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.

Disbanding the ALP: A dangerous final chapter for a force with a chequered history

Kate Clark

Funding for the Afghan Local Police (ALP), the largest and longest-lasting Afghan local defence force, ended on 30 September. Despite knowing this was going to happen for more than a year, it was only in early summer that the government decided what to do with the tens of thousands of ALP who are present in […]

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Two Parties Too Wary for Peace? Central questions for talks with the Taleban in Doha

Christine Roehrs Ali Yawar Adili Sayed Asadullah Sadat

For the first time, representatives of the Afghan government and the Taleban are coming together, officially and in person, to negotiate power-sharing and peace.  While the start of the talks was somewhat delayed by disagreements on the last prisoners to be released, the negotiating teams in Doha are now ready to go.  But there are big questions […]

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War in Afghanistan in 2020: Just as much violence, but no one wants to talk about it

Kate Clark

As memories of the relative peace of the Eid ul-Adha ceasefire fade and direct talks between the government and the Taleban should be about to begin, it seems a good time to look again at what has been happening in the conflict since the United States and the Taleban signed their agreement on 29 February. […]

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Doors Opened for Direct Talks with the Taleban: The results of the Loya Jirga on prisoners and peace

Thomas Ruttig Ali Yawar Adili Obaid Ali

The three-day Consultative Peace Loya Jirga held in Kabul from 17-19 Asad 1399 (7-9 August 2020) has opened the way for the Afghan government to release a final 400 Taleban prisoners from government jails, thereby removing the last obstacle blocking direct peace talks with the Taleban. The jirga delegates did not question the stark choice the government […]

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To Release, Or Not To Release? Legal questions around Ghani’s consultative loya jirga on Taleban prisoners

Ehsan Qaane

The Consultative Loya Jirga, called by President Ashraf Ghani to decide the fate of 400 Taleban prisoners, and whether they should be released to enable intra-Afghan peace talks, has begun. Ghani has argued that, according to the constitution and the penal code, it was not in his power to release these prisoners and therefore he […]

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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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