of excitement lately in the press about the supposedly snow-balling talks with the Taleban leadership and what this could mean for the prospects to end the war. The major news outlets have been trying to outdo each other in terms of talking up details provided by spokespeople and unnamed officials. […]

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AAN Guest blog: Making Elections Count

William Maley

Afghanistan’s elections have been spectacularly problematic. Only hours before the announcement of this year’s preliminary results, Professor William Maley explores the different ways in which electoral processes can be viewed – as theatre, a way to change power without bloodshed, or a means of renegotiating power relations. He discusses the corrosive impact of widspread fraud […]

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Enclaves of Optimism

Martine van Bijlert

In the midst of years of downhill trends and mounting complexities and a growing realisation of how intertwined we have all become in Afghanistan’s main problems, you can still find enclaves of optimism – at military headquarters, diplomatic gatherings, UN leadership levels. They are inhabited by people with a stubborn, but seemingly authentic belief that […]

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Another Militia Creation Gone Wrong

Thomas Ruttig

In March 2010, heavy fighting broke out in the northern Baghlan province between Hezb-e Islami fighters and the Taleban. On 7 October 2010, a German soldier was killed by a suicide bomber in the same area. The connection between both events is another example how the establishment of ‘militias’ (even though they are not called […]

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2010 Elections 26: The IEC between pressure and scrutiny

Martine van Bijlert

The email was sent around today, not long before the planned press conference and not long after an earlier message had announced a delay. “Dear All: The IEC is intent to be more precise in announcement of WJ Elections results, therefore kindly be informed that IEC press conference for announcement of WJ preliminary results [is] […]

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A back somersault in the US strategy: Lower aims, higher risks

Thomas Ruttig

Confronted with a too short timeline (the 2011-14 withdrawal plan), US strategy in Afghanistan is shifting again. In practice this means that political and military targets are ‘adjusted’ further downwards. Progress will be measured by purely quantitative criteria only. As one element of it, the population-centric COIN approach is being been sacrificed in favour of […]

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Afghan Reactions to the High Peace Council

Thomas Ruttig

The establishment of the High Peace Council (HPC) by President Hamed Karzai on 18 September has created a lot of attention. Finally, the competition about who will chair the body has been decided in favour of 1992-96 Interim President Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani. Also, the still missing members have been appointed which let the HPC become […]

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