The mysterious, ancient Nine Domes Mosque of northern Afghanistan

AFP, 6 January 2018 A very interesting article, reminding of one of the most important archaeological landmarks of Afghanistan. “This is a masterpiece. You have to imagine how it looked like, fully decorated with lapis, some parts in red, it was all covered and painted: it was like a garden of paradise inside, with a […]

U.S. Bombing of Afghan Drug Labs Won’t Crush the Taliban

International Crisis Group, 11 December 2017 Ex-AAN colleague Borhan Osman’s analysis of the ‘new’ US strategy of bombing drug labs in Afghanistan and its futility: … a coercive counter-narcotics campaign will solve neither the country’s poppy boom nor the Taliban’s profiting from it, which has long depended to an extraordinary extent on very local dynamics. […]

European return policies: No Safety in Numbers

ECRE, 1 December 2017 This links to a policy note by ECRE (the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, a NGO umbrella organisation) analysing EU return policies and a Case Study on returns to Afghanistan identifying the risks, and the ethical, legal and political implications of a narrow focus on increasing the number of returns in general and […]

Outrage at video of Afghan colonel sexually exploiting woman

The Guardian, 2 November 2017 The Afghan ‘Weinstein’ affair: a graphic video apparently showing a military officer sexually exploiting a woman who had asked for a promotion triggers several women to speak out: that it has not been the first time the accused had do so; that government institutions in general do little to fight harassment […]

The Man Who Thought He Could Fix Afghanistan

Politico, 30 October 2017 (Nov/Dec. issue) A portrait of “Ghani’s Ghani” – senior advisor Scott Guggenheim – by great May Jeong, with some (given his position) interesting insights: “A decade and a half of American occupation, Guggenheim continued, produced “democratic institutions with the outward appearance of a democracy, but all about patronage,” he told me. […]