Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

An April Day That Changed Afghanistan 4: The evolution of the PDPA and its relations with the Soviet Union

Thomas Ruttig

After the leftists of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in the Saur Revolution of April 1978, the Soviet Union became Kabul’s key backer, to the extent of invading the country in 1979 to prevent local insurgencies and military rebellions toppling its new ally. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig here explores the relationship between […]

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Tanks in front of the presidential palace on 28 April 1978, one day after the Saur coup. Photo: Cleric77, Wikipedia - Creative Commons 3.0

An April Day That Changed Afghanistan 1: Four decades after the leftist takeover

Thomas Ruttig

Forty years ago, Afghanistan experienced its second military coup d’état within five years. The authoritarian President Muhammad Daud had seized power in 1973 without much attention abroad and even little notice in Afghanistan – Daud was a sardar (prince) and seen as just another new king, although he proclaimed a republic. It was the second […]

Political Landscape Read more

Climbing on China’s Priority List: Views on Afghanistan from Beijing

Thomas Ruttig

Since the never completed withdrawal of NATO troops in Afghanistan, China has become more involved in one of its most conflictive neighbour’s affairs. It has offered to connect the country with its multi-billion dollar project, the Belt and Road Initiative, which includes the so-called Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor. AAN’s co-director Thomas Ruttig has found – after […]

Regional Relations Read more

Battle for Faryab: Fighting intensifies on one of Afghanistan’s major frontlines

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

An intense battle is under way near the city of Maimana, the capital of Faryab. In this northern province, the Taleban gained control over a majority of districts over 2017, including all of those close to the provincial capital, which is practically under siege. They also threaten the national ring road and important provincial roads. […]

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The Second meeting of Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation, held on 28 February 2018 in the Afghan capital, marked a change in peace rhetoric. Credit: Tolo

Who shall cease the fire first? Afghanistan’s peace offer to the Taleban

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The second meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation that was held in the Afghan capital on 28 February 2018 marked a change in the peace rhetoric. The Afghan government presented some very concrete proposals for peace talks with the Taleban. It came with a few conditions (not called as such) – mainly […]

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The Road to Turkestan or: More Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan. Manifesto No 2

Thomas Ruttig

Author’s Note: The title and the theme of this set of theses refer to Barnett Rubin’s “Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan: A Manifesto” published in War on the Rocks on 23 February 2018 (read here). But these theses will mainly scrutinise Afghanistan’s internal institutional crisis that needs to be addressed in order to improve the […]

International Engagement Read more

Unrelenting on Human Rights and Democracy: An obituary for Pakistan’s Asma Jahangir

Thomas Ruttig

“‘Speaking truth to power’ is a phrase we often use,” wrote Raza Rumi, one of Pakistan’s leading liberal journalists, about Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan’s most outstanding human rights and pro-democracy activists, who has died today in her home city of Lahore after heart failure. “She lived, practiced it till her last breath.” Pakistan’s Human […]

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After the deadly truck bomb that hit Kabul on 31 May 2017. Photo: Andrew Quilty

Five Questions to Make Sense of the New Peak in Urban Attacks and a Violent Week in Kabul

Thomas Ruttig

Between 20 and 29 January 2018, there were five high profile attacks in major cities and districts in Afghanistan. The three by far largest ones happened in the capital Kabul. This feeds into a month-long period of such attacks that began in late December 2017. Altogether, almost 250 people, most of them civilians, were killed […]

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civilian casualties have reached an all-time high, plateauing in 2016 and 2017. children and women represented two thirds of casualties by air strikes in the first nine months of 2017: injured boy in helmand province. photo: andrew quilty (2015)

More violent, more widespread: Trends in Afghan security in 2017

Thomas Ruttig

Continuing our look back at key developments in Afghanistan in 2017, after migration and peace talks, we come to security. Tracking trends in security has become more difficult, as more areas suffering conflict have become inaccessible and those fighting – both Afghan and international –less transparent. However, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has identified indicators to gauge […]

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Words, No Deeds: 2017, another lost year for peace (talks) in Afghanistan

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

Despite a new offer by the Afghan government through the High Peace Council, there was not much movement toward government-Taleban talks to end the war peacefully in the past year. Both sides continue to engage in general pro-peace rhetoric, while allowing little to happen in practice. Currently, they are bogged down in a dispute over […]

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Pressure and Peril: Afghan refugees and Europe in 2017

Thomas Ruttig

The number of Afghan refugees arriving on Europe’s shores this year was significantly lower than in 2015 and 2016, but the arrivals have not stopped. In 2017, there were still a few thousand Afghans making the hazardous trip across the Mediterranean to the continent, and tens of thousands more continued to be on the move inside […]

Migration Read more
Cover of Afghan Info. Issue no 79, October 2016.

“The Rédactrice Says Farewell”: A goodbye to the Afghanistan Info (1980-2017)

Thomas Ruttig

It is already December and time to look back at the year almost just passed. Before we come to the macro issues of Afghanistan’s political, security and socio-economic situation in 2017, we want to say “thank you” to Micheline Centlivres-Demont and Pierre Centlivres, and wish a “goodbye” to the Afghanistan Info, a bulletin of news […]

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