Afghanistan Analysts Network – English


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.

After two years in legal limbo: A first glance at the approved ‘Amnesty law’

Sari Kouvo

(Updated: 30 September 2017) – Impunity is certainly a problem in Afghanistan, but now impunity has been made into law. The so-called amnesty law (now titled the National Reconciliation, General Amnesty and National Stability Law) was published in the official gazette in December 2008 (Qaus 1387). While opinions differ about whether the law was formally passed […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

A reform of the electoral law?

Antonella Deledda

The reform of the Afghan electoral law is moving again. ANTONELLA DELEDDA looks at the proposed amendments that are circulating in Kabul, at the question whther this can be done by presidential decree and whether this would be the urgently necessary ‘organic reform’ or mainly serves the interests of the current elite after the faulty […]

Political Landscape Read more

Recommended readings: 114,000 plus…

Thomas Ruttig

With the US troop surge and announcements at and around the London conference that additional troops will be deployed from other NATO countries, NATO and its allies are now exceeding the number of troops the Soviet Union had sent to occupy the country between 1979 and 1989. This does not include contractors from private military […]

War and Peace Read more

Implications of Mulla Baradar’s Arrest

Thomas Ruttig

With Mulla Baradar the operational leader of the Taleban movement has been captured. Mulla Baradar – this is a nom-de-guerre and his real name is Abdul Ghani – had been appointed one of the two deputies of Mulla Muhammad Omar when the movement reorganized after its collapse in late 2001. That made him the movement’s […]

War and Peace Read more

Wondering where all of this is going

Martine van Bijlert

Back in Kabul, I am struck by the sense underlying most conversations that things are happening above people’s heads, out of their reach and largely unseen. The London conference seems to have confused more than it has clarified and the questions that are always latently present are becoming more pronounced: What are the foreigners doing? […]

International Engagement Read more

An Offensive Foretold

Thomas Ruttig

When I checked the BBC website last night after watching the world premiere of the reconstructed famous 1927 German silent movie ‘Metropolis’ (a ‘don’t miss’ for all cineasts), the red ribbon for breaking news flashed: NATO and Afghan troops have started ‘Operation Moshtarak’ (Together) in Helmand. In Afghanistan, it was already after 2 am on […]

War and Peace Read more

Afghanistan Bird Watch

AAN Team

The most underreported Afghan story of January 2010 already has been identified: One of the world rarest birds has been spotted in Badakhshan. Overshadowed by the coverage of the London conference, the BBCreported that scientists of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society found specimen of the large-billed reed warbler (photo), one of the rarest birds on earth, during […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Rules and Empty Promises

Martine van Bijlert

I have finally arrived in Kabul, after spending several days travelling half the world to get a visa for Afghanistan. My quest started in Dubai, where in the past it had been relatively easy to get multiple entry, multiple months. I had heard about a new system that involved getting a “Mofa number” (i.e. a […]

Context and Culture Read more

On Commander Razeq again

Joanna Nathan

AAN member JOANNA NATHAN draws attention to the recent “mistaken” killing of civilians by Kandahar’s border police, which has gone largely unnoticed. So Commander Razeq is once again in the news with dead civilians on his men’s hands. TheNew York Times reports that seven people mistakenly thought to be insurgents were shot by the border police […]

War and Peace Read more

World to Afghans: ‘Unhappy with our choices? Grin and bear it.’

Fatima Ayub

After participating in parallel events to the main London Afghanistan conference, FATIMA AYUB points at the alarm amongst many Afghans caused by indications of a ‘headlong dash to give Taliban leaders recognition and power’. A near-hysterical optimism accompanies any official event on Afghanistan, and the London Conference almost two weeks ago was no different. To […]

International Engagement Read more

A challenge for the next head of UNAMA

Minna Jarvenpaa

Minna Jarvenpaa, AAN founding member and former head of UNAMA’s Analysis and Policy Unit, looks ahead at the challenges faced by Afghanistan’s new UN SRSG. Staffan di Mistura, who on the eve of the London Conference was appointed by Ban Ki-moon as his Special Representative to head up the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), […]

International Engagement Read more

London Conference (2): Peace, Reconciliation and Reintegration

Martine van Bijlert

The London Conference and the media chatter around it has put the subject of reintegration and negotiations with the Taliban firmly on the agenda. Although both issues had been repeatedly raised by Afghan government and international officials over the last few years, the media and wider public still seemed to be taken by surprise. A […]

International Engagement Read more