Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN Team

‘Pashto Mashto? Nakhair, Chat Mat.’

AAN Team

Dear readers of Pashto Mashto, As you may have noticed already, with the new year has come a new name for this series, although the content will go on as usual. Here is why. The inaugural blog of this series, back in January 2010, has proven prophetic when it said the series would not, ‘try […]

Context and Culture Read more

Life on the Frontline (1): Travelling on Wardak’s Roads: ’We feel we are dead’

AAN Team

In a new occasional series of blogs AAN will be looking at what it is like to live in areas contested by Taleban and the Afghan government/US forces. In this first contribution, a reporter from Wardak who asked not to be named, spoke to men from Jaghatu district about travelling on the province’s roads. How […]

War and Peace Read more

The International Community’s Engagement in Afghanistan beyond 2014

AAN Team

This new discussion paper by the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) discusses the challenges for transition and the cost of a hasty and unconditioned international withdrawal. It particularly focuses on security, economy, political framework, reconciliation, governance, human rights and regional politics. The report, which is a result of the collaboration of key AAN contributors, emphasizes that […]

Special Reports Read more

Where exactly is Abbottabad, or A Vindication of Geography

AAN Team

Abbottabad (or, in the local pronunciation: Abtabad) has already risen to a status shared only by some of Calvino’s ‘Invisibles Cities’: that of a mysterious fairy land of which everybody talks but few know something for certain. In particular, when the news of Osama bin Laden’s killing broke, its exact distance from the Pakistani capital […]

Regional Relations Read more

Flamingo Watching in Dubai

AAN Team

‘Listen to the birds. That’s where all the music comes from.’ (The first of Captain Beefheart’s 10 Commandments of Guitar Playing) ‘If you can’t listen to them, watch them at least. It gives you some peace of mind after watching the war.’ (AAN Senior Birdwatcher Thomas Ruttig) No, the Emirates are not only megahigh-rises, never-ending […]

Context and Culture Read more

PashtoMashtoLeaks (1): Bagram Calling

AAN Team

Yesterday, the BBC reported as follows: ‘President Barack Obama has told US troops in Afghanistan they are making crucial “progress” against insurgents. During an unannounced visit to Bagram air base near Kabul, Mr Obama said: “Today we can be proud that there are fewer areas under Taliban control.” He also spoke to President Hamid Karzai […]

Political Landscape Read more

Birding for Survival

AAN Team

Our Dutch ex-soldier-cum-birdwatcher HG Scheltema from Kandahar (see his bird list here(*) has a friend, a US National Guardsman from Connecticut who served in Iraq for a year in 2004/05: Birding Babylon. His name is Jonathan Trouern-Trend who wrote a blog on his bird-watching (see it here, it seems to be continued by other bloggers). Meanwhile, […]

Context and Culture Read more

If you want to learn Pashto…

AAN Team

Sean Mann, a research intern at our partner organisation TLO, has put together an online bibliography to Pashto learning materials. It includes textbooks, dictionaries, multimedia, radio, university courses, etc. It is called ‘Pashto Language Resources’ and is hosted on Christian Bleuer’s ‘Afghanistan Analyst’ website – use this link. You can start with the following sentence: کاڼه […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghan civil society launches Access to Information campaign

AAN Team

This morning a large number of Afghan civil society organisations and several media organisations used the media attention surrounding the Kabul conference to launch a campaign highlighting the need for access to information and calling for the necessary legislation to be drafted. The demand is an important one. The pervasive ambiguity, the lack of clarity […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

War and Peace Read more

Afghanistan Bird Watch

AAN Team

The most underreported Afghan story of January 2010 already has been identified: One of the world rarest birds has been spotted in Badakhshan. Overshadowed by the coverage of the London conference, the BBCreported that scientists of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society found specimen of the large-billed reed warbler (photo), one of the rarest birds on earth, during […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more