Tag: Peace

Rallying Around the White Flag: Taleban embrace an assertive identity

The Taleban appear to have woken up to the importance of organisational symbols and their political meaning. Compared to how little they cared about their image during the 1990s and the initial years of the insurgency, the Taleban now project an increasing consciousness of their ‘brand’. This is seen in both their media and the […]

What to Watch? Key issues to follow in Afghanistan in 2017

As in most years, the feeling in January 2017 is that this will be another crucial year for Afghanistan. The AAN team has identified several key themes that we think it important to follow this year. They range from crises in the Afghan government and how changes in global politics, particularly the change of administration […]

Peace With Hekmatyar: What does it mean for battlefield and politics?

The peace deal signed today by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e Islami, and President Ashraf Ghani, has been hailed by the Afghan government as the first major peace achievement of the last fifteen years. However, expectations should be tempered. Given Hezb-e Islami’s almost total absence on the battlefield, the deal is unlikely to significantly lower […]

After the Rollercoaster Comes What? Afghanistan in 2015

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 […]

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: How ISAF infighting helped doom Sangin to its ongoing violence

Sangin district in Helmand has again, this year, seen heavy fighting, this time between the Afghan National Security Forces and the Taleban. With dozens killed and thousands displaced following an insurgent assault involving hundreds of fighters, the Taleban leadership is once again showing how much it values this strategic crossroads and poppy-producing hub. Guest author […]

Split Unity: Afghanistan’s controversial Youth Peace Jirga

Jirgas have traditionally been get-togethers for the old in Afghanistan, but in early July 2012 (1), some 1,700 young people gathered for a multi-day ‘National Youth Peace Jirga’. At a time when the official peace efforts of the US and Afghan governments seem to have halted, notwithstanding the recent ‘academic’ meetings in Paris and Kyoto […]

Transition and Peace Talks: Optimism and Confidence in Herat?

Transition of security and the possibility of a process of peace talks with the Taleban are a concern to most Afghans. According to reports, house prices are falling, investors are getting more careful and more and more people are contemplating to leave the country because of concerns that the situation may get worse. However, the […]

The Quran burnings and the different faces of restraint

The fourth day of protests has ended with a mixed picture: on one hand relief over what seemed to have been a sense of restraint in many areas, on the other hand sadness and resignation over the reports of violence and deaths coming from a handful of places. All in all, it was not as […]

Quran Burning on Bagram Base

This blog can be very short, thinks Thomas Ruttig, a Senior Analyst at AAN, and doesn’t require any Afghanistan expertise: Books and other reading material, Islamic or otherwise, do not belong in the garbage. If you stick to this basic rule, Quran burnings and retaliatory riots can be avoided. For an alternative to dispose of printed […]