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.

The released Taleban inmates greeted in Qatar - photo by nunn.asia website

The prospect of peace talks after the Bergdahl deal: A Taleban perspective

Borhan Osman

Bowe Bergahl, now back in America, and the five Taleban ex-Guantanamo detainees, in Qatar, will all be trying to get used to life after detention. Beyond the personal, what political consequences might the deal have? After years of efforts, it was wrapped up unexpectedly fast and, in the end, was a stand-alone deal, not part […]

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Security Forces Spread Thin: An update from contested Faryab province

Obaid Ali

On the day after the Afghan vote, nearly unnoticed in the election frenzy, Faryab province experienced yet another complex Taleban attack. Taleban fighters stormed large parts of Qaisar district, and ruled the area for almost three weeks. The Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan Local Police (ALP) retreated immediately, outnumbered and faced with more and […]

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Death in Aleppo: A group of Afghan fighters located in Syria

Christopher Reuter

Are Afghans fighting in the war in Syria? There have been a few reports to that effect in the international news media over the past months, detailing recruitment efforts mainly by the Iranian government among Hazaras in order to bolster the Assad regime’s manpower. However, there has never been evidence of Afghan fighters actually present in […]

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Elections and Foreigners: An analysis of recent Taleban violence

Kate Clark

The Taleban have again warned Afghans not to take part in Saturday’s elections, saying they would be attacking election centres and targeting “all parts of the country”. Earlier they warned they would be using “all force” at their disposal to disrupt the “upcoming sham elections”. Kabul has seen two ‘spectacular’ attacks against election-related targets in the […]

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Can the Taleban outwrestle the government? An assessment of the insurgency’s military capability

Borhan Osman

The Taleban are poised to bounce back and threaten the Afghan state once foreign troops withdraw – this is the kind of doomsday scenario one hears these days as foreign troops prepare to depart. Recent statistics have shown that 2013 was at least as violent as 2011, the previous record year for attacks and casualties. However, […]

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A Sad Nawruz: Violence risks tainting an important Afghan holiday

AAN Team

AAN had wanted to wake up on a Friday, post its piece about Nawruz special food traditions, and enjoy the quiet of one of the last weekends before elections and more hectic days of work. That this was a delusion became clear as details about yesterday’s attack at Kabul’s Serena hotel started to emerge. On […]

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The Murder of Swedish Journalist Nils Horner: an assessment of the Fedai Mahaz claim

Kate Clark Borhan Osman

The Swedish newspaper Expressen has published CCTV footage of the two men who allegedly killed the Swedish-British journalist, Nils Horner, in Kabul on 11 March. The pair can clearly be seen: they are young, clean-shaven and with short hair. Yet who they might be and why they killed the award-winning journalist still remains a mystery. The […]

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Flying after 2014: Which aircraft for the Afghan Air Force?

Gary Owen

The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have been mentored and trained by a largely United States force that is used to relying heavily on air support, a habit they have transferred to the Afghans. Until now, international air support has given Afghan forces an edge over the insurgency, but this year that support will be […]

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The Future of Peace Talks: What would make a breakthrough possible?

Borhan Osman

Attempts last year to reconcile the Taleban ended where they had started a year before – stuck in stalemate. Two major developments this year, however, could affect the peace process. The departure of President Hamid Karzai and accession of a new leader in the spring provides an opportunity for rebooting the peace process. At best, […]

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Another Red Line Crossed: The Taverna attack and the killing of foreigners just because they were foreigners (amended)

Christine Roehrs Kate Clark

The attack on the restaurant La Taverna du Liban, a favourite among Afghans and internationals in Kabul, has hit close to home for many working in and on Afghanistan. With 20 Afghans and foreigners killed while having dinner, it was one of the bloodiest and most ruthless strikes of the Taliban in years. This was an […]

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Innocent, guilty – useful? What’s behind the US-Afghan clash over 88 prisoners from Bagram

AAN Guests AAN Team

The Afghan government announced yesterday (7 January) that it would go ahead with the release of 88 Taleban prisoners from Bagram despite US objections. American politicians, including two senior US senators who visited Kabul in early January, have warned of further damage to US-Afghan bilateral relations if the prisoner release goes forward. The issue has […]

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Armed, disarmed, rearmed: How Nahr-e Seraj in Helmand became one of the deadliest districts in Afghanistan

Deedee Derksen

On a visit to Helmand in mid-December, UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that when British troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year, they will have accomplished their main aim – leaving behind a basic level of security. But a new report by the Pentagon (1) tells a different story. On its […]

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