Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: War


Balloons for the cabinet inauguration are still available. Photo: Martine van Bijlert.

After the Rollercoaster Comes What? Afghanistan in 2015

Martine van Bijlert

2014 was a rollercoaster of a year. The transition was completed. It did not tear the country apart or fragment the security forces, but it sometimes felt close. Afghanistan now stands at the beginning of the optimistically named Decade of Transformation. The country has a new leadership, both fuelled by confidence and ambition and bogged […]

International Engagement Read more

Handing Over Alive: Whither Afghanistan’s political transition?

Thomas Ruttig

When President Hamed Karzai left office after the completion of his two constitutional terms and handed over to President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, as he now officially prefers to be called, this was widely called the ‘first peaceful political transition’ – read: without violence or the head of state being immediately killed – in a very […]

Political Landscape Read more
Civilian victims of a Taleban attack in Daulatabad, Faryab, June 2014. Will an investigation lead to justice for victims like these? Credit: Pajhwok Afghan news

“A Dangerous New Turn”: UNAMA reports a sharp rise in civilian casualties

Kate Clark

For the first time since UNAMA started documenting civilian casualties in 2009, more civilians have been killed in ground fighting than from any other tactic. In its six monthly report on the protection of civilians, it reported “a direct correlation” in some areas between the closures of international bases and a rise in civilian casualties, […]

War and Peace Read more

Orchards Go to Ruin in Afghanistan’s Khost Province


IWPR, 3 June 2014 A story of war and neglect: Khost’s government-run almond gardens and fruit orchards are drying up. “I am the only gardener for the orchard,” the report quotes one Hakim Khan, 50. “If I walked all day, I couldn’t get from one side to the other. We have no equipment to work with, […]

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Germany evaluates Afghan war mission


Press TV (Iran), 3 Apil 2014 See a video with AAN's Thomas Ruttig interviewed after he participated in a public experts hearing at the German Bundestag's foreign affairs committee in Berlin.

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Photo: Pajhwok Afghan News, 2013

Cure or Curse? Implications of the Kilij mine closure for Bamyan’s security situation

Jalil Benish

As Afghanistan prepares to take full responsibility for security and state functions by the end of 2014, the country’s natural resources are often touted as a major source of future state revenue to substitute for dwindling international aid. There are, however, concerns regarding the ability and willingness of the Afghan government to ensure that extraction is […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Fear, Hope and Determination: Afghanistan and the 2014 Syndrome

Martine van Bijlert

Ever since in 2011 President Obama announced his timeline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the prospect of 2014 has been looming ominously over the country. And now we are here, at the beginning of this almost mythical year. There is nervousness and fear, but also pushback, with some Afghans believing that the […]

Political Landscape Read more

Afghanistan’s Worsening, and Baffling, Hunger Crisis


New York Times, 4 January 2014 "Afghan hospitals like Bost, in the capital of war-torn Helmand Province, have been registering significant increases in severe malnutrition among children" writes Rod Nordland, reporting on the often over-looked socio-economic side of things in Afghanistan. "Countrywide, such cases have increased by 50 percent or more compared with 2012, according to […]

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The year it became ‘Afghan versus Afghan’

AAN Team

Stars and Stripes, 30 December 2014 AAN’s country director in Afghanistan, Kate Clark, is extensively quoted in this year-ender: Kate Clark, a senior analyst with the Afghanistan Analyst Network, said the war for Afghans looks completely different than it did a year ago. “I think the nature of the war is changing,” she said. “It’s […]

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Poetry in Motion: Love, war and politics on trucks

Borhan Osman

I am chasing you like a drone You have become al Qaida; there’s no trace of you Trucks painted in vivid colours and lettered with poems like the one above, which has borrowed the terms of war to describe love, are part of the “cultural landscape” along the dusty roads of Afghanistan, especially the south […]

Context and Culture Read more

Another Post-2014 Capability Gap: Spin and reality of the Afghan air force’s readiness

Gary Owen

The Afghan air force (AAF) is of critical importance to the success of the Afghan National Security Forces, given the terrain and the continuing threat of roadside bombs. ISAF has been praising the ‘professional Afghan airmanship’ of late. But how accurate is this assessment? What is the Afghan air force’s real ability to provide for […]

War and Peace Read more

Winding Down or in for the Long Haul? The emergence of a new US counter-terrorism strategy

Kate Clark

The great behemoth of US counter-terrorism strategy is shifting. President Barack Obama has said he wants to end the war, not just in Afghanistan, but also, ultimately against al-Qaida. Congress has also been making its first attempts to claw back some of the unprecedented powers it gave the president to wage war when, just after […]

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