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.

Finding Kabir

Willi Germund

Arresting the former deputy ‚prime minister‘ of the Taleban apparently needed less than rocket science. Pakistani intelligence sources also confirm that the arrests of Maulawi Kabir and Mulla Baradar foremost serve Pakistani interests, both with regard to urgently needed financial resources and possibly to the strengthening of an old ally, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. A guest blog […]

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Some Birds with One Stone

Christopher Reuter

Pakistan is establishing a new Taleban leadership that is more aggressive, less inclined to talk and primarily follows the instructions of its ISI minders, says Christoph Reuter(1). With this aim, it manipulates different leaders of militant groups, using targeted arrests and ‘invitations’ into ‘guesthouses’. When it became known on 16 Februar that the number three […]

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Strangers kicking in your door

Martine van Bijlert

“Hello, I am calling from Kandahar. I got your number from a friend. One of my employees, a driver, was arrested a month ago. ISAF forces came to my house at night and took three people away. They also almost took me. They are still holding the driver, the ICRC says he is in Bagram. […]

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Flash from the Past: Russian Advice on Afghanistan

AAN Team

‘In fact, we [the Soviet Union] were the first to defend Western civilization against the attacks of Muslim fanatics. No one thanked us.’ This is only one of the core sentences in an op-ed I almost had missed. It was co-authored by ex-General Boris Gromov, now the governor of the Moscow region who commanded the […]

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Taleban Attack on Muhammad’s Birthday

Thomas Ruttig

It was around 6.30 this morning when we were woken up by a violent blast. As it turned out, it was another of the ‘complex’ (or multiple) attacks using suicide bombers and ‘commandos’ armed with small arms for which the Taleban have regularly claimed responsibility. The main targets seem to have been two guesthouses in […]

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Recommended readings: 114,000 plus…

Thomas Ruttig

With the US troop surge and announcements at and around the London conference that additional troops will be deployed from other NATO countries, NATO and its allies are now exceeding the number of troops the Soviet Union had sent to occupy the country between 1979 and 1989. This does not include contractors from private military […]

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Implications of Mulla Baradar’s Arrest

Thomas Ruttig

With Mulla Baradar the operational leader of the Taleban movement has been captured. Mulla Baradar – this is a nom-de-guerre and his real name is Abdul Ghani – had been appointed one of the two deputies of Mulla Muhammad Omar when the movement reorganized after its collapse in late 2001. That made him the movement’s […]

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An Offensive Foretold

Thomas Ruttig

When I checked the BBC website last night after watching the world premiere of the reconstructed famous 1927 German silent movie ‘Metropolis’ (a ‘don’t miss’ for all cineasts), the red ribbon for breaking news flashed: NATO and Afghan troops have started ‘Operation Moshtarak’ (Together) in Helmand. In Afghanistan, it was already after 2 am on […]

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On Commander Razeq again

Joanna Nathan

AAN member JOANNA NATHAN draws attention to the recent “mistaken” killing of civilians by Kandahar’s border police, which has gone largely unnoticed. So Commander Razeq is once again in the news with dead civilians on his men’s hands. TheNew York Times reports that seven people mistakenly thought to be insurgents were shot by the border police […]

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Dealing with brutal Afghan warlords is a mistake

Candace Rondeaux

With this op-ed by NICK GRONO and CANDACE RONDEAUX* originally published in the Boston Globe we continue our discussion of the warlord issue in Afghanistan. As Washington rolls out its latest troop surge in Afghanistan, all eyes are on the violent south and east of the country to see whether the additional military muscle will […]

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Caught between the Taliban and the Special Forces

Captain Cat Diaries

It is an all too familiar story, but beautifully told. How elders seek out foreign strangers, hoping to find solace from the Special Forces’ search operations. Leaving a population not feeling very protected, despite all the recent population-centric military rhetoric. An excerpt from ‘Captain Cats Diaries’. Am I taking crazy pills? How difficult is it […]

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On Kunar’s Salafi Insurgents

Thomas Ruttig

Usually one needs two sources at least, but this one I find too interesting: A few days ago, on 9 January, the Taleban website Shahamat (which means ‘bravery’) reported that one of the smaller insurgent groups – the Salafi from Kunar – has pledged allegiance to Mulla Muhammad Omar. The Taleban gave its name as Jama’at […]

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