Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Winding Down or in for the Long Haul? The emergence of a new US counter-terrorism strategy

Kate Clark

The great behemoth of US counter-terrorism strategy is shifting. President Barack Obama has said he wants to end the war, not just in Afghanistan, but also, ultimately against al-Qaida. Congress has also been making its first attempts to claw back some of the unprecedented powers it gave the president to wage war when, just after […]

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Talking to the Taliban: A British perspective

Kate Clark

The deputy commander of ISAF and most senior British soldier in Afghanistan, General Nick Carter, has told The Guardian that, ‘the west should have tried talking to the Taliban a decade ago, after they had just been toppled from power’. AAN Senior Analyst, Kate Clark, who witnessed many of the events of that time, not […]

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The Taleban in Qatar (2): Biographies – core and constellation (Amended with more details)

Kate Clark

The very public cutting of a red ribbon marking the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar on 18 June 2013 and the videoed raising of their flag allowed the world to see, for the first time in many years, a public face for the clandestine insurgent group. It has also allowed an initial assessment […]

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Freeing the ‘Guantanamo Five’ 2: Kafka in Cuba (first posted: 11-03-2012)

Kate Clark

A possible prisoner exchange – captured US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, for five key members of the Taleban who are held in Guantanamo Bay – is top of the Taleban’s agenda for negotiations, according to their spokesman, Sohail Shaheen, speaking to AP. When this exchange was first mooted in early 2012, it caused outrage among some […]

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Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the prisoners (first posted: 09-03-2012)

Kate Clark

Now that the Taleban office in Qatar has been opened, a US-Taleban prisoner exchange is again on the table. It would mean the American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Haqqani-linked, Taleban commander, Mullah Sangin in 2009, being exchanged for four senior and one junior Taleban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay; they include […]

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The Opening of the Taleban Office in Qatar: A propaganda coup and an angry government

Kate Clark

The long awaited Taleban office in Qatar has opened on 18 June 2013 with a press conference in which two spokesmen presented their movement as a government in waiting. With the old Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag behind them, Sohail Shaheen, in English and Mullah Naeem, in Pashto managed to portray an insurgency, whose main […]

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Spring Offensive 2: Civilian casualties

Kate Clark

At least fifteen children have been killed in the war in Afghanistan in the last 36 hours. All were ‘collateral damage’ from insurgent attacks – victims of two IEDs in Laghman and Farah and a suicide bomber’s blast in Paktia. The surge in the insurgency this year has been intense and civilians, generally, are being […]

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Attack on the ICRC 2: Taleban denial

Kate Clark

The Taleban have issued a rare public denial, saying they were not behind the suicide attack on the compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jalalabad on 30 May, which left one Afghan, Abdul Bashir, the father of eight children, dead and the ICRC’s humanitarian work in Jalalabad suspended. The Taleban […]

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Attack on the ICRC: Crossing a Red Line

Kate Clark

Today (29 May 2013), suicide bombers attacked the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jalalabad, killing an unarmed guard and wounding a delegate before the attack was suppressed by Afghan security forces. No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Nevertheless, the insurgency has crossed a red line. It is […]

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Legalities of the Post-2014 Landscape: The US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement

Kate Clark

By 1 May 2013, the United States and Afghanistan should have finalised a Bilateral Security Agreement and associated Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) for governing a post-2014 US military deployment. There is, as yet, no sign yet of any deal. These new agreements are supposed to supersede the Status of Forces Agreement ratified in May […]

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What exactly is the CIA doing in Afghanistan? Proxy militias and two airstrikes in Kunar

Kate Clark

AAN has discovered that the NATO airstrike on Kunar on 13 April 2013 which killed as many as 17 civilians was the second strike on almost the same location to have been requested by the same mixed Afghan/CIA force. President Karzai’s spokesman has reported the president’s assertion – and anger – that the Afghan unit […]

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Inspiration in Kabul: Nancy Dupree and the Opening of the Afghanistan Centre

Kate Clark

The Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU) has been officially opened. A beautiful, airy building with a central green courtyard, it has space for both researchers and the Centre’s collection of 80,000 (and increasing) documents collected over the last three decades. The driving force behind the project is Nancy Hatch Dupree who said that ‘for […]

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