Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Insurgency

Insurgency

The Cost of Victory: How the Taleban used IEDS to win the war, despite the misgivings of some

Sabawoon Samim

During their long and ultimately successful insurgency, the Taleban, like their foreign enemies, were faced with choices over battlefield tactics, between military effectiveness and trying to win over, or at least not alienate, local people. As insurgents, the Taleban were up against well-drilled foreign forces with advanced weaponry and a monopoly on air power, but […]

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Taleban fighters celebrate their capture of Jalalabad, on 15 August 2021. Photo: AFP

Afghanistan’s conflict in 2021 (2): Republic collapse and Taleban victory in the long-view of history

Kate Clark

For the first time in the long decades of conflict endured by Afghans since the 1978 communist coup sparked armed rebellion, Afghanistan is largely at peace. And for only the second time in that period, the country is under one unitary authority. This then is a historic moment, but will it last? In the second […]

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American politics grounded in fear, ignorance and fantasy: New special report on Afghans in Guantanamo, as US prepares to withdraw troops

Kate Clark

President Joe Biden has announced that American troops will leave Afghanistan before 11 September 2021, a day that will mark twenty years since al-Qaeda attacked the United States and drew US forces to Afghanistan. Another anniversary is also looming: it will soon be twenty years since President George Bush opened the Guantanamo Bay detention camp […]

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One Land, Two Rules (3): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province

Obaid Ali

Dasht-e Archi, a district in the northeastern corner of Kunduz province is almost entirely controlled by the Taleban. They have established shadow sub-national governance structures in the district, while most local government officials are absent and work remotely from the provincial capital. Although the Taleban do not provide any services themselves, they have co-opted government […]

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One Land, Two Rules (2): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Obeh district of Herat province

S Reza Kazemi

The matter of who governs the district of Obeh in the east of Herat province is complicated: control of the district is divided between the Afghan government and the Taleban, and shifts in unpredictable ways. The inhabitants of the district, usually via the mediation of elders, have had to learn how to deal with both […]

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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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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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Satellite image of Bahramcha crossing point located in Helmand’s remote Dishu district. Photo: Google Maps

Jihadi Commuters: How the Taleban cross the Durand Line

Borhan Osman Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban use Pakistan as a sanctuary: most of the movement’s leaders are settled there and it is the movement’s preferred place for training, meeting and as a rear base. It is also the prime destination for ‘rest and recuperation’ (R&R) and the rehabilitation of wounded fighters. But how do the Taleban move between the […]

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The Non-Pashtun Taleban of the North (3): The Takhar case study

Obaid Ali

Despite some recent gains, the Taleban have struggled to establish a stronger foothold in the north-eastern province of Takhar. One of the reasons the movement they failed to do so have been growing tensions and power struggles among its Uzbek and Pashtun Taleban cadres. Strategically, this has left a geographical gap, preventing them from connecting […]

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New Taleban Attacks in Kunduz: Less coordinated, still well-placed to threaten the city

Obaid Ali

In early July 2017, the Taleban carried out several simultaneous attacks against the Afghan security forces in Kunduz province, in an attempt to, once again, inch closer to the provincial centre. The attacks were less coordinated and sustained than they had been in the past years (including in 2015 when Kunduz fell and in 2016 […]

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From ‘Traditionalist’ Islam to ‘Modern’ Islamist Nationalism: A new AAN report about ideology in the Afghan Taleban

Alex Strick-Van-Linschoten

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]

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Former Taleban shadow governor of Faryab, Qari Salahuddin Ayubi, (barefaced with black turban, sitting in the centre) used to be famous for mobilising fighters with fiery speeches in Uzbek. He was arrested by the NDS in September 2015. He was replaced by Mufti Muzafar. (photo: Taleban media)

Non-Pashtun Taleban of the North (2): Case studies of Uzbek Taleban in Faryab and Sar-e Pul

Obaid Ali

The Taleban have spent many years ‘localising’ their fight in the north, recruiting local fighters and commanders and keying in to Afghan Uzbek madrassa networks in Pakistan and the north. That drive has paid off; in the Uzbek-majority provinces of Faryab and Sar-e Pul, the Taleban have gained significant ground against the government. In this […]

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