Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

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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Ten Dead in Badakhshan 4: Afghan Reactions (UPDATED)

Kate Clark

AAN has been asking for the memories and thoughts of some of the Afghans who knew the members of the eye camp team who were murdered in Badakhshan last week. Initially, we wanted to find out what they thought about the Taleban accusations that the team had been preaching Christianity, but it soon became clear […]

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Ten dead in Badakhshan 3: The Dubious Taleban Claim

Kate Clark

The Taleban get in quickly with their claims and they get in dirty. Spy, whore, preacher – Taleban accusations stick, regardless of who they are aimed at, Afghan or foreigner, and regardless of the truth of the matter. In an Afghan context – and it seems, also, this week in an international one – such […]

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Ten Dead in Badakhshan (UPDATED)

Kate Clark

Among the party of Afghans and foreigners returning from holding an eye camp for communities in Nuristan and murdered on their way back in Badakhshan were several known to many in AAN. We grieve with their families and friends. Read an obituary by our Senior Analyst Kate Clark (with updates at the end of the […]

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Afghanistan is (still) not Iraq

Kate Clark

One of the monsters thought to be slain has raised one of its ugly heads again: the ‘let’s replicate our Iraq success in Afghanistan’ discussion, seasoned with ‘yes we know Afghanistan is not Iraq but…’ attachments. See the surge that supposedly has brought a decrease of violence in Baghdad and elsewhere and has been replicated […]

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Kabul Conference (2): How to spend three quarters of a billion dollars

Kate Clark

AAN has seen and studied the – not yet public – Afghan government’s plan to reintegrate Taleban who lay down their arms. We also took a look at an earlier draft (see an earlier blog) and have been following the process since well before the London conference. Now comes the moment, at the Kabul Conference, […]

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