Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Publications

AAN research and analysis is published in the format of AAN reports - former dispatches, special reports - former thematic reports, dossiers - former thematic dossiers and other publications. The reports are reflective of AAN’s eight thematic areas.

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Reports

Eid has Arrived: AAN wishes all a happy Eid al-Fitr

AAN Team

Eid al-Fitr or the festival of breaking of the fast is celebrated by Muslims around the world when the citing of the moon heralds the end of Ramadan, the month-long rite of fasting. Eid al-Fitr, which is an official three-day holiday, is marked by offering traditional prayers at the mosque. Across Afghanistan, there are new […]

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Finally, Rain and Snow in Afghanistan: Will it be enough to avert another year of drought?

Kate Clark AAN Team

The last few weeks have finally seen rain and snowfall in Afghanistan, raising hopes for farmers and herders that this year could be better than the last three drought years. Afghans typically categorise a drought year as one where the low amount of precipitation causes problems for agriculture – a poor harvest or crop failure […]

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New Day, New Year: AAN wishes happiness and prosperity to all celebrating Nawruz

AAN Team

The advent of spring and the arrival of Nawruz brings with it the promise of new beginnings – of life renewed, of resilience and good fortune. As Spring thaws the cold winter soil, it paints the hills and the valleys with its vibrant greens. It perfumes the air with blossoms and decorates the landscape with […]

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A farmer walks through his destroyed poppy field on the outskirts of Lashkargah in Helmand Province. Photo by Sanaullah Seiam/AFP, 9 April 2023

The Opium Ban: The impact on small farmers, sharecroppers and labourers in Helmand province

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Jelena Bjelica

In what used to be Afghanistan’s largest poppy-growing province, Helmand, cultivation plummeted by 99 per cent in 2023 following the Islamic Emirate’s ban on the crop in April 2022. Although opium trading largely continued, which brought windfall profits to anyone with opium stocks to sell, the ban on cultivation has caused unemployment and an economic […]

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The Daily Hustle: Waiting in Islamabad for evacuation

Rohullah Sorush Roxanna Shapour

When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan returned to power in August 2021, thousands of Afghans who were working for NGOs left Afghanistan, fearing harassment by Afghanistan’s new rulers, or just taking an opportunity to start a new life elsewhere. Many have already found their way to Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Others are still […]

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The opening session of the Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the Qatari capital Doha. Photo: State of Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 18 February 2024

From Doha to Doha: The contest over a UN Special Envoy lingers as discussions and disagreements drag on

Roxanna Shapour

Afghanistan is back on the world’s agenda. The UN Security Council has met behind closed doors to hear about the recently held United Nations-convened meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha. The current rulers of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate, decided not to attend the Doha gathering and are adamantly against the planned appointment of […]

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Special Reports

Head of customs for the Hairatan border crossing in Balkh province, Abdul Sattar Rashid (second left), with other Taleban on the Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge.
The Taleban moved swiftly to organise and regularise the collection of customs and taxes as they took power in 2021. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 27 October 2021

New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

Kate Clark

As insurgents, the Taleban taxed farmers, businesses and NGOs in areas under their control, using the money to fund their war effort. On taking power in August 2021, they swiftly moved to collect taxes in the whole of the country. That serious-minded pursuit of domestic revenue collection is both a practice carried over from the […]

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New special report: ‘Between Hope and Fear. Rural Afghan women talk about peace and war’

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

As the United States pushes ahead with the rapid and unconditional withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, an unrelenting Taleban offensive has driven the Afghan government out of scores of districts across the country. Many Afghans are seeing their fears about the fallout from the ill-considered US-driven peace process come true. Against this backdrop, AAN’s […]

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New Special Report from AAN: “Kafka in Cuba, a Follow-Up Report: Afghans Still in Detention Limbo as Biden Decides What to do with Guantanamo”

Kate Clark

As newly-elected United States President Joe Biden considers what to do with the almost two-decades-old ‘war on terror’ detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, we publish a special report on the last Afghans held there. Two Nangraharis, Asadullah Harun Gul and Mohammad Rahim, have both been detained since 2007. We also trace the fates […]

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New special report on Afghanistan’s newest local defence force: Were “all the mistakes of the ALP” turned into ANA-TF safeguards?

Kate Clark

Today, AAN publishes a special report looking at Afghanistan’s newest local defence force, the Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA-TF). Set up by presidential decree in February 2018 and funded and supported by NATO’s United States-led Resolute Support mission, it was intended to be a lightly-armed, low-cost, local arm of the ANA which could hold […]

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New special report: ‘Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future’

Kate Clark

A major new special report, ‘Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilisation in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future’ looks at what is likely to make a local defence force – such as the Afghan Local Police (ALP) or Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA-TF) successful. This research sought to understand what makes some […]

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The Cost of Support to Afghanistan: New special report considers the reasons for inequality, poverty and a failing democracy

Kate Clark

In a new AAN special report, Kate Clark considers the apparent paradox that despite almost two decades of international support to Afghanistan, poverty for most Afghans has deepened. She also explores the gap between the promise of the 2002 Bonn Agreement and 2004 constitution, a multi-ethnic, fully representative government, a democracy with strong checks and […]

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Dossiers

Kafka in Cuba: A dossier of reports looking at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo

Kate Clark

AAN has followed the travails of the Afghans held by the United States at its prison camp at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba for over a decade, prompted first by the cases of the five Taleban who were released in exchange for US serviceman Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, and later focussing on the […]

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The Afghan Economy Since the Taleban Took Power: A dossier of reports on economic calamity, state finances and consequences for households

Kate Clark AAN Team

When the Taleban captured power on 15 August 2021, the Afghan economy suffered sudden and catastrophic damage from all sides. Foreign aid fell away, United Nations and United States sanctions applied suddenly not to an armed movement but to the country’s government, Afghanistan’s foreign reserves were frozen, the banking sector paralysed, and the web of […]

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Not at COP27, but Already in Crisis: A dossier on Afghanistan and the climate emergency

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan is projected to be the sixth most badly affected country by climate change but is also among the lightest emitters of greenhouse gasses. Yet, it is not represented at the COP27 conference, a meeting of the member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change now underway in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Afghanistan signed […]

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Creating the ‘Idea’ of a Country: The ‘Afghanistan in World Literature’ dossier

Fabrizio Foschini

How do foreign literary works shape attitudes towards Afghanistan and Afghans? That is the subject of this dossier which brings together AAN reports from its ‘Afghanistan in World Literature’ series. Over the years, we have written many pieces on this subject, spurred not only by a passion for everything related to Afghanistan, but also by […]

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Dossier XXX: Afghan Women’s Rights and the New Phase of the Conflict

AAN Team

Afghan women are generally more talked about than heard from. From 1978 and the start of Afghanistan’s conflict onwards, the argument over women’s rights and roles has been an ideological fault line running through multiple phases of the war. Girls education, women in the workplace, women’s rights in marriage and the household, and in the […]

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AAN Dossier XXIX: Living with the Taleban

AAN Team

With the Taleban rapidly gaining ground in Afghanistan, it seemed useful to turn to AAN’s past research on what life under the Taleban has looked like for those living in insurgency-affected areas over the last few years. From December 2018 to January 2021, AAN conducted research first into how public services were delivered in a […]

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