Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Regional Relations

Thinking out loud about peace, talks and tensions

Martine van Bijlert

In the weeks after Rabbani’s death by deceit and in the days after President Karzai’s oblique announcement of a new peace strategy, Afghans are trying to make sense of a complicated and murky situation. They are thinking out loud and what they say illustrates the complexity and the confusion, the diverging view points and the […]

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The government’s new peace strategy: Who to talk to?

Martine van Bijlert

After the Rabbani assassination, the Afghan government has made it clear that it intends to revise its peace strategy. It has however been very short on the details of what this might look like, other than that it needs to revolve around ‘talking to Pakistan’. The change comes in the midst of deteriorating relations with […]

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A Message for Peace in the Middle of War

Sari Kouvo

While the killing of the Head of the High Peace Council on Tuesday certainly sent a strong message that peace will not be easily attained in Afghanistan, Afghan civil society organizations have used the week around World Peace Day celebrated on 21 September to campaign for peace, sending messages that peace has to be attained […]

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Conflicts in the East, part II

Fabrizio Foschini

Coalition’s concerns arising from the increasingly aggressive and assertive behaviour of insurgent groups, or from their very identity and international connections, are not limited to Loya Paktia and the locally dominant Haqqani network. Following Petraeus’s guidelines and moving further East, one arrives in what has sometimes been termed Loy Nangrahar (Nangrahar, Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan – […]

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Ghorband – A Valley Once Friendly

Thomas Ruttig

In May, we have been reporting about the deteriorating security situation in Eastern Afghanistan. There, it appears, an ‘insurgency corridor’ has been emerging, through which insurgents ‘will be able to move unhindered from the Pakistani border to Laghman, and from there into Kapisa and Kabul provinces’*. The killing of the Bamian Provincial Council (PC) chairman […]

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Guest Blog: Principles Sold-out – A Farewell to Afghanistan

Jan Malekzade

The 2002 Emergency Loya Jirga was more representative then anything seen in Afghanistan in the previous 25 years, writes our guest blogger, but it was sold out to the warlords for a cheap political compromise, argues our guest blogger Jan Malekzade*. Looking back at two stints with the UN, he says farewell to Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s […]

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Fire at the Durand Line

Ann Wilkens

Since mid-June, warming relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have run into serious trouble again. Pakistan accuses Afghanistan (and ISAF) of doing nothing to stop militants from attacking Pakistani border posts and villages, Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of shelling villages in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, killing civilians and causing hundreds of families to flee. AAN Advisory Board […]

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Guest Blog: Ghori Cement – A loss-making goldmine

Mir Sediq Zaliq

Under pressure to repay his loans to Kabul Bank, the president’s brother, Mahmud Karzai, has sold his shares in the Afghan Investment Company. This could open a new future for the country’s biggest cement factory, Ghori Cement in Baghlan, that has so far been plagued by nepotism, reports Mir Sediq Zaliq*, an Afghan journalist working […]

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AAN Reads: The Soviets in Afghanistan, In Their Narrative

Thomas Ruttig

Rodric Braithwaite’s ‘Afgantsy’ has already deservedly been widely praised for its Soviet and Russian sources-based account of the Soviet intervention years in Afghanistan. AAN’s Senior Analyst Thomas Ruttig joins in, but finds that Artemy Kalinovsky’s ‘The Long Goodbye’ is a more than worthy addition on this issue. Rodric Braithwaite’s book has already deservedly been reviewed […]

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Kill or Capture 2: Another Takhar Night Raid Fans Ethnic Discontent

Kate Clark

The repercussions of a night raid by US Special Forces and Afghan police, which left two men, a woman and a girl dead in Takhar a week ago (whether they were civilians or insurgents, depends on whose version of events you believe) are still being played out. The provincial council has gone on strike in […]

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Where exactly is Abbottabad, or A Vindication of Geography

AAN Team

Abbottabad (or, in the local pronunciation: Abtabad) has already risen to a status shared only by some of Calvino’s ‘Invisibles Cities’: that of a mysterious fairy land of which everybody talks but few know something for certain. In particular, when the news of Osama bin Laden’s killing broke, its exact distance from the Pakistani capital […]

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