AAN Papers

Ideology in the Afghan Taliban: A new AAN report

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 […]

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

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 […]

Kafka in Cuba: New AAN report on the Afghan experience in Guantánamo

A major new report from AAN’s Kate Clark looks at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo, where a quarter of the total number of detainees held were Afghan, the largest national group. The report takes a ‘deep dive’ into the cases of eight of the longest-serving Afghan detainees. Five are still in Cuba, while three were […]

Economic Management in Afghanistan: What worked, what didn’t, and why?

Afghanistan’s past experience with economic management has seen both notable successes and salient failures. A new paper for AAN by Bill Byrd, a former head of the World Bank in Afghanistan (currently a senior expert with the US Institute of Peace), reviews several economic policies during the period 2002-2014. It points to important lessons for Afghanistan’s […]

The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st century

The latest AAN report, a discussion paper named “The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st Century” by guest author, Noah Arjomand, revisits Britain’s attempt at state-building in Afghanistan from 1839-1841. The disastrous British retreat from Kabul in January 1842 and the subsequent British pillage of the Afghan capital […]

Resolute Support Light: NATO’s New Mission versus the ANSF Political Economy

AAN’s first paper of the new year – “Resolute Support Light: NATO’s New Mission versus the Political Economy of the Afghan National Security Forces” by guest author Philipp Münch – looks at NATO’s chances of achieving its goals in Afghanistan with Resolute Support (RS). The mission replaced ISAF on 1 January 2015. NATO’s motto in Afghanistan has […]

Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics

The latest AAN report, “Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics”, by Christian Bleuer and Said Reza Kazemi, looks at the state of Afghanistan’s relationships to the former Soviet republics of Central Asia to the north. The authors look at the multi- and bilateral cooperation on various levels and from both […]

Bureaucratic Policies and Patronage Politics: Prospects and Challenges of Private Higher Education in Afghanistan

The latest AAN report, “Bureaucratic Policies and Patronage Politics: Prospects and Challenges of Private Higher Education in Afghanistan” by Niamatullah Ibrahimi, looks into the impressive growth of private higher education sector in Afghanistan in recent years but how this growth is overlooking the comprehensive policies and long-term vision towards a better quality education and its […]

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