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.

Who Gets to Go to School? (1): What people told us about education since the Taleban took over

Kate Clark AAN Team

Taleban policy towards women and girls is one of the prisms through which the movement has been studied – and judged – ever since the Taleban first came to power in the mid-nineties. A touchstone for many Afghans and outside observers was whether, after capturing power nationally in August 2021, they would allow girls to […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

A Community Under Attack: How successive governments failed west Kabul and the Hazaras who live there

Ali Yawar Adili

The Hazara-Shia community in west Kabul city, particularly its sprawling neighbourhood Dasht-e Barchi, has been the target of some of the city’s deadliest attacks, especially since 2016. The community has particularly been hit hard in west Kabul, but Hazaras and Shias have also been persistently targeted elsewhere in Afghanistan. While the former government promised to […]

War and Peace Read more
Head of the Culture Department in Ghazni, Mullah Habibullah Mujahid stands with toher Taleban next to a section of a wall of a former US military base with the names of US soldiers in Ghazni. Photo Hector Retamal/AFP, 15 November 2021

War, War, War: A look at which AAN reports you were reading in 2021

Kate Clark

AAN publications in 2021 were dominated by our efforts to understand the conflict and the failing peace process. More than 40 per cent of our reports last year dealt with war and peace. For our readers, the subject was even more important: among our most-read reports, more than 70 per cent focussed on the conflict. […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghanistan in World Literature (V): Two French portraits

Fabrizio Foschini

Over the years, AAN has written about how Afghanistan is portrayed in the literature of other countries. Such portrayals have been instrumental in shaping the views and impressions of the country up to the present and given the continuing influence of outsiders on Afghanistan, it seems important to map this literature. In this report, AAN’s […]

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Taleban fighters celebrate their capture of Jalalabad, on 15 August 2021. Photo: AFP

Afghanistan’s conflict in 2021 (2): Republic collapse and Taleban victory in the long-view of history

Kate Clark

For the first time in the long decades of conflict endured by Afghans since the 1978 communist coup sparked armed rebellion, Afghanistan is largely at peace. And for only the second time in that period, the country is under one unitary authority. This then is a historic moment, but will it last? In the second […]

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Afghanistan’s Conflict in 2021 (1): The Taleban’s sweeping offensive as told by people on the ground

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

As Afghanistan’s former leaders publicly reflect and comment on the events that led to the fall of the Republic, it has been easy to lose sight of what those months in the summer of 2021 were like for the people who lived through them. In this first of two reports we look back at 2021’s […]

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Living in a Collapsed Economy (2): Even the people who still have money are struggling

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

In this second instalment of ‘Living in a Collapsed Economy,’ we seek to map what Afghanistan’s economic collapse means, at the household level, for the relatively fortunate – those who were wealthy to start with or had a diverse set of income streams, as well as those who still have a stable salary. We hear […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Realpolitik and the 2021 National Budget: The toxic struggle for money and power that undermined Afghanistan’s Republic

Roxanna Shapour

The 2021 new year did not get off to a promising start in Afghanistan. The conflict was raging, violence was at an all-time high for winter and the so-called peace talks were hobbling along in Doha. In what turned out to be the waning months of the Republic, lawmakers and government were deep in the […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Living in a Collapsed Economy (1): A cook, a labourer, a migrant worker, a small trader and a factory owner tell us what their lives look like now

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

In the summer of 2021 AAN started a new research project for ‘Living under the Taleban’ that looked into how life had changed in districts that were newly coming under Taleban control, one after the other, with dizzying speed. Then the Republic collapsed, mere days after we conducted our first interviews. When we picked up the […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

One Afghan wins in court, while other Guantanamo detainees remain ensnared in a rigged system

Kate Clark

A landmark court ruling, which saw a Guantanamo detainee successfully argue that his detention was unlawful for the first time in more than a decade, has now been published. The judge said that the United States no longer had the legal authority to detain Asadullah Harun Gul because his faction, Hezb-e Islami, “is at peace.” […]

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Music Censorship in 2021: The silencing of a nation and its cultural identity

Fabrizio Foschini

Music and musicians once again face serious threats following Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taleban in August this year. Over the past two decades, the theory and practice of traditional Afghan instruments, as well as other musical forms, has seen a remarkable revival after the destruction of the country’s musical heritage during the 1990s, with skills […]

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Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg: Afghanistan’s economic distress post-15 August

Kate Clark

Even as the Taleban celebrated their unprecedented victory on 15 August 2021, Afghanistan was transformed. It was poorer, more isolated and extremely fragile, economically. Most aid stopped, sanctions came into effect against the Taleban government and foreign reserves were frozen. Economic disaster came on top of the worst drought in years and the ill-effects of […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more