AAN Papers

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

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 […]

Another Pakistan Is Needed: Can Openings Emerge Post-Osama bin Laden?

This latest discussion paper by Ann Wilkens, Advisory Board member of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) outlines key political challenges facing Pakistan and relevant for Afghanistan. The focus of the report is on possible political openings after the killing of Osama bin Laden. While still too early to speak of Pakistan as a failed state, […]

The Layha: Calling the Taleban to Account

This latest report by Kate Clark, Senior Analyst with the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), discusses the Taleban Code of Conduct or the Layha. The latest Layha was issued a year ago, and the two previous in 2006 and 2009. Each new version of the Code has been longer, more detailed and more polished. The Layha […]

The Insurgents of the Afghan North

In this report Antonio Giustozzi and Christoph Reuter describe the rise of the Taleban in northern Afghanistan. They discuss their recruitment and shadow administration, the conduct of the Afghan government, the effects of ISAF’s ‘capture-and-kill campaign’ and how all of this together contributes to a very unstable status quo. Until recently, the belief was widespread […]

Afghanistan’s Early Reformists: Mahmud Tarzi’s ideas and their influence on the Wesh Zalmian movement

This paper of its Senior Analysts Thomas Ruttig represents the opening of AAN’s new series of occasional papers. It addresses the influence of the thoughts of Afghan nationalist and moderniser Mahmud Tarzi (1865-1933), foreign minister under reformer-king Amanullah (1919-29), on Afghanistan’s 1940/50s pro-democratic opposition movement, the Wesh Zalmian (Awakened Youth). Mahmud Tarzi and the movement […]

Afghanistan’s Drug Career: from War to Drug Economy

This new AAN thematic report (with SWP Berlin) by German scholar Citha D. Maass looks into the beginnings and the evolution of drug production in Afghanistan during its three decades-long war. Starting with the Western-supported anti-Soviet jihad in 1979, drug production became a major base for the country’s war economy. After the fall of the […]

Pashtunwali – tribal life and behaviour among the Pashtuns

‘Doing Pashto: Pashtunwali as the ideal of honourable behaviour and tribal life among the Pashtuns’ – this new thematic report by Lutz Rzehak provides an overview about the way of life of the Pashtuns, often called Pashtunwali. The term features prominently when civilian and military actors in Afghanistan discuss ways of engaging the civilian population […]

Untangling Afghanistan’s 2010 Vote: Analysing the electoral data

This new briefing paper by Martine van Bijlert provides a backdrop to the controversies surrounding the 2010 parliamentary vote. It presents an overview of the main publicly available electoral data and maps what information has been provided, what conclusions can be drawn and what information is still missing – either because it was not shared […]

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