Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Farah

The Fall of Nimruz: A symbolic or economic game-changer?

Fabrizio Foschini

With the fall of five provincial capitals in three days – Zaranj in Nimruz, Sheberghan in Jowzjan, Sarepul, Kunduz and Taloqan in Takhar –, the Taleban switched pace. After an unexpected and highly successful sweep of rural districts in many parts of Afghanistan yielded particularly astounding results in areas considered ‘difficult’ for them, such as […]

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Static War: Helmand after the US Marines’ return

Andrew Quilty

In April 2017, 300 US Marines were sent back to Helmand, a province the US troops, who numbered 20,000 at their peak there, had handed over to Afghan forces less than three years earlier. The Marines’ task was to rehabilitate the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 215th Corps and help prevent the fall of the provincial […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (1): No large outbreak yet in the country

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan has so far been moderately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer than 100 people testing positive and four confirmed fatalities. There are strong indications that these cases may have been seeded by the outbreak in neighbouring Iran, via Afghans who returned from that country. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has compiled an overview of what […]

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First Breakthrough Toward Peace? A look at the seven-day ‘reduction of violence’

Thomas Ruttig

The United States and the Taleban have agreed to reduce violence for seven days, an agreement which would also apply to the Afghan government forces. While not a full ceasefire, it would be a ‘test’ of the seriousness of the parties before the signing of a bilateral deal agreeing the withdrawal of US troops, Taleban […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (10): What to watch out for on election day

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

Past Afghan elections have frequently been bewildering and surreal, even for those following the politics of the country for a long time. With this in mind, and taking into account the recent measures adopted to try to stave off a repeat of the chaos, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, Martine van Bijlert, Ali Yawar Adili and Jelena […]

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Taleban attacks on Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri: Symbolic operations

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

In the last week Taleban have attacked and entered three provincial centres, Kunduz city, Pul-e Khumri in Baghlan and Farah city, before being pushed back. This dispatch focusses on the offensives against Pul-e Khumri and Kunduz, considering them in the context of the regional security of northeastern Afghanistan. It finds that key lessons from earlier […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (13): New voter registry too good to be true

Scott Warden

One of the main goals of Afghanistan launching a new voter registration process – a key provision of the 2014 National Unity Government Agreement – was to more accurately match the number of ballot papers to the number of voters in any given area. It was hoped this would reduce the opportunities for ballot stuffing. […]

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The Insecure Spring of Ghazni: Results of third-grade treatment by the centre?

Ehsan Qaane

Ghazni is one province where the Taleban have long-established significant influence. Actually, they dominate it militarily, with the exception of the provincial capital, all but one of the 18 district centres and some larger areas in three districts. Over the spring of 2018, the Taleban – although not capturing more territory –, have significantly expanded […]

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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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Damage to the Paktia police and army headquarters in Gardez after the first Taleban attack in June 2017. Photo: Tolo.

The ‘Humvee Bomb’ Series: The October wave of Taleban attacks in 2017 context

Thomas Ruttig

In October 2017, Afghans experienced another particularly violent period. A series of high-profile insurgent attacks took place almost simultaneously in Kabul and five provinces. Provincial and district centres were targeted, as well as ANSF installations and Sunni and Shia mosques. The overall number of people killed in these attacks is estimated to be over 200, […]

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The CIA, keen to ‘hunt' and kill Taleban, is reported to be about to start flying armed drones, such as MQ‐9 Reapers, for the first time in Afghanistan. Credit: US Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Michael Quiboloy 2014.

CIA-proxy militias, CIA-drones in Afghanistan: “Hunt and kill” déjà vu

Kate Clark

Reporting from the United States has said that the CIA is expanding its operations in Afghanistan, running Afghan militias to “hunt and kill” Taleban and “poised” to start flying armed drones. The CIA has run Afghan militias in the past; they were notorious for human rights abuses and for not being subject to the state […]

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