Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

The Start of Impunity: the killing of Dr Abdul Rahman

Kate Clark

Everyone has their watershed moments when alarm bells started ringing over the post-2001 political settlement in Afghanistan. For AAN’s senior analyst, Kate Clark, one pivotal moment took place nine years ago in February 2002, when the minister for civil aviation, Dr Abdul Rahman, was murdered in public at Kabul airport. The newly deployed ISAF did […]

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Carla Grissman, Defender of the Kabul Museum Remembered (amended)

Kate Clark

Carla Grissman, one of the great defenders of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, has died in her eighties at her home in London. From 1969 she was involved in supporting the National Museum in Kabul. From its pre-war glory days as one of the best ‘small’ museums in the world(*), through to the worst of times – […]

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Flash from the Past: … but not without snow

Kate Clark

Ten years ago, AAN’s senior analyst Kate Clark was reporting on the first snow of the 2000/2001 winter for the BBC from Kabul which, then, was still ruled by the Taleban; people then were hoping a horrific drought would finally be breaking. An estimated twelve million Afghans had been hit by crop failure, many were […]

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For a Handful of Dollars: Taleban allowed to join ALP

Kate Clark

It’s official: reintegrated Taleban will be able to join the Afghan Local Police (ALP) – referred to more commonly by civilians as militias or arbaki. This is according to the head of ISAF’s Regional Command North (who also said such Taleban might become teachers). In flat contradiction, the MoI told AAN today that Taleban will […]

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Plain Turkey by the AfViet Envoy

Kate Clark

In 1971, a secret history of the Vietnam War was leaked to the American press. One chapter of what became known as the Pentagon Papers, had been written by a young career diplomat called Richard Holbrooke. He of course, would in his final mission, serve as the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan (he died […]

International Engagement Read more

Obama’s War Strategy: Stamping out the fire by pouring on gasoline

Kate Clark

President Obama’s review of the first year of his war strategy in Afghanistan is extraordinarily upbeat. “The momentum achieved by the Taliban in recent years,” it says, “has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in some key areas… The surge… has reduced overall Taleban influence.”(*) For those of us living in Afghanistan, […]

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Wikileaks and the Paktia governor

Kate Clark

One of the US embassy cables published by Wikileaks relates to the Governor of Paktia, Juma Khan Hamdard. It contains detailed allegations that the governor is not only illegally amassing a personal fortune from US government-funded contracts, but is also fuelling money to active members of his tanzim, Hezb-e Islami, who are currently fighting the […]

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Afghan Government Declares Kabul Smog Holiday

Kate Clark

From tomorrow, 1 December, until the end of the Afghan year (20 March), Kabul will enjoy a proper, two-day weekend. Every Thursday, government offices will be closed and workers asked to stay at home. But it is not a social achievement – it is a smog-induced extra holiday, an attempt to give this polluted city […]

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2010 Elections (37): What’s in a name? – The Results

Kate Clark

Just days before September’s elections, AAN made the rash prediction that it would be interesting to see how the brothers, daughters and sons of the rich and famous would do in the polls. We had noticed just how many were running – a brother of Vice-President Khalili, two cousins of President Karzai, a brother of […]

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2010 Elections 5: What’s in a name? Relatives of the powerful run for parliament (Updated)

Kate Clark

Khalili, Karzai, Dostum, Naderi, Gailani, Chamkani: the last names of a couple of dozen candidates in Saturday’s parliamentary elections are more famous than the candidates themselves. It is Nabil, not Karim; Jamil and Hashmat, not Hamed; and Qadir rather than General Abdul Rashid, who are running for election. In an election without parties, where the […]

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Ten Dead in Badakhshan 6: Local Taleban Say it was Murder

Kate Clark

There has been the first on the record condemnation by a senior member of the Taleban of the killings of eight foreign aid workers in Badakshshan on 5th August. Qari Malang, the representative of the Western Nuristan Taleban front, told AAN the Nuristani Taleban considered the killings to be murder. The initial claim of responsibility […]

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Ten Dead in Badakhshan 5: Condemnation from a Taleb: silence from the Palace

Kate Clark

A north-eastern Taleban leader has been in touch with AAN to condemn the execution of unarmed aid workers in Badakhshan ten days ago. His statement reveals unease and disagreement within the leadership about this extreme act of violence. According to the Taleban’s own new code of conduct – a copy of which AAN has also […]

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