Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

Have the Taliban Changed?

Thomas Ruttig

CTC Sentinel, March 2021 This is a guest article by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig for the March 2021 issue of the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC’s) monthly Sentinel, at the Department of Social Sciences of the US’s West Point military academy. It is based on Thomas’s experience from working with the UN during and after the Taleban’s rule […]

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“Another Bonn-style conference”: A new plan to ‘fix’ the war and enable US troops to leave

Thomas Ruttig

The United States envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has floated the possibility of a ‘new Bonn’ conference that could cancel or sideline the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha. ‘Bonn 2’ appears to have been discussed in some allied capitals and various Afghan leaders, although it is unclear how much buy-in the proposal has from them. […]

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A Deal in the Mist: How much of the US-Taleban Doha agreement has been implemented?

Thomas Ruttig

One year ago, on 29 February 2020, Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the US State Department, and Mullah Baradar, Taleban Deputy Leader for Political Affairs, signed the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” in Doha. Simultaneously, representatives of the US and the Afghan government signed the similarly titled but less discussed “Joint Declaration between […]

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Afghanistan’s Divided Republican “Front”

Thomas Ruttig Ali Yawar Adili

ISPI online, 26 January 2021 AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and Ali Yawar Adili have co-authored an article for an Afghanistan dossier published on the website of the Italian Institute for the Study of International Politics (ISPI), dealing with the composition of the ‘Islamic Republic of Afghanistan team’ at the intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taleban that started […]

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AAN Obituary: Muhammad Azam Rahnaward Zaryab, pioneering Afghan writer and guardian of the Persian language

Thomas Ruttig

One of Afghanistan’s most influential and prolific writers died in a Kabul hospital 40 days ago on 11 December 2020. Born in Kabul in 1944, Zaryab wrote some of the first modern Afghan novels, and his contributions to Afghanistan’s literature inspired a new generation of Afghan writers. In Afghanistan’s post-Taleban media scene, the celebrated author […]

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AAN Obituary: Doctor, general, minister, trailblazer Suhaila Sediq (1938-2020)

Thomas Ruttig

General Dr Suhaila Sediq, one of two female ministers in the first post-Taleban government, died on 4 December 2020 from complications of a second Covid-19 infection. Sediq who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years died in the same hospital she ran for over a quarter of a century until she was appointed Minister […]

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Janus-Faced Pledges: A review of the 2020 Geneva donor conference on Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva (which took place virtually) has produced pledges of 12 to 13 billion US dollars for the period 2021-24. The result represents a drop of up to 20 per cent compared to the 15.2 billion pledged four years ago in Brussels for 2017-20 and significantly below UNDP projections for the […]

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AAN Obituary: Mahbuba Hoquqmal, ‘friend of the law’ (1944-2020)

Thomas Ruttig

Mahbuba Hoquqmal was one of the most important legal scholars in Afghanistan. As a participant in two loya jirgas and with her working life dedicated to teaching and legal reform, she shaped the country’s constitutional history. She particularly focussed on the improvement of the legal situation of Afghan women. On 30 October 2020, she died […]

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Konfliktporträt Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 29 September 2020 AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has been writing a ‘conflict portrait’ of Afghanistan for the website of the German Federal Centre for Political Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, bpb) for several years now. the bpb is a major source for teachers and school students. Here is the latest version, update […]

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AAN Obituary: PDPA leader and poet Sulaiman Layeq (1930-2020)

Thomas Ruttig

Sulaiman Layeq, one of the last surviving founding members of the leftist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which changed the country’s history with its coup d’état in 1978, has died in late July. In 1992, he even made it to the top of the party, albeit in its final moments. The circumstances of his death […]

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Doors Opened for Direct Talks with the Taleban: The results of the Loya Jirga on prisoners and peace

Thomas Ruttig Ali Yawar Adili Obaid Ali

The three-day Consultative Peace Loya Jirga held in Kabul from 17-19 Asad 1399 (7-9 August 2020) has opened the way for the Afghan government to release a final 400 Taleban prisoners from government jails, thereby removing the last obstacle blocking direct peace talks with the Taleban. The jirga delegates did not question the stark choice the government […]

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A Threat at Kabul’s Southern Gate: A security overview of Logar province

Thomas Ruttig Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Logar – a strategic province at the southern gate of the capital Kabul – has been among Afghanistan’s most insecure provinces for years. The government only controls parts of three of its seven districts, in some cases not much more than (parts of) the district centre. This provides the Taleban positions closer to the capital […]

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