Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Special Reports

Special Reports – formerly known as thematic reports or briefing papers – are more substantive publications on subjects that are high on the policy agenda. Special Reports are all externally peer-reviewed.

New special report on Afghanistan’s newest local defence force: Were “all the mistakes of the ALP” turned into ANA-TF safeguards?

Kate Clark

Today, AAN publishes a special report looking at Afghanistan’s newest local defence force, the Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA-TF). Set up by presidential decree in February 2018 and funded and supported by NATO’s United States-led Resolute Support mission, it was intended to be a lightly-armed, low-cost, local arm of the ANA which could hold […]

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New special report: ‘Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future’

Kate Clark

A major new special report, ‘Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future’ looks at what is likely to make a local defence force – such as the Afghan Local Police (ALP) or Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA-TF) successful. This research sought to understand what makes some […]

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The Cost of Support to Afghanistan: New special report considers the reasons for inequality, poverty and a failing democracy

Kate Clark

In a new AAN special report, Kate Clark considers the apparent paradox that despite almost two decades of international support to Afghanistan, poverty for most Afghans has deepened. She also explores the gap between the promise of the 2002 Bonn Agreement and 2004 constitution, a multi-ethnic, fully representative government, a democracy with strong checks and […]

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Boys threshing wheat in Ghor province (Adam Pain 2008)

Growing Out Of Poverty? Questioning agricultural policy in Afghanistan

Adam Pain

A new AAN paper seeks to understand why agricultural policy since 2001 has failed to increase production, lift rural Afghans out of poverty or secure their food supply. It finds the answers in the stories agricultural development planners tell themselves about how to ‘modernise’ agriculture, even as they ignore evidence from the field. AAN guest […]

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Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making

Fabrizio Foschini

Today, AAN publishes a new report, “Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making”. In maps and text, Author Fabrizio Foschini charts Kabul’s 22 police districts, their history, landmarks and architecture, population and security. We hope this guide will be a go-to, easily-used backgrounder for a city that many of us love, […]

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Afghanistan’s Paradoxical Political Party System: A new AAN report

Thomas Ruttig

The role of political parties in Afghanistan’s highly centralised presidential system, with only limited parliamentary checks and balances, is an important yardstick by which to measure how the country has fared in its attempts to democratise in the post-Taleban era. This new AAN thematic report, in cooperation with the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), looks […]

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Ideology in the Afghan Taliban: A new AAN report

Anand Gopal Alex Strick-Van-Linschoten

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]

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Backgrounder: Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub- State Forces in Afghanistan

Erica Gaston Kate Clark

Afghanistan’s history has long been dominated and shaped by the interaction of militias with the state. In the post-2001 era, international actors, sometimes with Afghan state cooperation, have tried to use militias to fill perceived gaps in security. Since 2002, a range of foreign-backed local, hybrid or non-state security forces (LHSFs) have emerged. They include […]

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Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Left to Right): Hamidullah, Bostan Karim, Abdul Zahir, Haji Wali Mohammed and Obaidullah. Photo: New York Times

Kafka in Cuba: New AAN report on the Afghan experience in Guantánamo

Kate Clark

A major new report from AAN’s Kate Clark looks at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo, where a quarter of the total number of detainees held were Afghan, the largest national group. The report takes a ‘deep dive’ into the cases of eight of the longest-serving Afghan detainees. Five are still in Cuba, while three were […]

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Afghan Refugees camp under a Paris canal bridge (September 2015). Photo: Evan Bench [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

»Wir wussten, dass sie in Kabul keine Zukunft hatten«: Fluchtentscheidungen afghanischer Familien

AAN Team

The German version of our study ‘“We Knew They Had No Future in Kabul”: Why and How Afghan Families Decide to Leave’ (link here) in cooperation with and funded by the Afghanistan office of the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Foundation) (FES) is out now and can be read and/or downloaded here as well as on the FES website. The increasing […]

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Photo: Christine Roehrs 2015

Economic Management in Afghanistan: What worked, what didn’t, and why?

Bill Byrd

Afghanistan’s past experience with economic management has seen both notable successes and salient failures. A new paper for AAN by Bill Byrd, a former head of the World Bank in Afghanistan (currently a senior expert with the US Institute of Peace), reviews several economic policies during the period 2002-2014. It points to important lessons for Afghanistan’s […]

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Beyond Jihad and Traditionalism: Afghanistan’s new generation of Islamic activists

Borhan Osman

Not all Afghan youth who are politically active and who want to change the status quo fit into the often simplified categories of being either progressive and educated, or uneducated and subversive. There is an often-overlooked segment of Afghanistan’s youth that is educated and engages in modern political debates and activities, while at the same […]

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