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

Muttaqi AFP

How The Emirate Wants to be Perceived: A closer look at the Accountability Programme

Martine van Bijlert

As the third anniversary of its return to power approaches, the Islamic Emirate is presumably readying itself for another round of its Accountability Programme, as it has done in the past two summers. These televised sessions, held by ministers and other senior officials in front of journalists, provide a fairly detailed overview of the Emirate’s […]

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The Fate of the Village Councils: The Emirate’s effort to institute hegemony over rural Afghanistan

Jelena Bjelica AAN Team

Afghanistan’s Community Development Councils (CDCs), which were established under the Islamic Republic by the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and its successor Citizen’s Charter, have been abolished by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA). Government bodies have been told to coordinate economic projects with ulema councils instead. Afghanistan, however, has a longstanding tradition of grassroots, collective, […]

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The Daily Hustle: Eid-e Qurban, a time to reflect and be grateful

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Roxanna Shapour

Today is Eid-e Qurban, also known as Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, which marks the most important religious holiday in Islam. On this day, Afghans, across the country will sacrifice cows or sheep in remembrance of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael in submission to God’s command and of the […]

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The Daily Hustle: Why one Afghan girl decided to open her own madrasa

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Roxanna Shapour

After the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan closed girls’ high schools, thousands of older Afghan girls were left behind from education. With not much to do except help with the household chores, many families decided to enrol their girls in a madrasa so that they could pursue their religious education. Many older girls, who had already […]

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Where Are My Rights? Afghan retirees appeal for their pensions

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Jelena Bjelica

Afghanistan’s retired public sector employees have not received their pensions since the toppling of the Republic and the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in August 2021. In the almost three years since then, their pleas to the government to start paying what is their due have fallen on deaf ears. In April this […]

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Before the Deluge: How to mitigate the risk of flooding in Afghanistan

Mhd Assem Mayar

In Afghanistan’s rugged landscape, floods arise from a multiplicity of causes: torrential rainfall, rain on snow, the rapid melting of snow due to warmer weather, glacial lake outbursts, the overflow of natural ponds or even the breach of dams. Regardless of their origins, floods can destroy whole villages, ruin farmland and change the very landscape. Almost […]

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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

Still Under Sanctions, Still Unrecognised: A dossier of reports on Afghanistan, international relations and aid ahead of Doha III

AAN Team

The United Nations is due to host a third meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha, on 30 June-1 July 2024, to discuss Afghanistan. It is aimed, according to a UN spokesperson, at increasing “international engagement with Afghanistan in a more coherent, coordinated and structured manner.” The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has said […]

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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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