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.

Reading newspapers on an airplane (2)

Thomas Ruttig

After another longer stay in Kabul, reading newspapers on an airplane brings one back into the news mainstream – because, while in Afghanistan, you simply are overwhelmed by events there and develop some kind of tunnel vision. This time, it was particularly dreadful: with the series of political assassinations, both in northern and southern Afghanistan, […]

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The Enteqal Seven (6): What is left to transition in Kabul

Fabrizio Foschini

Against the blazing red background of increasingly brazen attacks carried out inside the capital, Kabul province moves towards the imminent transition of security. How this is going to affect the situation in the province, as the city and most of the districts have already been transitioned de facto in 2008-09, is not clear. However, it […]

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Civilian Casualties 1: Progress in the war or a ‘perpetually escalating stalemate’?

Kate Clark

General Petraeus has handed over command of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, with talk of progress – albeit fragile and with ‘tough times’ ahead. His confidence was belied by reports or statements on the human cost of the war from three respected international institutions working in Afghanistan over the past week: ICRC said, ‘insecurity […]

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Ghorband – A Valley Once Friendly

Thomas Ruttig

In May, we have been reporting about the deteriorating security situation in Eastern Afghanistan. There, it appears, an ‘insurgency corridor’ has been emerging, through which insurgents ‘will be able to move unhindered from the Pakistani border to Laghman, and from there into Kapisa and Kabul provinces’*. The killing of the Bamian Provincial Council (PC) chairman […]

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Who was Jan Muhammad Khan?

Thomas Ruttig

Another closest Karzai aide killed within five days: after Ahmad Wali Karzai on 12 July, now Jan Muhammad Khan, the former governor and grey eminence of Uruzgan. While the circumstances of the assassinations are distinct (AWK killed by a lone gunman and ostensible friend, JMK by a suicide bomber crew), both men had a lot […]

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Dad Noorani, critic of warlordism, passed away

Thomas Ruttig

Wednesday night, Dad Noorani, one of Afghanistan’s best political analysts and most courageous journalists, succumbed to a heart attack. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig commemorates the determined opponent of warlordism and defender of the rule of law. Born in Farah in 1956, Dad* Noorani – he also used the first name Paghar – studied medicine at Kabul University […]

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Guest Blog: The Enteqal 7 – Fear in the valley of the Five Lions

Sayed Salahuddin

The starting handover of security responsibility to the Afghan government, reports about talks with the Taleban and a feeling of alienation are contributing to a sense of increasing fear in the Panjshir valley, a stronghold of anti-Taleban reisstance. Our guest blogger Sayed Salahuddin* looks at the background, both in history and current events. The handover […]

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Ahmad Wali Karzai, the node of the southern networks, killed

Kate Clark

In the long line of assassinations carried out by all sides in the war since 2001, Ahmad Wali Karzai is surely the most powerful man yet to be killed. Formally, his powers were limited to being the head of Kandahar’s provincial council, an elected body. Informally, he was the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan, […]

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Guest Blog: ‘What are the Taleban supposed to do if they won?’

Sven Hansen

Berlin daily die tageszeitung (taz) met former Taleban ambassador Mulla Abdul Salam Za‘if and Muhammad Massum Stanakzai, head of the APRP secretariat, together and asked them about negotiations, red lines, preconditions and Afghanistan’s future. It was ‘as if the war already was over’, as taz interviewer Sven Hansen* remarked. taz: Mr Stanekzai and Mullah Za‘if, why […]

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Najib Who? Or: A Faux-pas Transition Press Release

Thomas Ruttig

Press releases of NATO and ISAF in Kabul are not known for their literary quality. Mostly, they inform matter-of-factually about successes of the Western troops and political progress achieved and often are full of euphemistic language, military neologisms and acronyms. Not different those of DVIDS, the ISAF Joint Command’s Defence Video & Imagery Distribution System. […]

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Looking at the Azra Hospital Attack (amended)

Thomas Ruttig Fabrizio Foschini

The suicide car-bomb attack that destroyed the civilian hospital of Logar’s eastern-most district Azra on 25 June was terrible even for Afghan standards, with now [amended: 29] registered dead and 53 wounded. Amongst the victims were reportedly 15 children waiting for immunisation as well as five toddlers; the 10-bed maternity ward completely destroyed. But the […]

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Guest Blog: Author’s Reply to AAN Reading ‘Afgantsy’

Rodric Braithwaite

It is usually a mistake for an author to come back to a reviewer, but you raise a number of interesting and useful points, which made me think it would be worth breaking the rule, wrote Rodric Braithwaite*, author of ‘Afgantsy’ which primarily looks at the impact of the Afghan war on Soviet people. Here […]

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