Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Head of the Culture Department in Ghazni, Mullah Habibullah Mujahid stands with toher Taleban next to a section of a wall of a former US military base with the names of US soldiers in Ghazni. Photo Hector Retamal/AFP, 15 November 2021

War, War, War: A look at which AAN reports you were reading in 2021

Kate Clark

AAN publications in 2021 were dominated by our efforts to understand the conflict and the failing peace process. More than 40 per cent of our reports last year dealt with war and peace. For our readers, the subject was even more important: among our most-read reports, more than 70 per cent focussed on the conflict. […]

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Taleban fighters celebrate their capture of Jalalabad, on 15 August 2021. Photo: AFP

Afghanistan’s conflict in 2021 (2): Republic collapse and Taleban victory in the long-view of history

Kate Clark

For the first time in the long decades of conflict endured by Afghans since the 1978 communist coup sparked armed rebellion, Afghanistan is largely at peace. And for only the second time in that period, the country is under one unitary authority. This then is a historic moment, but will it last? In the second […]

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One Afghan wins in court, while other Guantanamo detainees remain ensnared in a rigged system

Kate Clark

A landmark court ruling, which saw a Guantanamo detainee successfully argue that his detention was unlawful for the first time in more than a decade, has now been published. The judge said that the United States no longer had the legal authority to detain Asadullah Harun Gul because his faction, Hezb-e Islami, “is at peace.” […]

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Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg: Afghanistan’s economic distress post-15 August

Kate Clark

Even as the Taleban celebrated their unprecedented victory on 15 August 2021, Afghanistan was transformed. It was poorer, more isolated and extremely fragile, economically. Most aid stopped, sanctions came into effect against the Taleban government and foreign reserves were frozen. Economic disaster came on top of the worst drought in years and the ill-effects of […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Landmark Judgement: US court finds detention of an Afghan in Guantanamo unlawful

Kate Clark

A United States court has ruled that the detention of Afghan Asadullah Harun Gul in Guantanamo is unlawful, the first time in ten years that anyone at Guantanamo has won such a petition. The ruling comes just days after the government cleared him for transfer out of the detention camp – as AAN’s Kate Clark […]

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Sehar Bibi and Ibrahim with photos of their son, Harun Gul, in their home in Shamshatu refugee camp Pakistan.

One of the two last Afghans in Guantanamo authorised for release, but when?

Kate Clark

The United States authorities have cleared the transfer of the Afghan national, Asadullah Harun Gul, out of Guantanamo after detaining him without trial for 14 years. It accused Harun of being a Hezb-e Islami commander who conducted attacks on coalition forces and liaised with al-Qaida but has never given him any meaningful opportunity to answer […]

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The Khalid Payenda Interview (2): Reforms, regrets and the final bid to save a collapsing Republic

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

In this second part of this interview, former Minister of Finance Khalid Payenda talks to AAN’s Kate Clark and Roxanna Shapour about the reaction of the Republic’s leadership to his plans to get the economy back on track and fight corruption and whether it was already too late to effect meaningful change. He gives a […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Creating a Hierarchy of Victims? ICC may drop investigations into US forces to focus on Taleban and ISKP

Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, Karim A A Khan, has asked the judges of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber to authorise a resumption of investigations into alleged “atrocity crimes” committed in the context of the Afghan conflict, but only those ascribed to the Taleban and Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP). As for crimes perpetrated […]

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The Khalid Payenda Interview (1): An insider’s view of politicking, graft and the fall of the Republic

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

What was it like to be a reformer at the heart of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan? The Republic’s last finance minister, Khalid Payenda, has given AAN an insider’s perspective. It is a sobering account of the obstacles that prevented him and other reformers ending government corruption and holding wrongdoers to account. Payenda discussed with […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Afghanistan’s looming economic catastrophe: What next for the Taleban and the donors?

Hannah Duncan Kate Clark

When the Taleban captured Kabul, it ruptured Afghanistan’s relationship with the international community. The problems now facing its aid-dependent economy and new Taleban rulers are rapidly piling up. Adding to the damage already wrought by conflict, pandemic and drought, foreign aid is now suspended and in doubt, the treasury is empty and foreign reserves held […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Taleban’s rise to power: As the US prepared for peace, the Taleban prepared for war

Kate Clark

It seems likely that the twentieth anniversary of the al-Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on the United States – the event that brought the American military to Afghanistan – will be remembered for the start of the second Taleban emirate. After President Joe Biden announced the full, rapid and unconditional withdrawal of all international military forces from […]

War and Peace Read more

New UNAMA Civilian Casualties report: The human cost of the Taleban push to take territory

Kate Clark

Any notion that the Taleban capture of territory since 1 May has been virtually bloodless has been demolished by UNAMA’s mid-year report on civilian casualties, published today. The numbers of civilians killed and injured in the first six months of 2021 are back up to the record highs of 2014 to 2018. Moreover, nearly half […]

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