Afghan Warlord’s Call to Arms Rattles Officials -
The New York Times (11/15/2012)
One of the most powerful mujahedeen commanders in Afghanistan, Ismail Khan, is calling on his followers to reorganize and defend the country against the Taliban as Western militaries withdraw, in a public demonstration of...
Afghanistan sees rise in ‘dancing boys’ exploitation
Ernesto Londoño The Washington Post (09/09/2012)
“He is more handsome than anyone in the village,” the 22-year-old farmer said, explaining why he is grooming the boy as a sexual partner and companion. There was another important factor that made Waheed easy..."
Taliban opens office in Iran
Ben Farmer, Kabul Telegraph, UK (08/02/2012)
Iran has increased its support for the Taliban by allowing the militants to open an office in the country while considering the supply of surface-to-air missiles, according to Afghan and Western officials...
Top Afghans Tied to ’90s Carnage, Researchers Say -
The New York Times (07/24/2012)
Frustrated with endemic administration corruption, insecurity and poor reconstruction process, the Peace Council members and the public in central Daikundi province threatened to tie the hands and feet of culprits and send them to Kabul...
Afghanistan mining wealth thwarted by delays
Dion Nissenbaum The Wall Street Journal (07/05/2012)
Mr Benard lashed out at the contracting process last fall after Western companies represented by his firm lost to Chinese state-run companies for drilling rights to an oil field in the north called Amu Darya..
Will civil war hit Afghanistan when the U.S. leaves? -
The New Yorker (07/03/2012)
Together, the militias set up to fight the Taliban in Kunduz are stronger than the government itself. Local officials said that there were about a thousand Afghan Army soldiers in the province—I didn’t see...
Afghan anti-corruption watchdog threatens to quit
Julian Borger, The Guardian (12/14/2011)
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan blamed foreigners on Sunday for the corruption of Afghan officials and demanded that the United States extradite the former chief of the Afghan Central Bank in connection with the collapse of Kabul Bank, the country’s largest...
Our Man in Kandahar
Matthieu Aikins The Atlantic (02/07/2011)
Abdul Raziq and his men have received millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. training and equipment to help in the fight against the Taliban. But is our ally—long alleged to be involved in corruption and drug smuggling—also guilty of mass murder?
Burhanuddin Rabbani: Life ruled by an ambition for power
Jonathan Steele The Guardian (09/27/2011)
The appointment of the former president Burhanuddin Rabbani as head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council last year came as a surprise to many. His efforts on behalf of the current president...
Afghanistan Ground Situation Far From Reassuring
B. Raman TIME (09/20/2011)
According to an analysis by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Afghan Taliban and its affiliates such as the Haqqani network and Gulbuddin Heckmatyar’s Hizbe-Islami (HI) attempted to launch three big attacks on...
The Warlord's Tune: Afghanistan's war on children
dsgn050 ABC News, AU (03/03/2010)
Such parties are illegal under Afghanistan law and with good reason. The "dancing boys" are in effect sex slaves. They are lured off the streets by pimps. They are taught to dance and sing...
Counterinsurgency scorecard says Afghan War could go either way
Nancy Montgomery Stars and Stripes (08/12/2011)
A Rand study of 30 insurgencies worldwide between 1978 and 2008 concluded that there are 15 good practices and 12 bad practices in all counterinsurgencies, and if you want to win, you have to do more good than bad...
Afghanistan to be handed over to gangsters
Ray Rivera andTaimoor Shah The National Times (06/13/2011)
Basically, Afghanistan has become a honey pot for criminals, and not just the locals. Foreigners include US company the Louis Berger Group Inc., which rorted more than $US10 million from its payments . . .
"U.S. can't leave Afghanistan until the 'criminal syndicate' government does" -
Sebastian Junger, best-selling author of “War” (and “The Perfect Storm”) discusses the U.S. role in Afghanistan and the upcoming scheduled troop withdrawal...
The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad
Nushin Arbabzadah The Guardian (04/29/2011)
Fighting for resources in a traditional fashion complete with looting and pillaging versus fighting for a state that would enforce sharia law even to the point of an obsessive preoccupation with the correct length of young men's pubic hair is what distinguishes the original mujahideen . . .
Karzai Told to Dump U.S. -
Wall Street Journal (04/29/2011)
Pakistan is lobbying Afghanistan's president against building a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S., urging him instead to look to Pakistan—and its Chinese ally—for help in striking . . .
AIDS In Afghanistan: Stigma Hampers Fight Against The Disease -
Through a blue gate, they come for treatment in the early morning, faces wrapped in scarves against the cold. For now it's a trickle, but their numbers are rising . . .
Red Cross says Afghan conditions worst in 30 years
Jonathon Burch Reuters (12/15/2010)
Spreading violence in Afghanistan is preventing aid organizations from providing help, with access to those in need at its worst level in three decades, the Red Cross said on Wednesday...
US lawmakers met with Karzai opponents over possible Taliban deal
Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel McClatchy Newspapers (08/20/2010)
Rohrabacher's involvement with Afghanistan began during the Soviet occupation, when he served as a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. He entered the country with U.S.-backed rebels in 1988 after...
Iran's covert operations in Afghanistan
Simon Tisdall The Guardian (07/29/2010)
Behind-the-scenes help of the Taliban includes training, medical treatment and bribes...
