Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: ISAF


Paint It Pink: The US redefining ANA success

Gary Owen

Twice a year, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) reports to the Congress and Senate committees on defense, appropriations, and foreign relations on the ‘progress’ of the conflict in Afghanistan. AAN guest blogger, Gary Owen, a former soldier who now is working as a civilian development worker(*) has been scrutinizing the reports, teasing out, […]

International Engagement Read more

Their drill may be out of step, but Afghan army is ready for the fight


Sunday Telegraph, 11 March 2012 A nice piece of uncommented inteqal propaganda, just read this: ‘[T]he aim is to get the [ANA] recruits to a level where they are “Afghan good enough”. It is a phrase that rings around the ISAF headquarters and represents a more qualified understanding of what is achievable.’ More quotes to […]

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Afghanistan’s ‘Cumulative’ Protests and the West’s Dilemma (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan has seen its largest protests since the fall of the Taleban. For six days in a row, demonstrations protested the burning of copies of the Qur’an at Bagram airbase in about half of the Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Roads were blocked, ISAF bases stormed and an UN office targeted and there were calls for jihad […]

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Guest Blog: The Quran burnings and the German retreat from Taloqan

Marcel Habler

German authorities announced on Friday, the third day of the Quran burning protests, that they have closed their ISAF base in Taloqan several weeks earlier than planned in response to the protests. Originally, the base had been slated for closure in March. This decision shows the limitations of the assumed international control of particular areas […]

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The Quran burnings and the different faces of anger

Martine van Bijlert

Yesterday’s thoughtless and avoidable burning of several Qurans at Bagram air base has sparked a second day of protests across Afghanistan. The repercussions are expected to reverberate for several more days, at least. The demonstrations are a combination of religious outrage, pent-up frustration and groups wanting to stir trouble. It is difficult to predict how […]

Political Landscape Read more

Entropy and insurgent radicalisation: an ISAF goal?

admin, 7 December 2011 Alex argues that the attacks against Shia places of worship in Afghanistan, if really committed by a Lakhkar-i Jhangvi splinter group, might be another indication that ‘the Taliban’s central leadership (based, for the most part, in Karachi) have been steadily losing control over the violence in Afghanistan. This is not to […]

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The Thin Red Durand Line

Fabrizio Foschini

The air-strikes that hit two Pakistani check-posts on the border between Mohmand Agency and Kunar province, killing 24 (some sources still report 25 or 26) Pakistani security forces and injuring a dozen more, have triggered, as expected, a strong reaction from the Pakistani authorities. As of now, Pakistan, ISAF and the Afghan military have very […]

Regional Relations Read more

Two Eid messages from the Warring Leaders

Kate Clark

Both General Allen, overall ISAF commander, and Mulla Omar, supreme Taleban leader, have issued messages of felicitations to Afghans for Eid ul-Adha. They make interesting reading. Allen, in a message which rivals Omar’s in terms of Islamic references, appeals to the Taleban to stop fighting and urges the Afghan people to continue standing ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with […]

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War of the Narratives: Words, Stories…and Killing

Kate Clark

It has been a bad week for the international military, but – according to the Pentagon – it has also been a good six months. On 28 October 2011, ISAF suffered its worst attack in Kabul ever, with 13 people* killed in a suicide attack, along with four Afghan civilians, 2 of whom were children. […]

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Counting victories and losses: the war of stats

Kate Clark

In the last week, there has been a lot of discussion about what sort and how many Taleban are getting killed and captured, how many attacks the Taleban are launching and who, indeed, is ‘winning’ the war. Is ISAF beating the Taleban back or has it been exaggerating its claims? Kate Clark has been trying […]

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Analysing ISAF Press Releases – AAN Responds to ISAF’s Response

Martine van Bijlert

ISAF has taken ‘serious issue’ with AAN’s latest report ‘A Knock on the Door. 22 Months of ISAF Press Releases’ (see full text of the press release below). ISAF argues that the methodology is flawed and based on incomplete information, and it worries that this will ‘confuse serious researchers or those engaged in balanced reporting […]

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New AAN Report: A Knock on the Door: 22 Months of ISAF Press Releases

AAN admin

ISAF officials have long presented the capture‐or‐kill operations as one of the most effective parts of the military mission in Afghanistan. They regularly release large figures describing the number of ‘leaders’, ‘facilitators’ and ‘insurgents’ that were killed or captured, to illustrate the success of the campaign. AAN’s latest report, by Alex Strick van Linschoten and […]

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