Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Photo: Christine Roehrs 2015

2018 Afghan National Budget 2: Deals done with MPs to get budget through parliament

Kate Clark

Figures for the 2018 Afghan budget are in the public realm and show that, despite government attempts to clean up its finances, Afghanistan’s Members of Parliament (MPs) were, once again, ‘given’ projects to persuade them to vote the budget through. The draft budget presented to parliament in November 2017 had been almost balanced; the one […]

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ICC reports: “Victims Overwhelmingly Support” Investigation into War Crimes in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has published its findings from victims who suffered war crimes in relation to the Afghan conflict, either in Afghanistan or in other countries. The victims mentioned murder, rape, forced disappearance, attacks against civilians and pillage. The ICC report said victims’ backing for an ICC investigation was “overwhelming” with 98 per […]

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The cover of the 2017 UNAMA report showing a victim of the 25 August, ISKP-claimed attack on the Shia Imam Zaman Mosque in Kabul city. A suicide bomber and four gunmen killed 35 civilians and injured 65 others during Friday prayers. Photo: (C) Omar Sobhani, Reuters

Nine Per Cent Reduction in Civilian Casualties in 2017: Better news (but still bad)

Kate Clark

For the first time since 2012, UNAMA has recorded a year-on-year decrease – of nine per cent – in civilian casualties sustained during the Afghan conflict. This relatively good news still meant that more than ten thousand civilians were killed and injured during 2017. There are glimmers of hope in UNAMA’s report; the Afghan National […]

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The Soul of Herat’s Citadel Comes Home: Reflections on an exhibition of miniatures

Kate Clark

A historic exhibition of reproductions of miniatures has opened in the Citadel in Herat where many of the pictures were painted in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At that time, Herat was a centre of Islamic art and culture. In the decades that followed, as dynasties fell or moved, the miniatures were scattered, eventually ending […]

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Ministry of Finance says next year’s budget is committed to focussing Afghanistan’s “declining resources” on priority areas such as education. Photo: schoolchildren in Nad Ali, Helmand 2010, ISAF)

The 2018 Afghan National Budget: Confronting hard realities by accelerating reforms

Kate Clark Bill Byrd

Afghanistan’s budget for the next financial year, 1397/2018, is markedly different from previous ones. This is a budget written to ‘international standards’, giving more information, both on 2018 and earlier years, as well as future projections, with detail at the level of ministry, project and province. The Ministry of Finance has tried to be realistic […]

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Civilian victims of a Taleban attack in Daulatabad, Faryab, June 2014. Will an investigation lead to justice for victims like these? Credit: Pajhwok Afghan news

One Step Closer to War Crimes Trials (2): ICC Prosecutor requests authorisation to investigate

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has requested judicial authorisation to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in connection to the Afghan armed conflict. If the judges of the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber agree, there could now be investigations of the Taleban for many types of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and Afghan […]

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A Son of Nangrahar Paints the Sea: Afghan artwork from Guantanamo

Kate Clark

As an art exhibition featuring the works of eight current and former Guantanamo detainees, Yemeni, Algerian, Pakistani and Kuwaiti, is now showing in New York, we thought we would look at the paintings and sculptures of an Afghan who is still in the prison camp, who is not featured in the exhibition. Assad (known in […]

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The CIA, keen to ‘hunt' and kill Taleban, is reported to be about to start flying armed drones, such as MQ‐9 Reapers, for the first time in Afghanistan. Credit: US Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Michael Quiboloy 2014.

CIA-proxy militias, CIA-drones in Afghanistan: “Hunt and kill” déjà vu

Kate Clark

Reporting from the United States has said that the CIA is expanding its operations in Afghanistan, running Afghan militias to “hunt and kill” Taleban and “poised” to start flying armed drones. The CIA has run Afghan militias in the past; they were notorious for human rights abuses and for not being subject to the state […]

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After the deadly truck bomb that hit Kabul on 31 May 2017. Photo: Andrew Quilty

UNAMA Documents Slight Decrease in Civilian Casualties: Indications of new trends in the Afghan war

Kate Clark

There has been a six per cent decrease in the number of civilians killed and wounded in the conflict this year compared to the first nine months of 2016 – a year which saw record highs in civilian harm. The latest UNAMA report on civilian casualties provides, as always, sobering statistics of how Afghan civilians are being […]

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Physiotherapist Lorena Enebral Perez was killed by a patient on 11 September 2017. For the ICRC, it appears to have been the last straw. They have now decided to “drastically” scale back their operations in the north of Afghanistan. Credit: ICRC

Working in a ‘Grey Zone’: ICRC forced to scale back its work in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it has “no other choice but to drastically reduce its presence and activities in Afghanistan, in particular in the north of the country.” The decision follows three attacks on its staff in less than a year, including the worst suffered by the organisation worldwide in […]

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The New Kabul ‘Green Belt’ Security Plan: More Security for Whom?

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark

Following the devastating 31 May 2017 bomb attack in the Afghan capital, President Ashraf Ghani commissioned his security experts to develop a new security plan for Kabul. Although apparently not officially approved or fully funded yet, the plan called the ‘Zarghun Belt’ (Green Belt) was announced in mid-August. Jelena Bjelica and Kate Clark (with input […]

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Haji Zaher Qader on the battlements. Credit: Zaher's Facebook Page, posted 12 February 2016

More Militias? Part 2: The proposed Afghan Territorial Army in the fight against ISKP

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

In recent days, Afghan government officials have raised the possibility of standing up a new militia force, the Afghan Territorial Army (ATA), modelled after both its Indian namesake and the Afghan Local Police (ALP). AAN understands that President Ghani is currently considering a pilot project for the ATA in the Achin and Kot districts of […]

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