Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

What possibly still could be done…

Thomas Ruttig

…. after the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’ anti-democratic ‘consensus’ The leaked ‘consensus’ of the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’, i.e. the foreign ministers of the most influential Western governments, that President Karzai has won the 20 August elections, is the final knock-out for the remaining democratic aspirations of Afghans. Although it has not been stated officially yet, there […]

Context and Culture Read more

BREAKING NEWS: Ban Fires Galbraith

Thomas Ruttig

Watch the UN website tonight: The UN Security Council has decided to fire Peter W. Galbraith, the American deputy head of its Afghanistan mission UNAMA. An announcement by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on this step is expected to be published tonight (GMT). The reason to be given: serious differences of opinion with UNAMA boss Kai […]

International Engagement Read more

AAN Election Blog No 32: What Next in Afghanistan? (1)

Thomas Ruttig

What remained of a democratic process in Afghanistan had been brought to a halt with screeching brakes by the massive and systematic fraud on 20 August. Finally, this fact has been recognised on the record by impartial bodies like the EU observers and the ECC. Realities simply could not be ignored any more. The range […]

Political Landscape Read more

Kabul Diary (1): Glimpses of Kabul, Summer 2009

Thomas Ruttig

Blue sky over the Spinghar mountains through the airplane window. Small green fields along grey Kabul river. The tin roofs of Pul-e Charkhi reflecting the sun. The first traffic jam at Indira Gandhi hospital. A push-cart with eggfruit stuck amongst taxis and UN cars. Bicycle riders head on in the traffic. Landcruisers with tinted window […]

Context and Culture Read more

Hollow Excuses

Thomas Ruttig

We apologize. It was a mistake. We regret the loss of innocent life.’ How often have I heard these sentences after operations of NATO troops had caused – what a horrible trivialisation – ‘collateral damage’. How often have I heard these sentences after operations of NATO troops had caused – what a horrible trivialisation – […]

War and Peace Read more

An election observer speaks out

Thomas Ruttig

‘Really widespread fraud‘ has happened during the Afghan presidential election, says Gunter Mulack, a former German diplomat and director of the German Orient Institute in Hamburg; until a few days ago he was the chief political analyst of the EU election observer mission… … led by MEP Phillipe Morillon, a former French general. Mulack added […]

Political Landscape Read more

Another Day without an Orange Revolution

Thomas Ruttig

Quite some people here in Kabul – maybe internationals more than Afghans – had been looking forward to the day that just passed with mixes feelings. It was 9/9 – and eight years ago Ahmad Shah Massud, the leader of the Northern Alliance mujahedin was killed … … during a fake interview in Khwaja Bahauddin […]

Context and Culture Read more

Flash from the Past: Elections under Fire (12 Sept 2008)

Thomas Ruttig

All sides involved – the Kabul government, its Western allies, donors and the United Nations – pretend that almost everything’s in order at the Hindukush, apart from small hick-ups. The reality, however, looks different. In the coming year, Afghans are supposed to elect a president for the second times since the fall of the Taleban […]

Political Landscape Read more

UNODC Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging – With One Eye Closed

Thomas Ruttig

U.N. Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging’, reads a headline in the 2 September issue of the New York Times. Now the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) got it. Or did it? The headline reminds of a 2008 World Bank paper (William A. Byrd, Responding to Afghanistan’s Opium Economy Challenge, The World Bank, South Asia […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 29: ‘A fraud would go unnoticed’

Thomas Ruttig

Imagine it is election-day and someone else casts your vote. It is possible because in many polling stations no one will ask for your ID card. Malalai Nassir (not her real name) was flabbergasted. When she went to the ballot box on election-day, the electoral staff did not check her ID card. No, that’s not […]

Political Landscape Read more

AAN Election Blog No. 28: Two Paktias?

Thomas Ruttig

A member of the US PRT in Paktia also experienced that amazingly brilliant blue sky over Paktia. But the elections she saw were quite different from what I have experienced there. When I went to the polling site in Tandar village in Paktia, some 22 kilometres away from the provincial capital Gardez, on election-day on […]

Political Landscape Read more

Präsident Karzai vor zweiter Amtszeit? Sicherheitsprobleme und Legitimitätsdefizite bei den Präsidentschaftswahlen in Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik: Berlin, SWP-Aktuell 2009/A, August 2009 (President Karzai before a second term? Security problems and legitimacy deficits of Afghanistan‘s presidential elections – in German) Incumbent Hamed Karzai aims at a second term of office in Afghanistan‘s presidential elections on 20 August. A lack of alternatives, his astute positioning and use […]

External publications Read more