Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

The Other Guantanamo 4: The Final Handover of Bagram in Sight?

Kate Clark

The transfer of detainees held at Bagram airbase from US to Afghan hands is once again in full swing. Transfers had begun after the US and Afghan governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on transferring Bagram almost a year ago, but they were suspended by the US in late summer 2012, due to reluctance […]

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Torture, Illegal Armed Groups: Signs of Possible Afghan Government Action?

Kate Clark

Many were surprised by the eventual response of the Afghan government to the detailed allegations made by UNAMA in January concerning torture carried out by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Afghan National Police (ANP). The government’s initial denials that any problem existed were predictable enough, but were followed by President Karzai ordering […]

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Fewer Deaths, But…: UNAMA’s 2012 Civilian Casualties Report (amended)

Kate Clark

‘Civilian deaths in Afghan Conflict fall for the first time in six years’ was the good news top line of the new 2012 report by UNAMA on the protection of civilians. Fewer civilians were killed in suicide attacks, ground engagements and aerial attacks, said UNAMA. The Taleban remain responsible for bulk of civilian deaths, while […]

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Allen, Obama and Orwell: Continuing War is Victory

Kate Clark

President Obama in his State of the Union address announced what to many looks like an accelerated drawdown of US troops with half out of Afghanistan by this time next year. ‘We can say with confidence,’ Obama said, ‘that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan and achieve our objective of defeating the core of […]

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General Allen Leaves with an Improved Report Card on Civilian Casualties and Torture

Kate Clark

Today, 10 February 2012, the commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, leaves after a year and a half in the job. ‘When I got here,’ he told The New York Times, ‘I measured success in how well and how often we were fighting. Today, it’s a very different environment. The […]

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Ambiguous about Torture: Zero Dark Thirty, the Movie

Kate Clark

Oscar-winning film director, Kathryn Bigelow’s new film Zero Dark Thirty tells the story of the search for and eventual killing of Osama Bin Laden. The film has proved controversial – praised by some for its cool realism, it has also been castigated for inaccuracies. Above all, though, it has been accused of justifying torture. AAN […]

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UN Torture Report: still no accountability for torture

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s new report on the torture of ‘conflict related detainees’ makes bleak reading and not only because of the scale and weight of evidence against Afghan intelligence and the police. UNAMA reported that more than half of those interviewed had experienced torture or ill-treatment. They included children as young as 14. The UN also says […]

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The January 2013 Obama-Karzai meeting: sovereignty in exchange for immunity

Kate Clark

The words of Presidents Karzai and Obama, who met in Washington, are now being weighed and scrutinised in an attempt to determine what they are planning for Afghanistan over the next few, crucial years. The headline news was ISAF moving to a support and advisory role sooner than planned, with phase 5 of the security […]

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Zero or Zero Plus? US-Afghan negotiations over the war

Kate Clark

Presidents Obama and Karzai are due to start the wrangling over their countries’ post-2014 military relationship during the Afghan president’s current visit to Washington. US soldiers, bases, training, equipment, money, immunity all need to be hammered out, although no-one is expecting results just yet. Figures floated in recent days by US government and military officials […]

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Flash From the Past: The Wonderful Days of Afghanistan as a Football-Free Zone

Kate Clark

Unlike my colleague, Thomas Ruttig (see the other blog: ‘X-Factor Football’), I wasn’t an under-14 champion at soccer. Indeed, after a brief flirtation with the sport in my early teenage years, I came to the conclusion being a football fan is one of the dullest past-times on the planet. So, for me, one of the […]

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Students Oppose Re-naming University after Slain Ex-President

Kate Clark

It is now a week since students at the University of Education began protesting over President Karzai’s decision to change its name to the Ustad (Professor) Burhanuddin Rabbani University. On Saturday, they managed to block MPs – and one of AAN’s researchers – from getting into parliament. The students have been cautiously – and rather […]

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Right Livelihood Award for Sima Samar

Kate Clark

Dr Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has won this year’s Right Livelihood Award – along with a British anti-arms campaigning group, a Turkish environmental campaigner and a veteran American thinker and activist for non-violent resistance. The jury said they awarded Samar what is often called the alternative Nobel peace […]

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