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.

The Long Winding River: Unravelling the water dispute between Afghanistan and Iran

Mhd Assem Mayar Roxanna Shapour

Afghanistan and Iran have been at loggerheads for much of this year over the Helmand River and its water. As the region grappled with a punishing drought for the third year running, the two neighbouring countries have been locked in a tense melee over shared transboundary rivers. While Iran seeks to assert its rights over […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
A poppy farmer and labourer by the farmer's crop in Nad Ali district, Helmand Province in spring 2015. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2015.

Prosperity or Penury: The political and economic fallout of the opium ban in Afghanistan

Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

Two new reports, one from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and another by David Mansfield and Alcis, show that Afghan farmers have largely complied with the Islamic Emirate’s ban on opium cultivation. They chart a swingeing cut in cultivation in 2023 – just 10,000 to 30,000 hectares of land sown with opium […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Nature’s Fury: The Herat earthquakes of 2023

Roxanna Shapour

The earth has continued to shudder in Herat province ever since the first of a series of deadly earthquakes hit the province on Saturday 7 October around 11am local time. They have destroyed entire villages and killed and injured thousands of people. Since then, dozens more tremors, including three powerful earthquakes have caused additional havoc […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Goods trucks cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan at Torkham. Photo: Shafiullah Kakar/AFP, 25 February 2023

Survival and Stagnation: The State of the Afghan economy

Kate Clark

This paper is an attempt to give an overview of the Afghan economy in light of two new World Bank reports, one on the economy, two years on from the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and a second on the welfare of households. The Emirate has not published budgets for this year […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Residents sit with a plate of eaten watermelon at a restaurant in Mirai bazaar in Andar district of Ghazni, after it was re-taken by the Taleban. Photo: Wakil Khosar/AFP, 3 June 2021

Finding Business Opportunity after Conflict: Shopkeepers, civil servants and farmers in Andar district

Sabawoon Samim

Andar district in Ghazni province was a battleground for most of the years of the Islamic Republic, from 2003 up until its fall in 2021. The conflict caused not only loss of life, but also severe damage and disruption to business. Andar’s economy is once again fully functional and, for the time being, it is […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Selling traditional Afghan clothes on Facebook

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

How to support your family when you have just lost your job during hard economic times? That was the question one journalist asked himself after his newspaper laid him off during the calamitous contraction of the economy in 2021 when the amount of international money coming into Afghanistan suddenly diminished. The journalist’s response surprised even […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Aid Diversion in Afghanistan: Is it time for a candid conversation?

Ashley Jackson

Diversion of aid in Afghanistan is in the news again, this time with allegations by the United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, that the Islamic Emirate or its officials are diverting humanitarian aid. Language in a draft US appropriations bill would prohibit any US assistance going “directly or indirectly” to […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Keep on Moving on the Balkan Route: No quarter for Afghan asylum seekers in Croatia and Serbia

Fabrizio Foschini

The number of Afghan refugees moving along the Balkan Route has remained very high this summer. A large proportion of those taking the long trip to central, western and northern Europe are in their early twenties and many are under-age. From Turkey, they usually cross Greece and Bulgaria in order to reach Serbia. Once there, […]

Migration Read more

New UN Report Charts the Emirate’s Treatment of Detainees: Allegations of torture and ill-treatment

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released its first report dedicated to the treatment of detainees since the Taleban takeover and alleges that the use of torture by the police and General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) is “systemic.” The report details methods of torture familiar to earlier generations of detainees – electric shocks, beating and suspension – but also […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Chinese Investments in Afghanistan: Strategic economic move or incentive for the Emirate?

Thomas Ruttig

When the West withdrew from Afghanistan, many assumed its acquisitive neighbour, China, would reap the economic benefits of the change of government in Kabul. Afghanistan has immense, but largely untouched mineral and hydrocarbon wealth, including strategically valuable metals, such as lithium. That assumption was fed in the first half of 2023 by a flurry of […]

Regional Relations Read more

The Daily Hustle: Crossing the Durand Line to visit family in Pakistan

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Roxanna Shapour

The story of Afghan families is often one of loved ones separated by long distances and national borders. Every year, many Afghans who have family living in neighbouring countries make the hours and sometimes days-long journey overland from Afghanistan, braving long bus rides, hours waiting to cross borders and the demands for payment by border […]

Context and Culture Read more

A Taleban Theory of State: A review of the Chief Justice’s book of jurisprudence

John Butt

In the second of our mini-series on Taleban publications, this report examines what may be the fullest and most authoritative account yet of what the Taleban believe an Islamic state should look like. In his book, ‘Al-Emarat al-Islamiya wa Nidhamuha’ (The Islamic Emirate and its System of Governance), the Islamic Emirate’s Chief Justice, Abdul Hakim […]

Political Landscape Read more