Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Security


Update on the Afghan Local Police: Making sure they are armed, trained, paid and exist

Kate Clark

The Afghan Local Police (ALP) emerged out of an American special forces’ project to establish ‘community defence forces’ in 2009 and 2010. Despite being viewed by many as ‘militias in uniform’, the ALP has survived and grown to become a significant part of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), present in all but three of […]

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Photo posted recently by Taleban social media activists showing, they said, fighters in Kunduz. Vehicle carries the movement’s flag and fighters appear all to be in camouflage, while one wears a headband. (2016)

Rallying Around the White Flag: Taleban embrace an assertive identity

Borhan Osman

The Taleban appear to have woken up to the importance of organisational symbols and their political meaning. Compared to how little they cared about their image during the 1990s and the initial years of the insurgency, the Taleban now project an increasing consciousness of their ‘brand’. This is seen in both their media and the […]

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Backgrounder: Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub-State Forces in Afghanistan

Kate Clark Erica Gaston

Afghanistan’s history has long been dominated and shaped by the interaction of militias with the state. In the post-2001 era, international actors, sometimes with Afghan state cooperation, have tried to use militias to fill perceived gaps in security. Since 2002, a range of foreign-backed local, hybrid or non-state security forces (LHSFs) have emerged. They include […]

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The Brussels conference will be the eleventh donor conference since the 2001 US-led intervention in Afghanistan.

Thematic Dossier XII: Background Reading for the 2016 Brussels Conference

AAN Team

On 5 October 2016, the Government of Afghanistan and the European Union will co-host the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan. At the conference, governments and international organisations will scrutinise both the Afghan reform efforts and the efficiency and sustainability of international support to Afghanistan. There are several controversial topics set to be discussed at the conference […]

Dossiers Read more

Far From Back to Normal: The Kunduz crisis lingers on

Lola Cecchinel

The Taleban’s recent takeover of both Qala-ye Zal and Dasht-e Archi’s district centres is the latest episode in the long-running battle for possession of Kunduz province. It follows the spectacular takeover of Kunduz’s provincial centre by insurgents in late September 2015, the hard-won recapture by pro-government forces two weeks later and the government’s unsuccessful counter-offensive […]

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Join AAN for a live chat on "Prospects of peace and war in Afghanistan in 2016" at the 2016 Security Jam

Security Jam – 2016 (April 25 – 28)


The Security Jam is a global brainstorming session on today’s security challenges. The Jam — spanning topics from development and human rights to security and defence — unfolds entirely in writing between April 25th and 28th. The Jam will feed into the EU’s thinking on a new Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and into NATO’s […]

Events Read more
Under threat since 2014: The Sangin district governor’s office, with hesco barriers (Source: Pajhwok Afghan News, 2015)

Helmand (2): The chain of chiefdoms unravels

Rahmatullah Amiri

In Helmand in the second half of 2015, the ‘dominos’ started to fall, with successive areas of the province coming under Taleban control. During the United States surge, a line of ‘chiefdoms’ was created, where Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan Local Police (ALP) and militia commanders managed to consolidate control of local areas. In 2015, […]

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Zamindawar, Kajaki district. Taleban were never eliminated during the US ’surge’ from this and other areas of northern Helmand: later, they would use them as a launchpad to re-emerge. (Photo Credit: Rahmatullah Amiri, August 2013)

Helmand (1): A crisis a long time coming

Rahmatullah Amiri

The rapid fall of entire areas of Helmand to the Taleban during the second half of 2015 and early 2016 has left the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) scrambling to hold the line and try to push back, and led to international forces deploying troops to the province. Guest author Rahmatullah Amiri* brings a special […]

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At Europe's edge: exhausted refugees in a Serbian field. Photo: Refugee Aid Serbia.

An “Afghan Exodus” (1): Facts, figures, trends

Thomas Ruttig

The on-going “exodus” of Afghans – now the second largest group entering the EU – has contributed to the increasing refugee numbers across Europe. This, in turn, has led to heated debates and an increased political polarisation between pro- and anti-refugee movements and parties. As governments and citizens struggle to handle the influx of refugees, […]

Migration Read more

Young Technocrats Taking Over: Who are the new Afghan governors and what can they achieve?

Christine Roehrs Qayoom Suroush

Nearly one year into Ashraf Ghani’s presidency, about a quarter of the state’s highest representatives in the provinces are still missing – nine of 34 governors. So why the hold-up? AAN’s Christine Roehrs and Qayoom Suroush have been looking into the mechanisms of the process and found that the government seems to be able to […]

Political Landscape Read more

The Failed Pilot Test: Kunduz’ local governance crisis

Bethany Matta

The fighting in Kunduz is only one side of the problem. Also issues not related to security are in disarray. Health care, education, agriculture, reconstruction – all are on hold and do not receive much attention from the newly established top level of local authorities. This, AAN guest author Bethany Matta argues, has much to […]

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A Delicate Balance: The regional puzzle surrounding Pakistan’s decision to stay out of Yemen

Ann Wilkens Sudhansu Verma

Power relations and cooperation patterns are changing around Afghanistan. Its two most intrusive neighbours, Pakistan and Iran, are both at a stage where long-set behaviour seems to be tilting in different directions, with linkages to China (in the case of Pakistan) and the USA (in the case of Iran). At the same time, Pakistan and […]

Regional Relations Read more