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.

Taleban Victory or Government Failure? A security update on Laghman province 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Laghman province saw four of its six districts fall to the Taleban between late May and mid-July, part of the countrywide territorial advance by the Taleban that coincided with the final phase of the United States withdrawal from 1 May onwards. Laghman has long been contested, with a strong Taleban presence in some rural areas, […]

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New UNAMA Civilian Casualties report: The human cost of the Taleban push to take territory

Kate Clark

Any notion that the Taleban capture of territory since 1 May has been virtually bloodless has been demolished by UNAMA’s mid-year report on civilian casualties, published today. The numbers of civilians killed and injured in the first six months of 2021 are back up to the record highs of 2014 to 2018. Moreover, nearly half […]

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Menace, Negotiation, Attack: The Taleban take more District Centres across Afghanistan

Kate Clark AAN Team

The Afghan government has continued to lose district centres to the Taleban. By our reckoning, the insurgents have gained control of almost 200 district centres since 1 May, most of them since mid-June. Added to the ones they already controlled, that puts the insurgents in charge of just over half of all Afghanistan’s district centres. […]

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A Quarter of Afghanistan’s Districts Fall to the Taleban amid Calls for a ‘Second Resistance’

Kate Clark Obaid Ali

In the last few weeks, the Taleban have captured scores of district centres across Afghanistan. In this report, we look at the general reasons for the success of the Taleban onslaught, before focusing on the north, which has seen a collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) of unprecedented speed and scale. The fall […]

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Preparing for a Post-Departure Afghanistan: Changing political dynamics in the wake of the US troop withdrawal announcement

Ali Yawar Adili

It is six weeks since US President Joe Biden announced that all international troops would be withdrawn by September and the reverberations of that announcement are still being felt in Afghan political and security circles. The government has been bullish in public, claiming the country is ready for the departure of the foreign forces. Yet, […]

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Children in an IDP camp in Dand district, Kandahar province. Thousands of people fled their homes after Taleban offensives in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in October and November 2020, and ANSF counter-offensives. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP, 7 January 2021.

As US troops withdraw, what next for war and peace in Afghanistan?

Kate Clark

The United States’ decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan unconditionally, and the apparent dead end of its efforts to broker peace in Afghanistan, will have profound ramifications for the conflict. The likely outcomes can already be seen, including, ominously, in how civilian casualties are back up to their 2019 levels. Scrutinising the patterns […]

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Disbanding the ALP – An Update: Major transition of security forces achieved during wartime, but at a cost

Kate Clark

It is now six months since funding for Afghanistan’s oldest and largest community defence force, the Afghan Local Police (ALP) ended, and three months since the force should have been wound up. The early stages of the disbandment went badly, as we reported in October. The government was late in making preparations and failed to […]

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Conditions-based Interim Government: President Ghani presents a preview of his peace plan

Thomas Ruttig

President Ashraf Ghani has raised the curtain on his peace plan and agreed to the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan. Ghani summarised his plan in a speech at the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia/Istanbul Process – a gathering of regional and other states on security and cooperation in Central Asia […]

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“Another Bonn-style conference”: A new plan to ‘fix’ the war and enable US troops to leave

Thomas Ruttig

The United States envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has floated the possibility of a ‘new Bonn’ conference that could cancel or sideline the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha. ‘Bonn 2’ appears to have been discussed in some allied capitals and various Afghan leaders, although it is unclear how much buy-in the proposal has from them. […]

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Hit from Many Sides (2): The demise of ISKP in Kunar

Obaid Ali Khalid Gharanai

One year ago, the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State – called Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) – lost its last territorial base in Afghanistan in Kunar province. This followed a first severe defeat in their major stronghold in the country, in Nangrahar province in late 2019. No open ISKP presence is left in Kunar […]

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A Deal in the Mist: How much of the US-Taleban Doha agreement has been implemented?

Thomas Ruttig

One year ago, on 29 February 2020, Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the US State Department, and Mullah Baradar, Taleban Deputy Leader for Political Affairs, signed the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” in Doha. Simultaneously, representatives of the US and the Afghan government signed the similarly titled but less discussed “Joint Declaration between […]

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Civilian Casualties Worsened as Intra-Afghan Talks Began, says UNAMA’s 2020 report on the Protection of Civilians

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s 2020 report civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict published today shows the overall number of civilians killed and injured fell by 15 per cent compared to 2019. Yet, for the first time since UNAMA began systematically documenting civilian casualties 12 years ago, they increased in the fourth quarter, driven especially by insurgent violence. Rather […]

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