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.

Ten Dead in Badakhshan 5: Condemnation from a Taleb: silence from the Palace

Kate Clark

A north-eastern Taleban leader has been in touch with AAN to condemn the execution of unarmed aid workers in Badakhshan ten days ago. His statement reveals unease and disagreement within the leadership about this extreme act of violence. According to the Taleban’s own new code of conduct – a copy of which AAN has also […]

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Ten Dead in Badakhshan 4: Afghan Reactions (UPDATED)

Kate Clark

AAN has been asking for the memories and thoughts of some of the Afghans who knew the members of the eye camp team who were murdered in Badakhshan last week. Initially, we wanted to find out what they thought about the Taleban accusations that the team had been preaching Christianity, but it soon became clear […]

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Ten dead in Badakhshan 3: The Dubious Taleban Claim

Kate Clark

The Taleban get in quickly with their claims and they get in dirty. Spy, whore, preacher – Taleban accusations stick, regardless of who they are aimed at, Afghan or foreigner, and regardless of the truth of the matter. In an Afghan context – and it seems, also, this week in an international one – such […]

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Ten Dead in Badakhshan (2)

Christopher Reuter Michael Semple

We follow up our reporting on the murder of ten aid workers on Thursday with two contributions from guest authors, Michael Semple and Christoph Reuter (1). They shed more light on three of the victims, Dan Terry, Daniela Beyer and Karen Woo; Michael additionally analyses the status of the insurgency in the area the killings […]

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Ten Dead in Badakhshan (UPDATED)

Kate Clark

Among the party of Afghans and foreigners returning from holding an eye camp for communities in Nuristan and murdered on their way back in Badakhshan were several known to many in AAN. We grieve with their families and friends. Read an obituary by our Senior Analyst Kate Clark (with updates at the end of the […]

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The revolt of the good guys in Gizab

Martine van Bijlert

A recent Washington Post article recounts how a group of local villagers in Gizab district revolted against the Taliban and kicked them out – with the help from US and Australian Special Forces. It reads as a good news story. A quoted US commander described the takeover as “perhaps the most important thing that has […]

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“Hundreds of Taleban released last year”

Kate Clark

A senior Taleban commander quietly pardoned by President Hamed Karzai last year, Akbar Agha, has given his first interview since being released from Pul-e Charkhi jail. He told AAN’s Senior Analyst, Kate Clark, that he was one of “hundreds of Taleban prisoners” across the country who were released by the president to mark Eid al-Fitr […]

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The General in His Labyrinth

Thomas Ruttig

Sorry, the temptation to personalize is too big to drop such a headline. But in fact it’s the system, stupid, argues Thomas Ruttig on The General’s encounter with a rock music magazine. (Hum to the tone of Dr Hook’s famous hit ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’, lyrics below.) Great, General, that was really helpful! […]

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A New Taleban Front?

Thomas Ruttig

The Taleban successfully have infiltrated Northern and Northeastern Afghanistan and destabilised certain areas, mainly in Kunduz province. Now, there are signs that they might attempt to push forward into mainly Hazara-settled areas the central region. The main road into Jaghori, an important Hazara area, has been blocked raising fears of a new economic blockade or […]

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Reviewing prisoners after the peace jirga

Kate Clark

AAN has learned that a new committee to review security prisoners – as called for by the peace jirga and decreed by the president on 5 June – has been set up and has held its first meetings. Member and spokesperson for the committee, Professor Nasrullah Stanekzai, told AAN the committee was currently getting lists […]

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PEACA JIRGA BLOG 9: A Déjà vu of Big Tent ‘Democracy’

Thomas Ruttig

 A commentary ‘from the gut’ (1) about democracy and democracy deficits at the Kabul peace jirga, and of jirgas in general by Thomas Ruttig. Previous publications in the series include: The Peace Jirga in tweets by Wazhma Frogh, PEACE JIRGA BLOG 8: The Afghan jungle’s big beasts and ‘lively debate’ by Kate Clark, PEACE JIRGA […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 8: The Afghan jungle’s big beasts and ‘lively debate’

Kate Clark

The peace jirga has left the older generation of factional leaders nicely split: a few (Sayyaf, Rabbani, Mujadddidi) have been honoured by the president and treated like long-lost brothers by the world’s diplomats; others (Dostum, Mohaqiq, Abdullah) are sitting, Achilles-like, sulking in their tents; while just a couple from the 80s generation of mujahideen stalwarts […]

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