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.

Ashura Attacks (1): Playing with Fire

Kate Clark

Attacks have targeted Shi’as in two of Afghanistan’s major cities as they gathered for Ashura, to lament the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and members of his family in Iraq in 680 AD. The attack in Kabul was particularly serious and left dozens dead. Such violence is a new phenomenon, says Kate Clark, deeply troubling and […]

War and Peace Read more

2001 Ten Years on (3): The fall of Loya Paktia and why the US preferred warlords

Kate Clark

In Loya Paktia the people, rather than commanders, overthrew the Taleban in 2001 – one of the very few places where this happened. Tribal councils took power, driving out al-Qaida fighters and doing all of it peacefully. Khost and then Paktia provinces fell to tribal coalitions on 14 November 2001, just one day after the […]

War and Peace Read more

2001 Ten Years On (2): Getting Home to Kabul

Shoaib Sharifi

While Kabul was falling to the Northern Alliance ten years ago, a young Kabuli journalist found himself in the Taleban heartland of Kandahar trying to get home. He had to head against the tide of Taleban fighters who were all streaming southwards. Our guest blogger, Shoaib Sharifi, said that everyone feared for their lives as […]

War and Peace Read more

2001 Ten Years On (1): How the Taleban fled Kabul (amended)

Kate Clark

It is ten years since Taleban-controlled Kabul fell to the Northern Alliance after just five weeks of US bombing. AAN’s Kate Clark, then the BBC correspondent, had been expelled from Kabul in March 2001 over reporting on the Taleban’s destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamyan and had spent eight months based in Islamabad. She […]

War and Peace Read more

Two Eid messages from the Warring Leaders

Kate Clark

Both General Allen, overall ISAF commander, and Mulla Omar, supreme Taleban leader, have issued messages of felicitations to Afghans for Eid ul-Adha. They make interesting reading. Allen, in a message which rivals Omar’s in terms of Islamic references, appeals to the Taleban to stop fighting and urges the Afghan people to continue standing ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with […]

War and Peace Read more

War of the Narratives: Words, Stories…and Killing

Kate Clark

It has been a bad week for the international military, but – according to the Pentagon – it has also been a good six months. On 28 October 2011, ISAF suffered its worst attack in Kabul ever, with 13 people* killed in a suicide attack, along with four Afghan civilians, 2 of whom were children. […]

War and Peace Read more

Trouble in Gizab; the fight everyone chose to ignore

Martine van Bijlert

On 13 September 2011 a large convoy of armed men, accompanied by US Special Forces, travelled from the centre of Gizab to Tamazan, an area bordering Daikondi province. A murky chain of events led to a confused fight between what should have been friendly forces, in what should have been a stable area. By the […]

War and Peace Read more

How outside interference politicised the Achin land conflict

Fabrizio Foschini

Reading the news in the morning sometimes brings big surprises. Even before a suicide car rammed into a US military convoy on Kabul’s Dar-ul-Aman road yesterday, causing the heaviest death toll among ISAF troops ever in the capital, the AAN office was already puzzled by another event: the latest bloody outcome of the years-old land […]

War and Peace Read more

Under Atta’s Shadow: political life in the Afghan north

Enayat Najafizada

The collapse of the Taleban regime in 2001 paved the ground for the start of what had the potential to be a comparatively democratic political scene in Afghanistan. In due course, the existing jihadi parties and former communists in the northern province of Balkh slowly started to deal with the new situation. In the case […]

War and Peace Read more

Counting victories and losses: the war of stats

Kate Clark

In the last week, there has been a lot of discussion about what sort and how many Taleban are getting killed and captured, how many attacks the Taleban are launching and who, indeed, is ‘winning’ the war. Is ISAF beating the Taleban back or has it been exaggerating its claims? Kate Clark has been trying […]

War and Peace Read more

Death of Rabbani (5): Where is the evidence?

Kate Clark

Three weeks after the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the Afghan authorities appear to have found out astonishingly little about who ordered and carried out this plot. As part of a new tranche of documents and testimony from the investigation, the Afghan intelligence agency, the NDS, has released videoed testimony from Hamidullah, the go-between who introduced […]

War and Peace Read more

Thinking out loud about peace, talks and tensions

Martine van Bijlert

In the weeks after Rabbani’s death by deceit and in the days after President Karzai’s oblique announcement of a new peace strategy, Afghans are trying to make sense of a complicated and murky situation. They are thinking out loud and what they say illustrates the complexity and the confusion, the diverging view points and the […]

War and Peace Read more