Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

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 […]

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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 […]

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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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Menace, Negotiation, Attack: The Taleban take more District Centres across Afghanistan

Kate Clark AAN Team

The Afghan government has continued to lose district centres to the Taleban. By our reckoning, the insurgents have gained control of almost 200 district centres since 1 May, most of them since mid-June. Added to the ones they already controlled, that puts the insurgents in charge of just over half of all Afghanistan’s district centres. […]

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A Quarter of Afghanistan’s Districts Fall to the Taleban amid Calls for a ‘Second Resistance’

Kate Clark Obaid Ali

In the last few weeks, the Taleban have captured scores of district centres across Afghanistan. In this report, we look at the general reasons for the success of the Taleban onslaught, before focusing on the north, which has seen a collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) of unprecedented speed and scale. The fall […]

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Children in an IDP camp in Dand district, Kandahar province. Thousands of people fled their homes after Taleban offensives in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in October and November 2020, and ANSF counter-offensives. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP, 7 January 2021.

As US troops withdraw, what next for war and peace in Afghanistan?

Kate Clark

The United States’ decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan unconditionally, and the apparent dead end of its efforts to broker peace in Afghanistan, will have profound ramifications for the conflict. The likely outcomes can already be seen, including, ominously, in how civilian casualties are back up to their 2019 levels. Scrutinising the patterns […]

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American politics grounded in fear, ignorance and fantasy: New special report on Afghans in Guantanamo, as US prepares to withdraw troops

Kate Clark

President Joe Biden has announced that American troops will leave Afghanistan before 11 September 2021, a day that will mark twenty years since al-Qaeda attacked the United States and drew US forces to Afghanistan. Another anniversary is also looming: it will soon be twenty years since President George Bush opened the Guantanamo Bay detention camp […]

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New Special Report from AAN: “Kafka in Cuba, a Follow-Up Report: Afghans Still in Detention Limbo as Biden Decides What to do with Guantanamo”

Kate Clark

As newly-elected United States President Joe Biden considers what to do with the almost two-decades-old ‘war on terror’ detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, we publish a special report on the last Afghans held there. Two Nangraharis, Asadullah Harun Gul and Mohammad Rahim, have both been detained since 2007. We also trace the fates […]

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Disbanding the ALP – An Update: Major transition of security forces achieved during wartime, but at a cost

Kate Clark

It is now six months since funding for Afghanistan’s oldest and largest community defence force, the Afghan Local Police (ALP) ended, and three months since the force should have been wound up. The early stages of the disbandment went badly, as we reported in October. The government was late in making preparations and failed to […]

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Civilian Casualties Worsened as Intra-Afghan Talks Began, says UNAMA’s 2020 report on the Protection of Civilians

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s 2020 report civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict published today shows the overall number of civilians killed and injured fell by 15 per cent compared to 2019. Yet, for the first time since UNAMA began systematically documenting civilian casualties 12 years ago, they increased in the fourth quarter, driven especially by insurgent violence. Rather […]

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Police and NDS Torture: One in three security detainees tortured, despite long-term downward trend

Kate Clark

UNAMA and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have released their latest report on the treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan. They found only the slightest reduction in the reporting of torture and ill-treatment since 2017-18, with torture still being used against 30 per cent – or one in […]

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