Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

‘Mother of All Bombs’ Dropped on ISKP: Assessing the aftermath

Borhan Osman Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert

American and Afghan forces have arrived at the site of the massive US bomb blast that targeted a complex of tunnels and caves in Achin, Nangarhar, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), on 13 April 2017. Journalists and other independent observers have not yet been allowed to enter the area, so information […]

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National Cricket Stadium, Kabul. Photo: US Embassy Kabul (2010). Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Great Game: The rise of Afghan cricket from exodus and war

Kate Clark Sudhansu Verma

Afghanistan continues to make inroads into the world of cricket. The men’s team has progressed from being a disorganised band of reckless hitters of the ball in the early 2000s to a well-balanced team. Two Afghans recently got contracts to play in the biggest cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier League, with deals […]

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A Reaper drone flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan (US Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt: 2008)

Drone Warfare 2: Targeted Killings – a future model for Afghanistan?

Kate Clark

Armed drones came of age, by chance, at the onset of the United State’s ‘war on terror’. Washington has used them ever since to provide close air support to troops on the ground and to carry out targeted killings. In Afghanistan, they have been relatively uncontroversial, but in other countries, their legality, effectiveness and potential […]

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A Reaper drone comes into land at Kandahar Airbase (Flying Officer Owen Cheverton: 2009)

Drone warfare 1: Afghanistan, birthplace of the armed drone

Kate Clark

Using drones to carry out targeted killings has become an integral part of the United States’ ‘war on terror’. Afghanistan in the late 1990s was the laboratory where the US developed armed drones as it searched for a way to deal with Osama bin Laden who was then ordering attacks on American targets from his […]

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Graves prepared for those killed during an attack claimed by Daesh/ISKP on 23 July 2016 suicide which targeted a peaceful demonstration in Deh Mazang square, Kabul. It was the single deadliest conflict-related incident for civilians recorded by UNAMA in Afghanistan since 2001. Most of the victims were Shia Hazaras (Xinhua/Rahmat Alizadah)

More Horrific Records Set: UNAMA documents another peak year of civilian casualties

Kate Clark

More than eleven thousand civilians were killed or injured in the conflict in Afghanistan last year, setting a grisly new record – the highest number of civilian casualties recorded by UNAMA in any year since it started systematic documentation in 2009. In its 2016 annual report on the protection of civilians in the conflict, UNAMA […]

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Backgrounder: Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub- State Forces in Afghanistan

Erica Gaston Kate Clark

Afghanistan’s history has long been dominated and shaped by the interaction of militias with the state. In the post-2001 era, international actors, sometimes with Afghan state cooperation, have tried to use militias to fill perceived gaps in security. Since 2002, a range of foreign-backed local, hybrid or non-state security forces (LHSFs) have emerged. They include […]

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Abdul Zahir was detained by the US from his home in 2002 after a false tip-off that he had weapons of mass destruction. He has had successive "major depressive episodes” in Guantanamo. In July 2016, he was cleared for transfer, but is still waiting to get out. (Photo: New York Times)

Waiting for Release: Will Afghans cleared to leave Guantanamo get out before Trump gets in?

Kate Clark

American president-elect Donald Trump has said that no more detainees should be transferred out of America’s war on terror detention camp in Guantanamo Bay. He takes office on 20 January 2017, which leaves the Obama administration just a few days to get men cleared for transfer out of Cuba. Among those waiting to see if […]

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AAN’s 50 Most-Read Dispatches: War, headgear, politics…

Kate Clark

AAN researchers, individually, each follow the topics that interest us – although we also keep an eye on overall output to make sure we keep our coverage broad and our topics various. But what about you, our readers: what are you interested in? Three years after re-vamping the AAN website in 2014, we took a […]

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Afghan War Criminal Zardad Freed: No protection for witnesses

Kate Clark

One of the few Afghans convicted of war crimes has been released from a British jail and deported to Afghanistan. Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, a Hezb-e Islami commander, was convicted in 2005 of hostage-taking and torture. He preyed on people fleeing the civil war in Kabul in the mid-1990s, infamously keeping a ‘human dog’, a man […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Picture shows damaged building

One Step Closer to War Crime Trials? New ICC report on Afghanistan

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor has said it will “imminently” be taking a decision on whether to request authorisation from judges to commence an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan. The Taleban could be investigated, among other offences, for murder and intentionally attacking civilians, while Afghan government forces, and the US military […]

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The NUG, brought to light by 'midwife' John Kerry in 2014, will be part of Obama's Afghan legacy for President Donald Trump. Photo c/o US Embassy Kabul

“People That Hate Us”: What can Afghans expect from President Trump?

Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

If Hillary Clinton had won Tuesday’s race for the White House, the world would now have a good sense of who her top officials would be and what her foreign policy would look like. With a Secretary of State-turned-president, Afghanistan could have expected business to carry on pretty much as normal. With Donald Trump coming […]

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Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Left to Right): Hamidullah, Bostan Karim, Abdul Zahir, Haji Wali Mohammed and Obaidullah. Photo: New York Times

Kafka in Cuba: New AAN report on the Afghan experience in Guantánamo

Kate Clark

A major new report from AAN’s Kate Clark looks at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo, where a quarter of the total number of detainees held were Afghan, the largest national group. The report takes a ‘deep dive’ into the cases of eight of the longest-serving Afghan detainees. Five are still in Cuba, while three were […]

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