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.

New Battles and Old Wants in Nuristan

Fabrizio Foschini

The killing of the deputy shadow governor of the Taleban for Nuristan, apparently in a drone strike on his native village of Amshuz, Waygal district, represents just the last chapter in what has already been a rather intense fighting season in the province for two months. A perennial candidate for insurgent takeover, Nuristan witnessed some […]

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Happy Christmas (2014), Will War Be Over?

Thomas Ruttig

The spin from Chicago is working. Many media reported that the war in Afghanistan will be over and Western troops gone by 2014. Apparently, they did not get President Obama’s full message that was much more subtle: that the war ‘as we know it’ will be over. It will change its character and the new […]

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The Mulla Dadullah Front: A search for clues

Thomas Ruttig

A Mulla Dadullah Front has claimed responsibility for assassinating the High Peace Council member, Mawlawi Arsala Rahmani, on 13 May. Some in the media, as well as the Afghan authorities have picked up on the claim – and some alleged members of the Front have been arrested. Although this is not actually the first sighting […]

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Transition Phase Three: A Big Leap Forward

Fabrizio Foschini

A new phase of the security transition, the third, has been announced. Every Afghan province is now going to be involved, at least partly, in the transfer of security from ISAF troops to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This is the case even in areas where foreign troops are no longer present or where […]

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The second line of talks: Hezb-e Islami in Kabul

Gran Hewad

With the suspension of talks in Qatar and the spike in security incidents across the country, the latter part of the mooted “fight and talk” equation looks pretty lopsided this year as far as the Taleban goes. But meanwhile, dialogue between the second largest insurgent group ‘Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin’ (HIG) (1) and the Afghan government […]

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Likely a legal act of war: Death of an Afghan journalist

Kate Clark

An investigation into the fatal shooting of an Afghan journalist by a US soldier in July 2011 has raised critical questions about the safety of local reporters working in the field, and the need for greater honesty by ISAF when operations go wrong, according to a new report by Kate Clark, a senior analyst at […]

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In Kabul’s Shadow: the attacks in the provinces on 15-16 April

Fabrizio Foschini

The attacks that took place a week ago in Kabul received more than their fair share of media coverage. The same thing cannot be said for the parallel attacks launched by insurgents simultaneously in three other provincial capitals. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini and Obaid Ali look into the attacks in Nangrahar, Paktia and Logar, to try […]

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Farah (2): Empty Spaces Beyond the Road

Fabrizio Foschini

Part two of the report on the vast and far-off western province of Farah. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini looks at the threat that insurgents pose to communication routes and at the successes and shortcomings of security arrangements in the districts, complicated by poppy crops, social divides and the lack of an effective government presence. If mass […]

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Farah (1): An island of secularism in the midst of troubled waters

Fabrizio Foschini

Farah is the fourth largest province in the country and yet a frequently forgotten expanse in the Afghan Far West. It is also a doggedly contested battleground of insurgents and government, as recently shown with a spat of attacks on supply convoys and security forces that inflicted heavy casualties between the end of March and […]

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‘Spring Offensive’ and the War of Perceptions

Martine van Bijlert

It is not easy to strike the right balance when discussing yesterday’s attacks by the Taleban in Kabul and three provinces. The international media, particularly those without correspondents on the ground, have talked up the intensity and relevance of the attacks in eye-catching headlines, referring to them as a ‘Taleban offensive’, ‘attack on the diplomatic […]

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The End of the Affair? Taleban Suspend Talks

Kate Clark

The Taleban have announced that they are suspending talks with the Americans, only six weeks after the opening of their political office in Qatar. In a statement, they described the US approach as ‘shaky, erratic and vague’ and accused the Americans of breaching a memorandum of understanding which had been previously arrived at. This decision […]

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The Kandahar Killing: With friends like this… (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

After the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier in Kandahar province, Western military and political officials have – duly – apologised again but also called the incident ‘rogue’, a ‘first time’ or a ‘completely out-of-the-ordinary’ event. Thomas Ruttig, a Senior Analyst at AAN, wonders whether this is the case or whether it […]

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