Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

On the borders: Where do the attacks in Nimruz come from?

Fabrizio Foschini

The recent multiple suicide attacks that hit Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province – with possibly one of the single biggest losses of lives in the Afghan conflict – received relatively small attention by the international media. Of course, both the global media and public are in a slack period regarding news from Afghanistan. The […]

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The commuter of Alisheng: Death of a country district governor

Fabrizio Foschini

The insurgent strategy of targeting rural government officials like woluswals (district governors) is not a new one, and it is gaining importance as the battle for contested areas becomes more acute. District governors cut a sometimes misunderstood figure in this war, as they are often portrayed as either old-times commanders or uninfluential pawns in somebody […]

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Parliament sacks key ministers: Two birds with one stone?

Fabrizio Foschini

The Afghan Lower House of the parliament, in an unprecedented move, voted out the two key ministers of Defence and Interior, in a single session. While it is early to make predictions on who will succeed them and whether they will be kept on as acting ministers for a while, it is worth having a […]

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The Battle for Schools in Ghazni – or, Schools as a Battlefield

Fabrizio Foschini

The anti-Taleban uprising by the people of Andar in the spring surprised many observers and, quite possibly, the insurgents themselves. This made it possible to portray it as a spontaneous struggle of local villagers for the right to education during its first weeks. Now, a month later, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini feels that, rather than risk […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Land Grabs in Afghanistan (1): Nangrahar, the disputed o-rangeland

Fabrizio Foschini

In the last ten years, land disputes have become a permanent feature of Afghanistan’s landscape. Always influenced by the misuse of state power, often bursting into open conflicts, sometimes getting into the limelight usually reserved for political violence, they are very seldom addressed properly by the government. Also highlighted by recent accusations by the High […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

New Battles and Old Wants in Nuristan

Fabrizio Foschini

The killing of the deputy shadow governor of the Taleban for Nuristan, apparently in a drone strike on his native village of Amshuz, Waygal district, represents just the last chapter in what has already been a rather intense fighting season in the province for two months. A perennial candidate for insurgent takeover, Nuristan witnessed some […]

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No Country for Good Policemen?

Fabrizio Foschini

At the NATO summit in Chicago, everybody’s attention seems to be focused on the budget for the defence of Afghanistan and how much donors will spend after 2014, in other words on the quantity of security forces that the country will be able to field. But what about their quality? A new, excellent report on […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Transition Phase Three: A Big Leap Forward

Fabrizio Foschini

A new phase of the security transition, the third, has been announced. Every Afghan province is now going to be involved, at least partly, in the transfer of security from ISAF troops to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This is the case even in areas where foreign troops are no longer present or where […]

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In Kabul’s Shadow: the attacks in the provinces on 15-16 April

Fabrizio Foschini

The attacks that took place a week ago in Kabul received more than their fair share of media coverage. The same thing cannot be said for the parallel attacks launched by insurgents simultaneously in three other provincial capitals. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini and Obaid Ali look into the attacks in Nangrahar, Paktia and Logar, to try […]

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Farah (2): Empty Spaces Beyond the Road

Fabrizio Foschini

Part two of the report on the vast and far-off western province of Farah. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini looks at the threat that insurgents pose to communication routes and at the successes and shortcomings of security arrangements in the districts, complicated by poppy crops, social divides and the lack of an effective government presence. If mass […]

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Farah (1): An island of secularism in the midst of troubled waters

Fabrizio Foschini

Farah is the fourth largest province in the country and yet a frequently forgotten expanse in the Afghan Far West. It is also a doggedly contested battleground of insurgents and government, as recently shown with a spat of attacks on supply convoys and security forces that inflicted heavy casualties between the end of March and […]

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Afghanistan in World Literature (III): Kabuliwalas of the Latter Day

Fabrizio Foschini

To inaugurate the new course of our Chat Mat column, here we resume our old series aimed at unearthing precious Afghan gems from the stockpile of world literature. Having presented some Victorian pearls earlier in the series, it is time to move to closer quarters, to India and to what was arguably its most anglicised […]

Context and Culture Read more