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.

“Hundreds of Taleban released last year”

Kate Clark

A senior Taleban commander quietly pardoned by President Hamed Karzai last year, Akbar Agha, has given his first interview since being released from Pul-e Charkhi jail. He told AAN’s Senior Analyst, Kate Clark, that he was one of “hundreds of Taleban prisoners” across the country who were released by the president to mark Eid al-Fitr […]

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The General in His Labyrinth

Thomas Ruttig

Sorry, the temptation to personalize is too big to drop such a headline. But in fact it’s the system, stupid, argues Thomas Ruttig on The General’s encounter with a rock music magazine. (Hum to the tone of Dr Hook’s famous hit ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’, lyrics below.) Great, General, that was really helpful! […]

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Latest rumours about still open ministries

Thomas Ruttig Gran Hewad

As AAN has reported recently, there are still 13 vacancies in the Afghan cabinet. For the next days, at least some proposals from the President are expected by the parliament. The following list of possibly included candidates has been published by an Afghan website, claiming that it is based on ‘reliable reports from the presidential […]

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Continuing tug of war between the Parliament and Karzai

Martine van Bijlert

As the Parliament has entered its fifth(!) week of “silent sessions”, the government is moving towards meeting some of its demands, to some extent – in a typical display of Afghan political ambiguity. A constitutionally-mandated oversight commission has finally been established, but its membership is still incomplete and the controversy over its authorities continues. And […]

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Campaign Trail 2010 (1): Badakhshan – drugs, border crossings and parliamentary seats

Fabrizio Foschini

The final candidates list for the 2010 parliamentary elections takes shape. It is expected for 21 June. Recently, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) reinstated seven candidates that had been removed from the list before. But currently, the vetting process has been frozen by the IEC – it waits for the return of the President from […]

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A New Taleban Front?

Thomas Ruttig

The Taleban successfully have infiltrated Northern and Northeastern Afghanistan and destabilised certain areas, mainly in Kunduz province. Now, there are signs that they might attempt to push forward into mainly Hazara-settled areas the central region. The main road into Jaghori, an important Hazara area, has been blocked raising fears of a new economic blockade or […]

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Reviewing prisoners after the peace jirga

Kate Clark

AAN has learned that a new committee to review security prisoners – as called for by the peace jirga and decreed by the president on 5 June – has been set up and has held its first meetings. Member and spokesperson for the committee, Professor Nasrullah Stanekzai, told AAN the committee was currently getting lists […]

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Congratulations, Francesc!

Thomas Ruttig

The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) conveys its best wishes to Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, Chairman of its Advisory Board, former Special Representative of the UN and the EU to and in Afghanistan, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Find below some of his selected statement, predictions, warnings – and also some regrets for misjudgements. General […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 2: Protecting the Innocent?

Kate Clark

An unknown number of Afghans are being held in custody suspected of being Taleban or convicted of insurgency-related crimes. Complaints about wrongful arrest, detention without trial, torture and a justice system where influence and money count for more than guilt or innocence are rife – and, of course, not limited to security prisoners. President Karzai’s […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 1: Letting the Guilty Go Free?

Kate Clark

When the Afghan intelligence boss, Amrullah Saleh, said he could not, in all conscience, carry on in his post if it entailed “negotiating with suicide bombers” he became the first person to take a principled, stand against the way Afghan policy on the Taleban is developing. Saleh is particularly opposed to freeing Taleban prisoners. Yet […]

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GUEST BLOG: The Story of ‘M’: US-Dutch Shouting Matches in Uruzgan

Bette Dam

In a reply to a recent article in the New York Times, our guest author discusses different approaches of how different NATO countries deal with what could be labeled ‘allied illegitimate armed groups’. By Bette Dam (*) Last weekend the New York Times wrote an interesting pieceabout the head of a private army in Uruzgan province, Matiullah Khan, […]

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More on the resignation of Atmar and Saleh – and who might replace them

Kate Clark

The repercussions of the sacking/resignation of two of the president’s three top security officials on Sunday are still sinking in, along with the President’s decree that the status of Taleban prisoners must be reviewed. These major changes on security follow his proclaimed success in demonstrating ‘national unity’ at the peace jirga. Despite the tent being […]

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