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.

AAN Election Blog No. 6: An Ink Issue Again?

Thomas Ruttig

During the 2004 presidential election, ink became an issue. Enraged losing candidates went as far as to demand that the vote be annulled because the ink supposedly did not work. Will it become an issue again? In 2004, the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) – composed of Afghans and internationals – had purchased indelible ink […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 5: The Best Candidates’ Posters (1)

Thomas Ruttig

In a loose series, AAN will introduce some of the best election posters and give some background on the respective candidates. Today: Foruzan Fana – positive vibrations and an unresolved murder. Walking or driving through the streets of Kabul is quite interesting these days. The 38 presidential and over 300 Kabul provincial council candidates’ posters […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 4: The Bag and the Donkey

Thomas Ruttig

The balance of Karzai‘s five year tenure for Afghanistan is devastating – but it is unfair to blame him alone. Indeed, the general framework has considerably improved in comparison to the Taleban era. The country is no more an outcast in the world community but receives unprecedented international support. There are NGOs, political parties and […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 3: On the Campaign Trail II

Martine van Bijlert

Campaigning in Afghanistan. The phone calls start coming in and friends stop by: let me tell you what is happening in my area. These are the details of just one day: rallies, threats and doubts. People from Spin Boldak are cancelling their attendance for an Abdullah rally in Kandahar because the drivers of the hired […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 2: On the Campaign Trail

Martine van Bijlert

A view of the Afghan elections through the eyes of the so-called ‘minor actors’, those without influence and money who try to navigate and position themselves and try to find their place in what is going on. The first campaigner to be introduced is – let’s call him Abdul Mohammad. The last few times I […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 1: Rockets over Kabul

Thomas Ruttig

Two days ago, my local radio station called me to describe how I experienced the recent rocket attack on Kabul early Tuesday (4 August) morning. I hoped I could explain a bit about this but soon the conversation switched to the Taleban, the ceasefire with their Badghis branch and to the question whether there were […]

Political Landscape Read more

‘The one thing you need to read about Afghanistan’

Thomas Ruttig

Recently, I came across a blog that recommended what to read about Afghanistan: a Kissinger op-ed, speeches of McCain and Spanta… But if you only read one thing about Afghanistan, it said enthusiastically, don’t miss the testimony of Marin Strmecki… before the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee under any circumstances who – according to the […]

International Engagement Read more

Beyond Taleban

Thomas Ruttig

Multiple suicide attacks in Gardez and Khost. July most bloody month ever for US forces in Afghanistan. More British troops to be deployed. Karzai’s empty chair at Tolo TV’s presidential candidates’ debate… Reporting about Afghanistan mainly focuses on security issues and elections currently. Very often, our own countries’ domestic politics overshadow the other reality, life […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Germans at the Front

Thomas Ruttig

“It couldn’t have come worse. It is mid-August 2009. American pilots bomb an Afghan village, many women and children die. The target for the attack was provided by the Germans.” [The German parliament is currently in the decision-making process about sending AWACS surveillance planes to Afghanistan.] “Two days later, three German Bundeswehr soldiers publicly brag […]

International Engagement Read more

Theatre about conflict – and how we all have to relate to it

Sari Kouvo

Mid-June, I had the opportunity see the revival performance of a play entitled ‘AH 7808’ that toured most Afghan regional capitals in 2008. The play is an adaptation of an Irish script addressing conflict and each individual’s responsibility to overcome it. Through the play, the audience gets to take part in one man’s struggle to […]

International Engagement Read more

A few thoughts on the UN Human Rights Council and its review of the Afghan government’s periodic report

Sari Kouvo

On 7 May 2009, the Afghan government presented its first report to the UN Human Rights Council. If I am rightly informed, the Afghan government received around one hundred recommendations that should be discussed, refused or adopted. If adopted, the Afghan government should by the time of the next review show if and how it […]

International Engagement Read more

Teeth, flowers and another tale of violence

Martine van Bijlert

Every day in Afghanistan is full of stories. Most of them with a fair share of bad luck and wry humour and usually quite a bit of violence. This story is about – let’s call him Hamidullah. Hamidullah comes from a place not far from Kabul. It is commander country. In the past he fought under […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more