Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

How Do Afghans Tick? (in memoriam Bernt Glatzer)

Thomas Ruttig

The following is the translation of an interview given by late Dr Bernt Glatzer to a Berlin daily newspaper in 2008. He talks about how he himself became involved in Afghanistan, gives his opinion about current events and covers the ethics of ethnologists in war. More than six years ago, the Taleban regime in Afghanistan […]

Context and Culture Read more

BERNT GLATZER PASSED AWAY

Thomas Ruttig

With great shock and deep sadness, we have learnt about the sudden demise of our valued colleague and good friend Dr Bernt Glatzer, member of the AAN Advisory Board, in the night to 08 December at his home in Schriesheim, Germany, only a few days before his 67th birthday. There are not many amongst our […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghanistan’s democrats; from underground to marginalisation (MEI paper repost)

Thomas Ruttig

This is the second repost of an AAN contribution (without the footnotes) to the Middle East Institute’s recent publication “Afghanistan 1979-2009. In the Grip of Conflict”. Thomas Ruttig was one of the 53 experts who contributed essays on Afghanistan’s much conflicted recent history. In the spring of 2000 some 25 Afghan women and men secretly […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Afghanistan’s Democrats: From underground into marginalisation

Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig, In: Afghanistan 1979-2009: In the Grip of Conflict (e-book), Middle East Institute, Washington, December 2009. Full publication available below: Afghanistan’s Democrats: From underground into marginalisation

External publications Read more

Militia Sightings

Thomas Ruttig

Some see ‘hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban’ But how spontaneously did the new militias really emerge? Here are some reports on the new militias found in the international media (further contributions welcome). Miralam Khan is the new hero of Kunduz. […] Many are convinced that the former mujahedin commander has single-handedly […]

War and Peace Read more

Ghosts of Najibullah

Thomas Ruttig

With President Obama’s release of the new Afghanistan strategy ahead on Tuesday and first details coming out, parts of the puzzle fall into place. As it looks it will be less than the US 40,000 troops desired by Gen Mc Chrystal that will be sent to Afghanistan – probably some 30,000. The gap is to […]

War and Peace Read more

A meaningful Afghanistan conference needs civil society involvement

Thomas Ruttig

It apparently has been decided that the next international Afghanistan conference is to be held on 28 January in London. It might be followed by a second one in spring – perhaps March or April – in Kabul. But the latter is far from clear. The UK – with the Prime Minister under immense pressure […]

International Engagement Read more

Kabul Diary (2): A Ring of Steel Sheets

Thomas Ruttig

Finally, the long expected rain is falling in Kabul. But what’s good for next year’s crops makes life miserable for people in the cities. And for the first time, there were hours-long complete traffic break-downs in Kabul yesterday and today afternoon. Although President Obama today announced that he plans ‘to finish the job’ in Afghanistan […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

A Suicide Attack in Uruzgan (UPDATED)

Thomas Ruttig

13 people killed by a suicide bomber. But who did it? Finding out what really is behind incidents like this one is extremely difficult. Facts are rare, versions and opinions, however, ample to find. While a suicide attack in a bazaar in Western Farah province on 20 November that claimed at least 16 lives made […]

War and Peace Read more

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (2): A Look Forward

Thomas Ruttig

The case of Abdul Razeq’s police-unit-cum-militia (see our recent blog ‘Militias 1’) should send a stark warning to those planning envisaging a new version of ‘community-based’ defence forces. It is not clear yet how this exactly will look like but it seems to be sure that it will come. A few titles, names and concepts […]

War and Peace Read more

Surveyed: The Cost of War

Thomas Ruttig

The war-destroyed Dar-ul-Aman palace in the South of Kabul was the perfect venue for the presentation of the report ‘The Cost of War’ to the Afghan and international public. The palace, designed to house the first Afghan parliament established under King Amanullah (ruled 1919-29), never served its aim. Amanullah was toppled by a mulla-led and […]

War and Peace Read more

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (1): A Look Back

Thomas Ruttig

When I read Matthieu Aikins’ brilliant reportage in Harpers (‘The Master of Spin Boldak’) about the mutation of a 1980s tribal militia into a drug trafficking network that survives to the day, I was reminded of an episode in 1988. I was living in Wazir Akbar Khan then. Around the corner was the house of […]

Context and Culture Read more