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.

Talking about Civilian Casualties in Kabul (with comment)

Thomas Ruttig

Last week, on 28 June, ISAF Kabul had invited for a half-day conference on the issue of civilian casualties. The attendance, at least during the first hour, was high-ranking, with Gen. David Petraeus, NATO SCR Simon Gass, NSC chairman Rangin Dadfar Spanta and deputy speakers of both houses of the Afghan parliament. They all left […]

War and Peace Read more

Guest Blog: Reconciliation Reloaded in Khost

Emilie Jelinek

Once there was the Strengthening Peace programme, with it provincial branches, like here in Khost, to ‘reintegrate’ willing insurgent fighters. It failed because of corruption and a lack of political support. Now, there is its successor programme APRP, and it is unclear whether that’s just a new name on the same project. Our guest blogger […]

War and Peace Read more

Guest Blog: Who is Tayyeb Agha? (amended)

Anand Gopal

After years of rumors of talks with the Taleban, the US is finally meeting a senior Taleban representative face-to-face. In a series of encounters this spring in Germany and Doha, it has been leaked to the press that US officials have met with Tayyeb Agha, a leading Taleban figure. But the world of the Taleban […]

War and Peace Read more

ATTACK ON KABUL INTERCONTI (updated)

Thomas Ruttig

A group of six armed insurgents has stormed into Kabul Interconti hotel around 10 pm on 28 June. Around 22.40 local time, we heard a loud single explosion, followed by police cars with sirens approaching the area and heavy but sporadic small arms fire. The group resisted until 4.40 in the morning; the last three […]

War and Peace Read more

Khas Uruzgan violence and ISAF press releases

Martine van Bijlert

About ten days ago I received news of a nightly ALP raid in Khas Uruzgan, that had resulted in one death, four detainees, several severe beatings, some plunder and a fair amount of local anger. So when I spotted an ISAF press release about a meeting in the district, I assumed it was related to […]

War and Peace Read more

Leaving Afghanistan: Where’s The Progress?

Thomas Ruttig

Along with other Afghanistan watchers, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has been asked to comment on President Obama’s announcement of a partial troop withdrawal by Foreign Policy Magazine and the FP-related AfPakChannel. Please read a synthesis of both articles here*. The announcement of the troop drawdown by President Obama last night will not change the military balance […]

War and Peace Read more

Who cares about the Kuchi-Hazara conflict, nowadays?

Fabrizio Foschini

Having lost hope of not witnessing outbursts of Kuchi-Hazara related violence at least for this year, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini reports on the recent conflict in Ghazni province, on the situation in neighbouring areas, and a perceived lack of interest on the matter on part of the government and the mass media. It looked as if […]

War and Peace Read more

Guest Blog: Ruling from the Mezzanine – the Balkh case

Michael Daxner

The debate about the role of former commanders and warlords in the Afghan statehood and its regions, about whether they might integrate into the ‘new’ Afghanistan, become civilised by playing (in) the institutions as well as about what that means for the country’s direction is as controversial as inconclusive. Our guest blogger Michael Daxner* looks […]

War and Peace Read more

Guest Blog: Amrullah Saleh’s new language on the Taleban

Ahmad Shuja

Former NDS chief, Amrullah Saleh, wrote an op-ed article on Bloomberg.com in which he tacitly agreed to the idea of negotiations with the Taleban and called for a truth commission as a way of reconciliation. Saleh, it seems, is rebranding himself outside Afghanistan as a pragmatic opposition leader open to concessions, writes our guest blogger […]

War and Peace Read more

Taleban Contacts between Smoke and Mirrors: Karzai’s 18 June speech

Thomas Ruttig

Nothing is what it appears in the T2T drama series. Talking to the Talebs is a cabinet of mirrors. The mirrors make it appear that smoke is rising from one place while the fire is burning at another. And it is not even clear whether this is real smoke and fire, or just Javanese-style shadow […]

War and Peace Read more

When Rumour Replaces Logic – The Takhar Killing

Christopher Reuter

When General Mohammed Daud Daud, the highest police officer of the northeast and commander of the Pamir region, was killed by a meticulously prepared bomb in the Takhar governor’s office on May 28th, one thing at least seemed to be clear: who was behind it – in particular after the Taleban proudly announced their responsibility. […]

War and Peace Read more

Kill or Capture 3: When the International Military Says ‘Sorry’

Kate Clark

President Karzai has said he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses because they are causing too many civilian casualties. The president’s ultimatum follows the pictures shown on Afghan TV on 29 May of distraught villagers in Helmand carrying the bruised and dusty corpses of their small children who had been killed in an […]

War and Peace Read more