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.

UNAMA Mid-Year Report on Civilian Casualties: Highest number of deaths on record

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released its mid-year assessment of the harm done to civilians in the Afghan conflict. It found that more civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018 than in any year since 2009 when UNAMA started systematic monitoring. This was despite the Eid ul-Fitr ceasefire, which all parties to the conflict apart […]

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Graft and Remilitarisation: A look back at efforts to disarm, demobilise, reconcile and reintegrate

Kate Clark

Even before the Eid truce suddenly made a peace process in Afghanistan imaginable, international civilian and military circles were wondering what they could do to support one. The government, the High Peace Council (HPC) and donors are also currently negotiating future funding for the HPC. It seems a good moment, says AAN’s Kate Clark, to […]

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Chai ne-khorda, solh ne-mesha. Photo: Thomas Ruttig

Understanding Hurdles to Afghan Peace Talks: Are the Taleban a political party?

Khalilullah Safi Thomas Ruttig

Following his February 2018 offer of peace talks to the Taleban, President Ashraf Ghani proposed that they run as a political party in the upcoming elections. In 2011, his predecessor, Hamed Karzai, had offered something different, that the government would support the Taleban’s recognition by the United Nations Security Council as a “party to the […]

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Interior Minister Wais Barmak stops on the road into Kabul to meet Taleban who have come into the capital during the Eid truce (Photo: taken by someone in the crowd and posted on social media)

The Eid Ceasefire: Allowing Afghans to imagine their country at peace

Kate Clark

Ceasefires by the government, the Taleban and the United States over the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr has partially ended with the Taleban ordering their fighters back to “normal operations.” However, the three-day truce resulted in an unprecedented peaceful movement of fighters and soldiers into territories controlled by the other. The media was full of […]

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Girls and boys from Nawaabad school singing the national anthem to welcome the protesters to Ghazni city. (2018: the peace marchers)

Peace (hopefully) for a few days: A ceasefire for Eid as Helmand marchers approach Kabul

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Afghans may, just possibly, have a happier Eid than in previous years. The government, the Taleban and the United States military have all called temporary ceasefires. Meanwhile, seven marchers for peace, who set off from Helmand on 13 May have been walking towards Kabul in temperatures of more than 40 degrees while keeping the Ramadan […]

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Why Farah?  A short history of the local insurgency (II)

Thomas Ruttig

The Taleban have been a persistent and growing force in Farah since 2001, rebuilding their strength quietly after the US invasion and then seizing territory in remote districts. Insurgents now challenge pro-government figures for control of valuable trade and smuggling routes, assisted by the disarray among their opponents as the provincial government is hobbled by […]

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Surrounding the Cities: The meaning of the latest battle for Farah (I)

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Obaid Ali Rohullah Sorush Thomas Ruttig

An attack on Farah city had long been feared. For years now, the Taleban have been taking control of the provincial capital’s outlying districts and inching their way towards the central hub. For a few days in mid-May, it looked as though the Taleban were about to take Farah city, which would have been their […]

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How to End the Afghan War? A new publication on peace reviewed

Kate Clark

A new short book-length report, “Incremental peace in Afghanistan” looks at what is needed to end the Afghan conflict. It explores the many drivers towards the war continuing – external backing for both sides, the war economy and basic persisting disputes about power-sharing – but also details what could drive a peace process – the […]

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Uprising, ALP and Taleban in Andar: The arc of government failure  

Kate Clark Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban look to be preparing for a new onslaught on Andar district centre. The name ‘Andar’ is still full of political resonance, gained in the summer of 2012 when the Taleban were suddenly and swiftly pushed out of a large part of the district. That counter-insurgency in an insurgent stronghold was styled the ‘Andar […]

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Still under the IS’s Black Flag: Qari Hekmat’s ISKP island in Jawzjan after his death by drone

Obaid Ali

In April, Qari Hekmatullah, the self-proclaimed commander of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), was killed in a US airstrike. Under his command, a local affiliate of the Afghan-Pakistani Daesh affiliate, ISKP, had challenged both the government and the Taleban and established almost full control over two remote districts of Jawzjan province, Darzab and Qush […]

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Helmand Peace March Initiative protestors pray for peace in their tent at the Ghazi Ayub Khan Stadium. Photo: c/o Helmand Peace March Initiative, 2018.

Going Nationwide: The Helmand peace march initiative

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Protests in Helmand calling for a ceasefire and talks between insurgents and government are about to enter their second month. The pro-peace demonstrations which began in what are often described as the Taleban’s ‘southern heartlands’, have been spreading: they can now be found in half of Afghanistan’s provinces and for now, at least, they are […]

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Battle for Faryab: Fighting intensifies on one of Afghanistan’s major frontlines

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

An intense battle is under way near the city of Maimana, the capital of Faryab. In this northern province, the Taleban gained control over a majority of districts over 2017, including all of those close to the provincial capital, which is practically under siege. They also threaten the national ring road and important provincial roads. […]

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