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.

PEACE JIRGA BLOG 2: Peace Jirga goes to Washington: whose opinions count on reconciling Taliban?

Kate Clark

‘Peace Jirga goes to Washington,’ was the headline in Payam-e Mujahid newspaper this week. The headline sums up how politics have been on hold in Afghanistan since President Karzai was invited to Washington and also, very succinctly, where the power of decision-making in Afghanistan lies. By Kate Clark, currently engaged as Senior Analyst with AAN. […]

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Counterinsurgency in Kandahar: what happened to the fence?

Martine van Bijlert

A short visit to Kandahar, as it has been a while. In the afternoon there is a donkey cart bomb several blocks away. It kills three children, destroys a police post and rattles the office I am visiting. The blast of moving air tells the body something about vulnerability that it had forgotten. In the […]

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Getting ready for the next election: the IEC pushes ahead

Martine van Bijlert

The country is gearing up for the next election. Local notables and the ambitious young are consulting and assessing the support they can muster. The Wolesi Jirga is still protesting the adoption of the new electoral decree, but nobody seems to be listening and the candidate registration process, which starts within a few days, will […]

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Reliable partners

Martine van Bijlert

The pendulum has swung again. After a few days of crisis and strained relations the US administration has publicly smoothed over the unease and the anger and has welcomed Karzai back into the ranks of ‘reliable partners’. Letters have been sent, joint appearances made and reassuring statements given. It is difficult to know what is […]

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Separating the government, the Taliban and the people (2): Meanwhile in the provinces

Martine van Bijlert

Meanwhile in the provinces the lines are blurring even further. This is illustrated by recent instructions from the Quetta shura on how to treat people working for the government or the internationals. The instructions were communicated to Taliban commanders in the south by traveling delegations and are said to have included a set of pointers […]

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Separating the government, the Taliban and the people (1): Karzai and the confusion in Kabul

Martine van Bijlert

Over the last few days Karzai has found it increasingly difficult to stop saying in public all the things that he has been saying in private for months: who do these foreigners think they are, what are they playing at, and do they really think they can push me and my people around forever? Observers […]

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The Electoral Law that wasn’t amended (yet) and fraud by foreigners

Martine van Bijlert

Karzai’s last minute attempt to rewrite the electoral law has been stalled, after Parliament rejected the decree on Wednesday. It has been a bizarre process in which political strong-arming and legal debates have made the outcome unpredictable. This continues to be the case. The heart of the matter is that Karzai does not want to go […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 1: How serious is the Peace Jirga?

Martine van Bijlert

While the press makes it sound like a deal with Hekmatyar is just around the corner now that a 15-point plan has been presented, and while the Taliban continue to deny their involvement in any kind of talks and continue to adapt to the twin pressures of military operations in Afghanistan and high-level arrests in […]

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Flash from the Past: Islamic Order à la Hekmatyar

Thomas Ruttig

The following statement was broadcast by HIG’s radio Payyam-e Azadi (Message of Freedom) in Pashto on 9 December 1994. Statement of the Military Command of Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan and Sepah-e Nur [Hezb’s military forces]. To the attention of all shop and restaurant owners and the noble population of Chahrasyab [a district capital in the South […]

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Gulbuddin ante portas – again (Updated)

Thomas Ruttig

After the Soviet troop had withdrawn in early 1989, leaflets turned up in Kabul signed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar announcing that he would ride into Kabul on the back of a white horse and pray in Pul-e Kheshti mosque. That made many Kabulis shiver. They said that the mujahedin leader was ‘worse than the Russians’ and […]

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Days of the Living Dead

Mathieu Lefevre

I have just returned home after three weeks in Afghanistan doing research in Kabul and Kandahar on a forthcoming report for AAN on local defence forces. I’m just starting to work on the paper, but perhaps a few quick facts that I came across during my research might be of interest to readers of the […]

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New troops too late for Badghis?

Monica Bernabe

Inactive foreign troops and gross human rights violations with an ethnic bias have made the population of Badghis ‘poor, fed up and completely alienated from the government’, an ideal breeding ground for the Taleban and an eight-fold increase of poppy cultivation. A rare glimpse into one of the most neglected provinces of Afghanistan. By Mònica […]

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