Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

War and Peace

This thematic category brings together AAN’s reporting on the conflict in Afghanistan, its underlying causes and drivers, the various armed actors and how it affects Afghans in their everyday lives.

A Threat at Kabul’s Southern Gate: A security overview of Logar province

Thomas Ruttig Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Logar – a strategic province at the southern gate of the capital Kabul – has been among Afghanistan’s most insecure provinces for years. The government only controls parts of three of its seven districts, in some cases not much more than (parts of) the district centre. This provides the Taleban positions closer to the capital […]

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‘Ghosts of the Past’: New Special Report on Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Today, AAN and the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) co-publish a new special report, ‘Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future’. The result of a three-year research project, the report considers why governments and their foreign partners have kept mobilising local forces in Afghanistan. It considers […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (4): A precarious interplay between war and epidemic

S Reza Kazemi Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Afghans are now being killed by both the continuing war and Covid-19. The epidemic has ground much of life to a halt – with the notable exception of the fighting. In this report, AAN researchers Reza Kazemi and Fazal Muzhary (with input from Kate Clark) look at the interplay between war and disease. They provide […]

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The case of Mawlawi Mehdi and Balkhab District: Are the Taleban attracting Hazaras?

Thomas Ruttig

Recently, a story appeared in the media reporting that the Taleban have appointed a Shia Hazara as a shadow district governor in Sar-e Pul province. This ethno-religious group is barely represented in the insurgent movement, and stands in the way of the Taleban’s attempt to present itself as nation-wide. Mehdi, however, is not physically present […]

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One Land, Two Rules (11): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected districts – a synthesis report

Kate Clark

In many parts of Afghanistan, the issue of who is in control is not straightforward: it may be the government or the Taleban or a mixture of both. Yet despite this – and the ongoing conflict ­– many public services continue, including health and education. How that works in practice is a question we wanted […]

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Girls and boys from Nawaabad school singing the national anthem to welcome the protesters to Ghazni city. (2018: the peace marchers)

Looking ahead to Intra-Afghan Negotiations: A scrutiny of different political groups’ plans for peace

Ali Yawar Adili Khadija Hossaini

Since the US-Taleban agreement in late February, focus has shifted to intra-Afghan negotiations, with little clarity so far as to their scope. The US-Taleban deal agreed on 29 February focused on the withdrawal of US (and other foreign) troops, and anti-terrorism guarantees by the Taleban. While waiting for talks to begin, five political groups have […]

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Static War: Helmand after the US Marines’ return

Andrew Quilty

In April 2017, 300 US Marines were sent back to Helmand, a province the US troops, who numbered 20,000 at their peak there, had handed over to Afghan forces less than three years earlier. The Marines’ task was to rehabilitate the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 215th Corps and help prevent the fall of the provincial […]

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Herat City’s Reported Spike in Insecurity: What a sober reading of events reveals

S Reza Kazemi

In late 2019 and early 2020, Afghanistan’s key western city of Herat witnessed a series of security incidents, including targeted killings and attacks on the police. The increase in violence resulted in an Afghan media uproar and a swirl of local theories about what or who could be behind it. Taking a closer look at […]

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A mural in Kabul appears to warn negotiators US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taleban deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) that the people are watching them. Photo Wakil Kohsar/AFP.

Voices from the Districts, the Violence Mapped (2): Assessing the conflict a month after the US-Taleban agreement

Kate Clark

It is now four weeks since Afghans enjoyed eight days of reduced violence in the lead up to the signing of the United States-Taleban agreement. The Taleban announced almost immediately afterwards that their fight would continue against the government, although not against foreign forces. US officials spoke of an understanding with the Taleban that a […]

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Blood in the Abode of Peace: The attack on Kabul’s Sikhs

Fabrizio Foschini

At a time when Afghans face a looming pandemic and worsening conflict, one recent event has stood out: the attack on the Sikh gurdwara in the Old City of Kabul one week ago. It was an unprecedented, sectarian attack on a peaceful, non-Muslim religious minority. 26 people were killed and 11 wounded, men, women and one child. […]

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Voices from the Districts, the Violence Mapped (1): What has happened since the reduction in violence ended?

AAN Team

When the United States and Taleban signed their agreement on 29 February 2020, the accompanying eight-day long reduction in violence officially ended. Although many had hoped the violence would remain down, the Taleban said their war would continue, no longer against foreign forces, but against those of the Afghan government. In this report, we look […]

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Taleban Prisoners Release: Are the latest proposals legal?

Ehsan Qaane

President Ashraf Ghani has proposed the sequenced and conditional release of 5,000 Taleban prisoners, in response to the 29 February United States-Taleban agreement which said up to 5,000 Taleban prisoners would be exchanged for up to 1,000 prisoners of ‘the other side’. The Taleban have bluntly rejected this proposal. Nevertheless, the Afghan government is standing by the terms […]

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