Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

One Land, Two Rules (1): Service delivery in insurgent-affected areas, an introduction

Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

The Taleban today control or influence whole swathes of Afghanistan. Estimates of exactly how much vary, but in the vast majority of Afghanistan’s provinces, control is split between government and insurgency. What that means for local people in terms of services usually provided by a state is the subject of a new research project by […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Release of Mullah Baradar: A contribution to the peace effort?

Kate Clark

The Taleban have confirmed to various media that Pakistan has released the most senior member of their movement in detention, Mullah Abdul Ghani, better known as Mullah Baradar (brother). He was arrested in 2010 and held ever since, apparently incommunicado and without charge or trial. Baradar was a founding member of the Taleban and a […]

War and Peace Read more
A voter in Paktika province being ‘biometrically verified’. Across the country, the new procedure caused problems and delays (Photo: Fazal Muzhary)

Election Day One (Evening Update): Voter determination and technical shambles

AAN Team Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

In our first update of the day, AAN reported on the mixed turnout – far higher in the cities and other secure places and lower in districts where the Taleban could close roads and prevent voting. Those determined to vote faced not only Taleban violence, but also many technical problems and late-opening polling centres. In […]

Political Landscape Read more

Before Ashura: Extra security measures in place for second year running

Kate Clark

This year, the ten-day commemoration of Muharram by Afghanistan’s Shia Muslims follows a wave of bloody attacks directed against them, most claimed by the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP). In 2017, the government armed and paid guards at some mosques and other religious buildings in an attempt to thwart attacks. Those guards have stayed […]

War and Peace Read more

Ferocious Attack on ICC: Washington threatens court if it investigates alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has made a withering attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC), threatening prosecutions against personnel and retaliation against any country cooperating with the Court if it ‘goes after’ America. Bolton’s intervention comes as the judges of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber weigh up whether or not to authorise a […]

International Engagement Read more

Enemy Number One: How the Taleban deal with the ALP and uprising groups

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

It is one of the few ‘truths’ of the Afghan insurgency that the Taleban hate arbaki– their term for locally-recruited defence forces, primarily the Afghan Local Police and uprising groups.These forces have always been a mixed bag, with some abusing the local population or captured by ethnic, factional or criminal interests. However, especially where they […]

War and Peace Read more

UNAMA Mid-Year Report on Civilian Casualties: Highest number of deaths on record

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released its mid-year assessment of the harm done to civilians in the Afghan conflict. It found that more civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018 than in any year since 2009 when UNAMA started systematic monitoring. This was despite the Eid ul-Fitr ceasefire, which all parties to the conflict apart […]

War and Peace Read more

Graft and Remilitarisation: A look back at efforts to disarm, demobilise, reconcile and reintegrate

Kate Clark

Even before the Eid truce suddenly made a peace process in Afghanistan imaginable, international civilian and military circles were wondering what they could do to support one. The government, the High Peace Council (HPC) and donors are also currently negotiating future funding for the HPC. It seems a good moment, says AAN’s Kate Clark, to […]

War and Peace Read more
Interior Minister Wais Barmak stops on the road into Kabul to meet Taleban who have come into the capital during the Eid truce (Photo: taken by someone in the crowd and posted on social media)

The Eid Ceasefire: Allowing Afghans to imagine their country at peace

Kate Clark

Ceasefires by the government, the Taleban and the United States over the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr has partially ended with the Taleban ordering their fighters back to “normal operations.” However, the three-day truce resulted in an unprecedented peaceful movement of fighters and soldiers into territories controlled by the other. The media was full of […]

War and Peace Read more

How to End the Afghan War? A new publication on peace reviewed

Kate Clark

A new short book-length report, “Incremental peace in Afghanistan” looks at what is needed to end the Afghan conflict. It explores the many drivers towards the war continuing – external backing for both sides, the war economy and basic persisting disputes about power-sharing – but also details what could drive a peace process – the […]

War and Peace Read more

Uprising, ALP and Taleban in Andar: The arc of government failure  

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Kate Clark

The Taleban look to be preparing for a new onslaught on Andar district centre. The name ‘Andar’ is still full of political resonance, gained in the summer of 2012 when the Taleban were suddenly and swiftly pushed out of a large part of the district. That counter-insurgency in an insurgent stronghold was styled the ‘Andar […]

War and Peace Read more

Two New Reports on Afghan Civilian Casualties: Gruelling, but important reading

Kate Clark

UNAMA and Human Rights Watch have each released blistering reports on the killing and wounding of civilians in the Afghan conflict. UNAMA presents the results of its investigation into the Afghan Air Force’s bombing of an open-air graduation ceremony at a madrassa in Dasht-e Archi in Kunduz province in April. It concludes that, even if […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more