Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

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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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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