Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

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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The Start of Impunity: the killing of Dr Abdul Rahman

Kate Clark

[Photo: Dr Abdul Rahman (with dark glasses) standing behind German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (left) and later Afghan Minister of Economy Amin Farhang (r.) at the Bonn conference in 2001.] 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 […]

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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 […]

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