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.

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After the Soviet troop had withdrawn in early 1989, leaflets turned up in Kabul signed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar announcing that he would ride into Kabul on the back of a white horse and pray in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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Finding Kabir

Willi Germund

Arresting the former deputy ‚prime minister‘ of the Taleban apparently needed less than rocket science. Pakistani intelligence sources also confirm that the arrests of Maulawi Kabir and Mulla Baradar foremost serve Pakistani interests, both with regard to urgently needed financial resources and possibly to the strengthening of an old ally, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. A guest blog […]

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Some Birds with One Stone

Christopher Reuter

Pakistan is establishing a new Taleban leadership that is more aggressive, less inclined to talk and primarily follows the instructions of its ISI minders, says Christoph Reuter(1). With this aim, it manipulates different leaders of militant groups, using targeted arrests and ‘invitations’ into ‘guesthouses’. When it became known on 16 Februar that the number three […]

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Strangers kicking in your door

Martine van Bijlert

“Hello, I am calling from Kandahar. I got your number from a friend. One of my employees, a driver, was arrested a month ago. ISAF forces came to my house at night and took three people away. They also almost took me. They are still holding the driver, the ICRC says he is in Bagram. […]

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Voices from Zabul

Martine van Bijlert

Just got back from a short visit to Zabul, the largely forgotten province that is surrounded by Kandahar, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Paktia and Pakistani Baluchistan. I was curious how things had developed since my last visit three years ago. The governor had been changed – and so had the Taliban governor – some provincial department heads […]

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Flash from the Past: Russian Advice on Afghanistan

AAN Team

‘In fact, we [the Soviet Union] were the first to defend Western civilization against the attacks of Muslim fanatics. No one thanked us.’ This is only one of the core sentences in an op-ed I almost had missed. It was co-authored by ex-General Boris Gromov, now the governor of the Moscow region who commanded the […]

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Taleban Attack on Muhammad’s Birthday

Thomas Ruttig

It was around 6.30 this morning when we were woken up by a violent blast. As it turned out, it was another of the ‘complex’ (or multiple) attacks using suicide bombers and ‘commandos’ armed with small arms for which the Taleban have regularly claimed responsibility. The main targets seem to have been two guesthouses in […]

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