How Tribal Are the Taleban? Afghanistan’s Largest Insurgent Movement between its Tribal Roots and Islamist Ideology

The Taleban in Afghanistan should be treated as a primarily political movement with political aims, and not as a tribal one, concludes Thomas Ruttig, author of the new report ‘How Tribal Are the Taleban? Afghanistan’s Largest Insurgent Movement between Tribal Roots and Islamist Ideology,’ published today by AAN. Today’s Taleban movement has a double nature, […]

Local Defence in Afghanistan: A Review of Government-backed Initiatives

In this latest AAN report, Mathieu Lefèvre unpacks the myths about local defense initiatives in Afghanistan. His analysis of three local defense initiatives shows the contradictions in the claimed successes and points at possible long-term security challenges posed by these initiatives. In this report, Mathieu Lefèvre analyses three local defense initiatives in Afghanistan: The Afghanistan […]

Zu wenig, reichlich spät – Stabilisierungsmaßnahmen in Afghanistan zwischen Terrorismus- und Aufstandsbekämpfung

Thomas Ruttig, in: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (Bonn), 21-22/2010 This contribution to a weekly newspaper supplement of 7 articles on Pakistan and Afghanistan, discusses how much the new Obama/McChrystal strategy really represents a strategic shift (in German, avaibale on the web from 22 May onwards), see below: Zu wenig, reichlich spät – Stabilisierungsmaßnahmen in Afghanistan […]

Nation-Building Is Not for All; The Politics of Education

In this AAN report Afghanistan scholar Antonio Giustozzi explores the deeply political and contentious history of education in Afghanistan. The report discusses the development of state education over the last 90 years in the context of nation-building, and touches on a series of crucial issues, including the role of religion; the priority of government concerns […]

Two Interventions: Comparing Soviet and US-led state-building in Afghanistan

Although there is a broad consensus that building a capable and legitimate state is key to success in Afghanistan, there has been little systematic comparison between the current US-led intervention and the Soviet state-building intervention that took place between 1979 and 1989. This paper aims to remedy that by analysing the trajectories of both interventions. […]

The Taliban Arrest Wave in Pakistan: Reasserting Strategic Depth?

Thomas Ruttig, in: CTC Sentinel, March 2010, vol. 3 issue 3 This article analyses the recent arrest wave of Afghan Taleban leaders in Pakistan and its implications for further attempts on talking to the Taleban The full pdf can be found here: The Taliban Arrest Wave in Pakistan: Reasserting Strategic Depth? 

The AfPak Strategy: Reactions in Pakistan

Viewing Pakistan in a historical and geostrategic context, this paper by eminent Pakistan and India expert Karl Fischer highlights those aspects of the new United States strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan (formerly termed ‘the AfPak Strategy’) that are more relevant for Pakistan and shows predominant Pakistani reactions to these issues. The selection is limited to […]

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Pakistan in 2010

While the world is discussing strategies to exit Afghanistan, the crisis in neighbouring Pakistan is deepening. What the silent majority of Pakistanis voted for in the elections of February 2008 – a secular democracy – is proving elusive. The army has since reemerged as a major political actor and the Taleban are gaining ground. This […]

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