Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Civilian Casualties 2: Taleban claims to protect civilians laid bare

Kate Clark

Accusations against the Taleban are becoming more pointed: their indiscriminate use of IEDs is a war crime, said UNAMA in its most recent mid-year report on civilian casualties, as well as violating a ban on land-mines made by Mulla Omar in 1998. The Taleban continues to insist its hands are clean, but, as AAN Senior […]

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Civilian Casualties 1: Progress in the war or a ‘perpetually escalating stalemate’?

Kate Clark

General Petraeus has handed over command of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, with talk of progress – albeit fragile and with ‘tough times’ ahead. His confidence was belied by reports or statements on the human cost of the war from three respected international institutions working in Afghanistan over the past week: ICRC said, ‘insecurity […]

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Ahmad Wali Karzai, the node of the southern networks, killed

Kate Clark

In the long line of assassinations carried out by all sides in the war since 2001, Ahmad Wali Karzai is surely the most powerful man yet to be killed. Formally, his powers were limited to being the head of Kandahar’s provincial council, an elected body. Informally, he was the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan, […]

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The Layha: Calling the Taleban to Account

Kate Clark

This latest report by Kate Clark, Senior Analyst with the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), discusses the Taleban Code of Conduct or the Layha. The latest Layha was issued a year ago, and the two previous in 2006 and 2009. Each new version of the Code has been longer, more detailed and more polished. The Layha […]

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Kill or Capture 3: When the International Military Says ‘Sorry’

Kate Clark

President Karzai has said he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses because they are causing too many civilian casualties. The president’s ultimatum follows the pictures shown on Afghan TV on 29 May of distraught villagers in Helmand carrying the bruised and dusty corpses of their small children who had been killed in an […]

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Walking the Kabul Wall, Looking into History

Kate Clark

From the roof of one of the newest buildings in Kabul, the AAN office, you can see the oldest surviving, above-ground structure in the Afghan capital, the Kabul Wall. It snakes along the Sher Darwaza mountain, now green after the spring rains. AAN Senior Analyst, Kate Clark tells some stories from the Wall: of spring […]

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Kill or Capture 2: Another Takhar Night Raid Fans Ethnic Discontent

Kate Clark

The repercussions of a night raid by US Special Forces and Afghan police, which left two men, a woman and a girl dead in Takhar a week ago (whether they were civilians or insurgents, depends on whose version of events you believe) are still being played out. The provincial council has gone on strike in […]

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Killing Civilians: Taleban and International Law

Kate Clark

When the Taleban attacked the 400-bed military hospital in Kabul on 21 May 2011, they committed a gross violation of the international law that protects medical personnel during conflict. The Taleban spokesman heaped praise on those who attacked the hospital, even though, a few days earlier, he had been condemning the international military’s ‘crime against […]

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Kill or Capture 1: Owning up to civilian casualties

Kate Clark

US Special Forces carry out the vast majority of night raids and targeted killings in Afghanistan, but it is ISAF – through its media office – which deals with any news or fall-out arising from them. In responses to questions by journalists about AAN’s latest report about a case of intelligence failures and targeted killing […]

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The Takhar attack: Targeted killings and the parallel worlds of US intelligence and Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The targeted killing of Osama Bin Laden has given a boost to those in the US who believe this is also an effective strategy to defeat – or at least degrade – the Taleban in Afghanistan. This new AAN thematic report, by senior analyst Kate Clark, warns against this strategy, stressing that the legality of […]

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Taleban ‘spring campaign starts’: more suicide attacks, fewer civilian casualties?

Kate Clark

The suicide attack today (18 April 2011) on the Afghan ministry of defence followed a warning by the Taleban spokesman that the movement would be focussing on greater infiltration of the Afghan security forces in order to carry out attacks. He said the attack marked the start of the Taleban’s ‘spring campaign’. It was a […]

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Museums and Massacres

Kate Clark

A new exhibition at the Kabul Museum has opened with the display of some exquisitely beautiful exhibits, newly found at the archaeological dig which is preceding the development of the Mes-e Ainak copper mine in Logar. Ambassadors, generals and ministers gathered with curators and archaeologists for the opening and an announcement that a new Afghan […]

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