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.

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

War and Peace Read more

How ‘neo’ were the ‘Neo-Taleban’?

Thomas Ruttig

Since the Taleban’s quick resurgence after the fall of their regime in 2001, their insurgency often is described with the term ‘Neo-Taleban’. Here it is argued, though, that there was more continuity than change from the pre-9/11 to the post-9/11 Taleban movement. The real ‘neo-Taleban’ might emerge now – after the arrest of accommodation-inclined Taleban […]

War and Peace Read more

Political Parties in Re-Registration

Thomas Ruttig

On Monday, the six-month’s deadline for a re-registration of Afghanistan’s 110 registered political parties is ending. This is based on requirements of the new political parties law passed by the parliament in June 2009 already. After some back and forth between the executive and the legislative which led to some amendments in detail, the President […]

Political Landscape Read more

Don’t Call That Warlord a Warlord

Antonio Giustozzi

In Afghanistan, some feel insulted when they are called a ‘warlord’. Some rather call them, euphemistically, ‘local power brokers’ or ‘strongmen’. The author of this blog thinks that the term still is useful – but that it should not be used randomly and proposes a sharper definition. By Antonio Giustozzi. This blog first appeared on […]

War and Peace Read more