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.

Herat City’s Reported Spike in Insecurity: What a sober reading of events reveals

S Reza Kazemi

In late 2019 and early 2020, Afghanistan’s key western city of Herat witnessed a series of security incidents, including targeted killings and attacks on the police. The increase in violence resulted in an Afghan media uproar and a swirl of local theories about what or who could be behind it. Taking a closer look at […]

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A mural in Kabul appears to warn negotiators US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taleban deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) that the people are watching them. Photo Wakil Kohsar/AFP.

Voices from the Districts, the Violence Mapped (2): Assessing the conflict a month after the US-Taleban agreement

Kate Clark

It is now four weeks since Afghans enjoyed eight days of reduced violence in the lead up to the signing of the United States-Taleban agreement. The Taleban announced almost immediately afterwards that their fight would continue against the government, although not against foreign forces. US officials spoke of an understanding with the Taleban that a […]

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Blood in the Abode of Peace: The attack on Kabul’s Sikhs

Fabrizio Foschini

At a time when Afghans face a looming pandemic and worsening conflict, one recent event has stood out: the attack on the Sikh gurdwara in the Old City of Kabul one week ago. It was an unprecedented, sectarian attack on a peaceful, non-Muslim religious minority. 26 people were killed and 11 wounded, men, women and one child. […]

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Voices from the Districts, the Violence Mapped (1): What has happened since the reduction in violence ended?

AAN Team

When the United States and Taleban signed their agreement on 29 February 2020, the accompanying eight-day long reduction in violence officially ended. Although many had hoped the violence would remain down, the Taleban said their war would continue, no longer against foreign forces, but against those of the Afghan government. In this report, we look […]

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Taleban Prisoners Release: Are the latest proposals legal?

Ehsan Qaane

President Ashraf Ghani has proposed the sequenced and conditional release of 5,000 Taleban prisoners, in response to the 29 February United States-Taleban agreement which said up to 5,000 Taleban prisoners would be exchanged for up to 1,000 prisoners of ‘the other side’. The Taleban have bluntly rejected this proposal. Nevertheless, the Afghan government is standing by the terms […]

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From Doha to Peace? Obstacles rising in the way of intra-Afghan talks

Thomas Ruttig

Two key documents to get an Afghan peace process started have been signed: the Doha “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” and a simultaneous bilateral United States-Afghan declaration. The two documents together are supposed to open the door for intra-Afghan peace talks, ie between the Taleban and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 10 March. […]

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ISKP fighters photographed alongside their captured weapons after their surrender to Afghan government in November 2019. (photo: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP)

Hit from Many Sides 1: Unpicking the recent victory against the ISKP in Nangrahar

Obaid Ali

In the very high mountains of Nangrahar are hiding out the last few, small groups of Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) fighters in that province. The group was driven out of their last remaining bases in Nangrahar at the end of last year. Who drove them out is, however, contested: the government, the Taleban and […]

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The ‘Reduction in Violence’ Week: What did (some of the) people think?

AAN Team

The ‘reduction in violence’ week between the US and Afghan militaries and the Taleban started after midnight on 22 February. It is to open the door for a US-Taleban deal on troop withdrawal and anti-terrorism guarantees to be signed on 29 February 2020 and, in the next step, for intra-Afghan peace negotiations. AAN researchers wanted to […]

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Disputed Casualties in Kushk: The cost of blurring lines between fighters and civilians

S Reza Kazemi

The government continues to deny reports about the killing of at least five civilians in one or several airstrikes by Afghan or NATO forces in Kushk district in the north of Herat province on 17 February 2020. The following day, a group of Kushk residents staged a protest in front of the governor’s compound in […]

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First Breakthrough Toward Peace? A look at the seven-day ‘reduction of violence’

Thomas Ruttig

The United States and the Taleban have agreed to reduce violence for seven days, an agreement which would also apply to the Afghan government forces. While not a full ceasefire, it would be a ‘test’ of the seriousness of the parties before the signing of a bilateral deal agreeing the withdrawal of US troops, Taleban […]

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Still Ifs and Whens: The US and the Taleban inch toward a bilateral agreement

Thomas Ruttig

There have been increasing indications over the past few days that the United States and the Taleban are edging toward an agreement – or possibly two. While a declaration of a mutual ‘reduction of violence’ seems imminent, a bilateral US-Taleban agreement opening the way to peace negotiations between the Afghan parties to the conflict appears […]

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US-Taleban Agreement Still in the Air: Disputes about a ‘ceasefire’ versus ‘reduction of violence’

Thomas Ruttig

Over the past few weeks, the Taleban first stoked expectations that an agreement with the United States was imminent, and then expressed frustration that it was not yet signed. They had appeared to be trying to edge forward to an agreement by offering to “scale down military operations” against both US and Afghan troops – […]

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