Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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

New Book: ‘Empires of Mud’

Thomas Ruttig

Antonio Giustozzi is arguably the most studious and productive researcher and author on Afghan affairs. His output is based on insight won during intensive travels to the country far beyond the capital. After editing the recently published ‘Decoding the New Taliban” – with AAN members and friends contributing some chapters – he has now put […]

Context and Culture Read more

Prof. Rasul Amin passed away

Thomas Ruttig

AAN has just learned of the passing away of leading Afghan scholar and politician Professor Rasul Amin during a stay in Australia on 31 October at the age of 72 Born on 10 May 1939 at Watapur in Kunar province, Rasul Amin was son of a prominent khan of the Safi tribe. His mother was […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No 39: Deeper into the One-Way Street

Thomas Ruttig

Not the pull-out of Karzai challenger Dr Abdullah brought the Afghan election process into a crisis. It was the irresponsible decision to hold a run-off within two weeks in a country like Afghanistan after the credibility of the first round had drowned in a flood over one million votes rigged in favour of Karzai. The […]

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The Guesthouse Attack and the Run-Off

Thomas Ruttig

This time it looks as if the Taleban really have managed to give the Afghan election – more precisely: its second round set for 7 November – its own turn. They already considerably influenced the first round of 20 August when they threatened attacks like cutting of inked fingers of voters but largely left polling […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghanistans Wahlkrise (Afghanistan’s Election Crisis)

Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP-Aktuell 2009/A 56 In this 8-page SWP comment, the author analyses the ‘legitimacy crisis’ that erupted after the manipulated 20 August elections, assesses that it contributes to minimise the chance that Gen. McChrystal’s population-oriented counter-insurgency approach can be implemented and lays out steps to broaden the Afghan political process […]

External publications Read more