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.

Local Defence in Afghanistan: A Review of Government-backed Initiatives

Mathieu Lefevre

In this latest AAN report, Mathieu Lefèvre unpacks the myths about local defense initiatives in Afghanistan. His analysis of three local defense initiatives shows the contradictions in the claimed successes and points at possible long-term security challenges posed by these initiatives. In this report, Mathieu Lefèvre analyses three local defense initiatives in Afghanistan: The Afghanistan […]

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Nation-Building Is Not for All; The Politics of Education

Antonio Giustozzi

In this AAN report Afghanistan scholar Antonio Giustozzi explores the deeply political and contentious history of education in Afghanistan. The report discusses the development of state education over the last 90 years in the context of nation-building, and touches on a series of crucial issues, including the role of religion; the priority of government concerns […]

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Golden Surrender: The Risks, Challenges, and Implications of Reintegration in Afghanistan

Matt Waldman

The reintegration of former fighters is one of the main pillars in the unfolding counterinsurgency strategy. It is however more complex and difficult to accomplish than is commonly appreciated. In this paper Matt Waldman (fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University) explores the obstacles to a successful reintegration programme. These […]

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Two Interventions: Comparing Soviet and US-led state-building in Afghanistan

Martin Kipping

Although there is a broad consensus that building a capable and legitimate state is key to success in Afghanistan, there has been little systematic comparison between the current US-led intervention and the Soviet state-building intervention that took place between 1979 and 1989. This paper aims to remedy that by analysing the trajectories of both interventions. […]

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The AfPak Strategy: Reactions in Pakistan

Karl Fischer

Viewing Pakistan in a historical and geostrategic context, this paper by eminent Pakistan and India expert Karl Fischer highlights those aspects of the new United States strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan (formerly termed ‘the AfPak Strategy’) that are more relevant for Pakistan and shows predominant Pakistani reactions to these issues. The selection is limited to […]

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Pakistan in 2010

Ann Wilkens

While the world is discussing strategies to exit Afghanistan, the crisis in neighbouring Pakistan is deepening. What the silent majority of Pakistanis voted for in the elections of February 2008 – a secular democracy – is proving elusive. The army has since reemerged as a major political actor and the Taleban are gaining ground. This […]

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Governance in Afghanistan in Regional Perspective

Dr Christian Wagner

In discussions about governance and reforms in Afghanistan, the regional dimension – and in particular Afghanistan’s relative position in comparison with its neighbouring countries – is often neglected. In this paper Dr. Christian Wagner, head of the Asia Research group at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Berlin), compares Afghanistan to other South […]

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The State of the Afghan State

Anders Fange

In this paper, Anders Fänge, AAN member and Country Director of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, gives his views on where Afghanistan stands, what went wrong and what can be done – in this third attempt of government-driven ambitious and wide-ranging national reform programmes within a hundred years that caused a major armed rebellion. Anders […]

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Polling Day Fraud in the Afghan Elections

Martine van Bijlert

Journalists, observers and diplomats have caught on to the fact that all was not well with last month’s Afghan elections, but it is not always clear what exactly happened and why that is a problem. The latest AAN briefing paper gives an overview of the various forms of irregularities that took place on polling day. […]

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How to Win an Afghan Election; Perceptions and Practices

Martine van Bijlert

In its second report the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) holds the magnifying glass to the Afghan elections, exploring the impact of high-level deals, local-level decision-making processes, and electoral manipulation. The author, Martine van Bijlert, used her extensive in-country experience, contacts and language skills to provide a detailed analysis of the deal-making and politicking that underlie […]

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The Other Side. Dimensions of the Afghan Insurgency: Causes, Actors – and Approaches to Talks

Thomas Ruttig

In this first Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) report “The Other Side: Dimensions of the Afghan Insurgency. Causes, Actors and Approaches to Talks”, author Thomas Ruttig – an Afghanistan expert working on and in the country since 25 years – seeks to unpack the complexities of the insurgency in Afghanistan and develop a sophisticated approach to […]

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