Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Backgrounder: Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub-State Forces in Afghanistan

Kate Clark Erica Gaston

Afghanistan’s history has long been dominated and shaped by the interaction of militias with the state. In the post-2001 era, international actors, sometimes with Afghan state cooperation, have tried to use militias to fill perceived gaps in security. Since 2002, a range of foreign-backed local, hybrid or non-state security forces (LHSFs) have emerged. They include […]

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Abdul Zahir was detained by the US from his home in 2002 after a false tip-off that he had weapons of mass destruction. He has had successive "major depressive episodes” in Guantanamo. In July 2016, he was cleared for transfer, but is still waiting to get out. (Photo: New York Times)

Waiting for Release: Will Afghans cleared to leave Guantanamo get out before Trump gets in?

Kate Clark

American president-elect Donald Trump has said that no more detainees should be transferred out of America’s war on terror detention camp in Guantanamo Bay. He takes office on 20 January 2017, which leaves the Obama administration just a few days to get men cleared for transfer out of Cuba. Among those waiting to see if […]

International Engagement Read more

AAN’s 50 Most-Read Dispatches: War, headgear, politics…

Kate Clark

AAN researchers, individually, each follow the topics that interest us – although we also keep an eye on overall output to make sure we keep our coverage broad and our topics various. But what about you, our readers: what are you interested in? Three years after re-vamping the AAN website in 2014, we took a […]

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Afghan War Criminal Zardad Freed: No protection for witnesses

Kate Clark

One of the few Afghans convicted of war crimes has been released from a British jail and deported to Afghanistan. Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, a Hezb-e Islami commander, was convicted in 2005 of hostage-taking and torture. He preyed on people fleeing the civil war in Kabul in the mid-1990s, infamously keeping a ‘human dog’, a man […]

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Picture shows damaged building

One Step Closer to War Crime Trials? New ICC report on Afghanistan

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor has said it will “imminently” be taking a decision on whether to request authorisation from judges to commence an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan. The Taleban could be investigated, among other offences, for murder and intentionally attacking civilians, while Afghan government forces, and the US military […]

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The NUG, brought to light by 'midwife' John Kerry in 2014, will be part of Obama's Afghan legacy for President Donald Trump. Photo c/o US Embassy Kabul

“People That Hate Us”: What can Afghans expect from President Trump?

Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

If Hillary Clinton had won Tuesday’s race for the White House, the world would now have a good sense of who her top officials would be and what her foreign policy would look like. With a Secretary of State-turned-president, Afghanistan could have expected business to carry on pretty much as normal. With Donald Trump coming […]

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Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Left to Right): Hamidullah, Bostan Karim, Abdul Zahir, Haji Wali Mohammed and Obaidullah. Photo: New York Times

Kafka in Cuba: New AAN report on the Afghan experience in Guantánamo

Kate Clark

A major new report from AAN’s Kate Clark looks at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo, where a quarter of the total number of detainees held were Afghan, the largest national group. The report takes a ‘deep dive’ into the cases of eight of the longest-serving Afghan detainees. Five are still in Cuba, while three were […]

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Detainee assessment report cover

From Guantanamo to the UAE: A scrutiny of the three Afghan transfer cases

Kate Clark

Three of the eight remaining Afghans detained by the United States in Guantanamo have been transferred to the United Arab Emirates. The three had each spent 13 or 14 years in detention. None were captured on the battlefield, but detained after tip-offs or were handed over to the US by Afghan forces. Their files reveal […]

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Tall-hatted Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev opened a ‘Chechen embassy’ in Kabul in 2000. Photo: Natalia Medvedeva (2000)

Chechens in Afghanistan 3 (Flash from the Past): Diplomats, yes, but fighters?

Kate Clark

Following the authoritative account of Chechens – or rather lack of Chechens – in Afghanistan by Christian Bleuer, and how they have frequently been reported on, but rarely encountered, AAN’s Kate Clark here describes her own experiences with Chechens in 2000. In January of that year, she reported on the opening of a Chechen embassy […]

Regional Relations Read more
A Resolute Support team works with ‪officers from the ‪Afghan interior and defence ministries during a simulation exercise looking at the effect of different decisions on the effectiveness and affordability of ​the ANSF in the future. NATO’s Warsaw summit will also be considering funding of ANSF, as well as the deployment of international forces, 8-9 July 2016. (Photo: NATO - Resolute Support Mission, DATE: May 19, 2016)

Afghanistan at the Warsaw Summit: Looking for sustained support (with an 11 July 2016 update)

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert Sudhansu Verma

On 8 July 2016, in Warsaw, NATO begins a two-day heads of state summit for its member countries. Afghanistan is the first item on the agenda on day two. From an Afghan point of view this is an important event, the means by which Kabul secures funding for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and […]

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Just 27 MPs voted for the amended presidential decree that would have allowed changes to the electoral commissions. 126 rejected it. Photo: Tolo News

Another hurdle for elections in 2016: MPs reject presidential decree on electoral commissions

Ali Yawar Adili Kate Clark Lenny Linke Salima Ahmadi

Had MPs approved the presidential legislative decree ‘reforming’ the electoral commissions, Afghanistan would now be significantly closer to holding parliamentary and district elections. (And the National Unity Government could have claimed to be pushing forward on electoral reform, something required by the agreement that established it.) However, after three days of ill-mannered discussion, MPs roundly […]

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Kabul Duck Alert 2: Pictures of birds and birdwatchers at the Kol-e Hashmat Khan wetland

Kate Clark

The springtime migration of birds over Afghanistan is in full swing. The Kol-e Hashmat Khan wetland in south Kabul is an internationally important site for tired waterbirds to stop and rest, and build up their strength. Soon, they’ll be heading north again, crossing the Hindu Kush mountains to reach their summer breeding grounds in Central […]

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