Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

An Offensive Foretold

Thomas Ruttig

When I checked the BBC website last night after watching the world premiere of the reconstructed famous 1927 German silent movie ‘Metropolis’ (a ‘don’t miss’ for all cineasts), the red ribbon for breaking news flashed: NATO and Afghan troops have started ‘Operation Moshtarak’ (Together) in Helmand. In Afghanistan, it was already after 2 am on […]

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Are We Afghanistan-Driven in London?

Thomas Ruttig

While the 70 or so delegations to the London conference are already sitting in Lancaster House, here some first thought about what is being discussed and what not. No claim to be exhaustive here. Let me start with the German discussion because it points to one of the core problems. What mainly is looked at […]

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Between Frustration and Bakhshishs

Thomas Ruttig

Another attempt to make sense of the Wolesi Jirga vote of saturday 16 January which confirmed seven of candidates of President Karzai’s second list and rejected another ten. What at the first glance looks like another defeat for Hamed Karzai, actually brings the Afghan President further ahead. Bit for bit, in his characteristic tactics, he […]

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AAN Myth Busters (II): Taleban = Pashtuns?

Thomas Ruttig

The Afghan government’s draft strategy for reconciliation with the Taleban and other insurgents to be published soon is heating up the discussion about talks to ‘moderate’ Taleban amongst Western politicians. While this discussion is useful, it is necessary to look at its background a bit more closely. German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a rising […]

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On Kunar’s Salafi Insurgents

Thomas Ruttig

Usually one needs two sources at least, but this one I find too interesting: A few days ago, on 9 January, the Taleban website Shahamat (which means ‘bravery’) reported that one of the smaller insurgent groups – the Salafi from Kunar – has pledged allegiance to Mulla Muhammad Omar. The Taleban gave its name as Jama’at […]

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A GoA Reconciliation Policy in the Making

Thomas Ruttig

The government of Afghanistan (GoA) has announced that it is working on its own reconciliation strategy with its armed opponents. This has been confirmed over the last few days both by Vice President Muhammad Karim Khalili and by the presidential spokesman Wahid Omar. Also, various documents seem to be under discussion: a draft policy document by […]

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A First Glance at Karzai’s Second Choice

Thomas Ruttig

With surprising speed, President Karzai has submitted the second set of his ministerial candidates to the Afghan parliament for approval. Contrary to what had been expected by some in Kabul, the President refrained from re-introducing some of the candidates that were rejected by the Wolesi Jirga on 2 January. That still can change, though, if […]

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Afghanistan in World Literature (I): Only One Came Home from Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

A not too serious Essay: It wasn’t always the case that Afghanistan was a household name around the world as it is today. Before 1979 when the Soviet invasion suddenly brought Afghanistan to everyone’s attention, even world-class writers would rarely touch upon Afghanistan at all. A few exceptions will follow in this series. PREFACE It […]

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AAN Myth Busters (I): ‘Afghans Always Fought Outsiders’

Thomas Ruttig

There are a couple of stereotypes about Afghanistan that simply refuse to go away. Instead, they are recycled in some media time and again. But it is particularly annoying when they appear in statements of politicians being elevated into some kind of eternal truth. Today, we start another series that attempts to deconstruct some of […]

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A UN Postscript to the Provincial Council Elections

Thomas Ruttig

The following is everything the UN Secretary General and his Kabul rep Kai Eide have to say about the highly flawed provincial council elections. ‘With respect to the provincial council elections, as at 12 December, the Electoral Complaints Commission had formally delivered all 34 provincial council decisions to the Independent Electoral Commission, thus allowing the […]

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Pashto Mashto – what’s that? Read it!

Thomas Ruttig

The following blog starts our new non- but not a-political blog category called Pashto Mashto. It will not deal with daily political affairs but with issues related to Afghan languages and, more generally, culture(s). Cultural issues in the broader sense are often only covered at the margins by media (including bloggers) but are, at the […]

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Read PASHTO MASHTO!

Thomas Ruttig

Blog-e newin-e Shabaka-ye Tahlilgaran-e Afghanistan be-khwaned! De AAN neway blog wu-lwalley! Read AAN’s new cultural-linguistic Pashto Mashto under blog here, find out what that means and learn more about Afghanistan’s ‘human terrain’. The new category of blogs deals with non-political issues, like language, culture etc. But not only with Pashto… Contributions and comments are most welcome. Xhe raghlast […]

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