Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

“Not nation-building,” but “killing terrorists”: Trump’s ‘new’ strategy for Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The American president’s long-awaited announcement on United States policy in Afghanistan has finally been made: more troops (number unspecified) and no end-date to the US deployment; fighting “to win” (defined only as preventing a Taleban take-over), aiming at “killing terrorists” and not “nation-building”; new, unspecified threats against Pakistan to stop supporting the Taleban and a […]

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Update on the Afghan Local Police: Making sure they are armed, trained, paid and exist

Kate Clark

The Afghan Local Police (ALP) emerged out of an American special forces’ project to establish ‘community defence forces’ in 2009 and 2010. Despite being viewed by many as ‘militias in uniform’, the ALP has survived and grown to become a significant part of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), present in all but three of […]

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Silhouettes of armed men against a darkening sky

Reforming the Afghan Ministry of Interior: A way to ‘tilt’ the war?

Kate Clark

As part of their review of military strategy in Afghanistan, both President Ashraf Ghani and the Commander of United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, have honed in on the Ministry of Interior as a critical weakness in the government’s fight against the Taleban. The Afghan National Police, a paramilitary force, is […]

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Afghanistan’s Foreign Security Detainees: How many are there and what to do with them?

Kate Clark

Afghanistan remains an attractive place for international jihadists to come and fight, despite the competing appeal of Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Since the post-2001 insurgency broke out, foreign fighters have come from Pakistan, Central Asia and the Arab world, some bringing their families. An unknown number have ended up in Afghan detention. More information about […]

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Looking at the ‘Nicholson plan’: A bid to tilt the Afghan war in the government’s favour

Kate Clark

The United States is reviewing its military strategy towards Afghanistan, as part of an overall strategic review. Nothing is certain until President Trump makes a final decision, but proposals, drawn up with the Afghan government, are circulating. We already know what the commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, would like […]

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Terrorist suspects detained and being posed for the cameras. But what will there fate be? New UN report finds a rise in the use of torture by the Afghan state against conflict-related detainees (Photo: Pahjwok)

Torture as Prevalent as Ever: New UN report finds no end to impunity for Afghan torturers

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s latest two-yearly report on the use of torture by the Afghan state shows an increase in the proportion of conflict-related detainees who were tortured, compared to 2015, when UNAMA last reported. There has been, it said, no end to the “pervasive culture of impunity” for those carrying out torture. As AAN’s Kate Clark reports, […]

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Afghanistan’s Record on Torture to Come under UN Scrutiny

Kate Clark

On 25 and 26 April 2017, Afghanistan’s record on torture will be reviewed by a committee of experts under the auspices of the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The CAT Committee will hear from the government, United Nations human rights officials and NGOs before making recommendations. In the weeks leading up to the committee meeting, the government […]

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‘Mother of All Bombs’ Dropped on ISKP: Assessing the aftermath

Borhan Osman Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert

American and Afghan forces have arrived at the site of the massive US bomb blast that targeted a complex of tunnels and caves in Achin, Nangarhar, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), on 13 April 2017. Journalists and other independent observers have not yet been allowed to enter the area, so information […]

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National Cricket Stadium, Kabul. Photo: US Embassy Kabul (2010). Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Great Game: The rise of Afghan cricket from exodus and war

Kate Clark Sudhansu Verma

Afghanistan continues to make inroads into the world of cricket. The men’s team has progressed from being a disorganised band of reckless hitters of the ball in the early 2000s to a well-balanced team. Two Afghans recently got contracts to play in the biggest cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier League, with deals […]

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A Reaper drone flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan (US Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt: 2008)

Drone Warfare 2: Targeted Killings – a future model for Afghanistan?

Kate Clark

Armed drones came of age, by chance, at the onset of the United State’s ‘war on terror’. Washington has used them ever since to provide close air support to troops on the ground and to carry out targeted killings. In Afghanistan, they have been relatively uncontroversial, but in other countries, their legality, effectiveness and potential […]

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A Reaper drone comes into land at Kandahar Airbase (Flying Officer Owen Cheverton: 2009)

Drone warfare 1: Afghanistan, birthplace of the armed drone

Kate Clark

Using drones to carry out targeted killings has become an integral part of the United States’ ‘war on terror’. Afghanistan in the late 1990s was the laboratory where the US developed armed drones as it searched for a way to deal with Osama bin Laden who was then ordering attacks on American targets from his […]

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Graves prepared for those killed during an attack claimed by Daesh/ISKP on 23 July 2016 suicide which targeted a peaceful demonstration in Deh Mazang square, Kabul. It was the single deadliest conflict-related incident for civilians recorded by UNAMA in Afghanistan since 2001. Most of the victims were Shia Hazaras (Xinhua/Rahmat Alizadah)

More Horrific Records Set: UNAMA documents another peak year of civilian casualties

Kate Clark

More than eleven thousand civilians were killed or injured in the conflict in Afghanistan last year, setting a grisly new record – the highest number of civilian casualties recorded by UNAMA in any year since it started systematic documentation in 2009. In its 2016 annual report on the protection of civilians in the conflict, UNAMA […]

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