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.

Meeting Mullah Baradar… or Maybe Not: Confusion over Taleban Talks

Kate Clark

Yet again there is the impression of something being afoot on the matter of talks with the Taleban, at least as far as Afghan government aspirations go. During the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to Kabul on 30 November 2013, both leaders had nice words to say about the peace process, with Sharif […]

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Afghanistan, the United States and the BSA: Who blinks first?

Kate Clark

Since the consultative loya jirga that ended in confusion on Sunday (27 November 2013), United States’ and Afghan positions on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) have hardened. President Karzai has added to the conditions he says must be met before he will sign the BSA, while President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, has said […]

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A Yes, a Maybe and a Threat of Migration: The BSA loya jirga’s last day

Kate Clark

Whoever expected clarity and a swift signing of the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) following the consultative loya jirga will be disappointed. The heads of the 50 committees duly reported back on this final day with a unanimity of views which strongly suggested prior coordination; all supported and almost all urged President Karzai to sign […]

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Shocks in a Lacklustre Speech: President Karzai addresses the jirga

Obaid Ali Kate Clark Christine Roehrs

The consultative loya jirga, convened to scrutinise the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States, has begun with a draft that was only agreed at the very last minute, confusion over the exact status and proceedings of the gathering and a lacklustre speech by President Karzai. The president made little attempt to really sell the […]

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The First Inklings of the Bilateral Security Agreement: Spanta briefs the Afghan parliament

Kate Clark

Both Afghan and United States officials have, until now, been tight-lipped as to what is in the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) – which is to be scrutinised by a consultative loya jirga beginning on 21 November. If signed, it will govern the post-2014 deployment of US soldiers in Afghanistan. On Saturday, 16 November 2013, the […]

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The Counter-Jirga: 3000 participants condemn the US, the Afghan government and the BSA

Borhan Osman

One of the largest anti-American events witnessed over the past years has taken place in Kabul with 3000 politicians, mullahs and students coming together from across Afganistan to voice their adamant opposition to Afghanistan signing a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States. It comes just days before the government is due to hold […]

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Killing Mullahs and Wedding Guests, Banning Last Rites: the worsening Andar conflict

Emal Habib

Violence within Ghazni’s Andar district has become increasingly savage in recent months. The roadside bomb which killed 19 people, mostly women, as they drove to a wedding on 27 October rightly caught the world’s headlines. Beyond that though, Andar has seen an escalation in killings and threats and even bans on giving last rights and […]

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The Lion Roars Again: BSA, Loya Jirga and a strong sense of déjà vu

Kate Clark

Preparations are underway for the ‘consultative Loya Jirga’ which will meet in a month’s time, as the first step in deciding whether Afghanistan signs a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States. The Afghan parliament will then either approve or reject the agreement. All this pushes the decision way past the 31 October deadline […]

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Not Signed and Sealed Just Yet: Kerry and Karzai’s deal on the Bilateral Security Agreement

Kate Clark

The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, has flown home with the basis of a Bilateral Security Agreement in his pocket, finally thrashed out with President Hamed Karzai. On this depends continuing US and NATO missions after 2014. Negotiations on the deal have been long and painful, AAN senior analyst Kate Clark reports, because […]

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The Release of Mullah Baradar: What’s next for negotiations?

Kate Clark

It has been reported that Pakistan has released the most senior Taleban it had in its custody, Mullah Abdul-Ghani Baradar. At the time of his arrest in Karachi in 2010, Baradar was the effective number two in the movement and de facto operational chief of the insurgency. Both the Pakistani and Afghan governments have said […]

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Back to Bad: Chahrdara between Taleban and ALP – a district case study

Lola Cecchinel

Chahrdara, an embattled district in Kunduz province, is a miniature model for all of Afghanistan’s larger conflicts. Traditionally a hotbed of the insurgency, military interventions could never bring lasting change, so Chahrdara – under heavy foreign siege in 2010 (1) – is back to where it was: a Taleban stronghold in the north. At the same […]

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What came out of the Peace Talks in Islamabad? An Afghan and a Pakistani take

Reza Rumi

Did the Afghan-Pakistani peace talks in Islamabad over the past two days yield results to speak of? There were surprisingly positive moments – moments that justified the hope pinned on this trip. Then again, listening in closer to the concluding statements of the Pakistani Prime Minister and the Afghan President, both leaders seemed to be […]

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