Afghan village force: Moving forward
Hekmat Karzai The Hill (07/22/2010)
One of the darkest eras in Afghan history was the early ’90s. After the Soviet withdrawal, and without any serious international support, many of the resistance groups turned against each other. As a result, Afghanistan was divided into personal fiefdoms of the commanders...
Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan...
Mohammad Qayoumi Foreign Policy (05/29/2010)
On a recent trip to Afghanistan, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox drew fire for calling it "a broken 13th-century country." The most common objection was not that he was wrong, but that he was overly blunt. He's hardly the first Westerner to label Afghanistan as medieval. Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince recently described the country as inhabited by "barbarians" with "a 1200 A.D. mentality..."
Afghan tribal politics backfire on U.S. plan
Joshua Partlow and Greg Jaffe The Washington Post (05/12/2010)
U.S. military officials in eastern Afghanistan thought they had come up with a novel way to stem the anger and disillusionment about government corruption that fuels the Taliban insurgency here...
How to End the War in Afghanistan
David Miliband The New York Review of Books (04/12/2010)
The route to progress depends on recognizing the centrality of politics to issues of war and peace. Violence of the most murderous, indiscriminate, and terrible kind started this Afghan war; politics...
The alienation of Hamid Karzai
M K Bhadrakumar Asia Times (04/01/2010)
From the Taliban perspective, they too harbor hopes of some day breaking out of the ISI stranglehold. The ISI always had nightmarish fears that the Taliban might make overtures to Delhi...
When Barack met Hamid -
The Economist (03/31/2010)
They seem stuck with each other, little as they both may like it...
Iran to step up Afghan presence -
Within days of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Kabul, Iran has decided to increase its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan's sensitive border province of Nimroz...
Iran Again Accused of Trying to Halt Afghan Dam
Shapoor Saber in Herat IWPR (03/01/2010)
“Iran’s hostility towards Afghanistan is as clear as day, and I do not know why our government is acting deaf and dumb...”
Battle for Marja not only militarily significant
Greg Jaffe and Craig Whitlock The Washington Post (02/21/2010)
A year ago, the mention of Marja, a speck on the map in southern Afghanistan, would have drawn befuddled stares in the Pentagon...
Racism amongst Afghans – so sick of it!
Atash Parcha GlobalPost (01/15/2010)
“I’m proud Pashtoon. I’m proud Tajik. I’m proud Hazara. I’m proud Uzbek. I spit on you all for considering yourself higher than an Afghan. “ – some dude on TV.
Pressure From All Sides as Karzai Picks His Team
Richard A. Oppel and Abdul Waheed Wafa The New York Times (12/07/2009)
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan faces a decisive test of his pledge to reduce corruption and cronyism when he names members of his new government as early as Tuesday, Afghan and Western officials say...
Afghanistan and the 'Age of Obama'
M K Bhadrakumar Rediff (12/01/2009)
Pakistan views Pashtun nationalism as an existential threat and this has been at the root of the 60-year history of its blatant interference in the...
The 130-year war
Jean MacKenzie GlobalPost (11/26/2009)
The Afghans are not fighting only this war — they are acting out a centuries-old history that to them seems like yesterday...
Black & Veatch's White Elephant in Kabul
Pratap Chatterjee IPS-Inter Press Service (11/19/2009)
In April 2006, shortly before he left Afghanistan, U.S. ambassador Ronald Neumann dreamed up an alternative to the Central Asian transmission lines...
From Words To Deeds In Afghanistan's Corruption Fight
Tanya Goudsouzian, Helena Malikyar RFE/RL (11/19/2009)
At the height of election fever in Afghanistan this summer, a series of cleverly staged, humorous infomercials were aired on various television channels, instructing average Afghans to vote with their conscience...
Afghans fear infiltration from Iran
Zia Ahmadi and Mustafa Saber AsiaTimes (11/16/2009)
Afghanistan on Thursday exported 12 tonnes of apples to India, officials said, touting the shipment as a key step in exploring much-needed international markets for its agricultural products...
U.S. aid worker held over Afghan boy's shooting -
An American aid worker in northern Afghanistan is being held by Afghan authorities over the fatal shooting of an Afghan teenager at his home, a provincial police chief said on Wednesday...
Dig in or walk away?
Simon Tisdall The Guardian (09/07/2009)
Afghanistan's election debacle has increased the crushing weight of intractable problems besetting western policymakers...
The Afghan Election: Policy vs. Politics
Ozair Tukhi e-Ariana (08/08/2009)
The fledgling democracy in Afghanistan will experience its second test when held on August 20th 2009. An unprecedented large number of candidates have registered to campaign. What catches...
Students and Teachers Are Innocent
Ajmal Samadi e-Ariana (08/02/2009)
The insurgents have repeatedly breached international humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions and other Afghan and Islamic laws through their deliberate...
Winning the Elusive Peace in Afghanistan
Shaida M. Abdali and M. Ashraf Haidari Center for International Relations (07/30/2009)
Afghans hardly have high expectations from the international community. “Give us amenyat, or peace, and the rest we will take care of,” is a basic demand of the Afghan people...
A Long Hot Summer and a Call for Change
Ali Ahmad Jalali e-Ariana (07/14/2009)
Now Afghanistan has reached a tipping point. Its government’s legitimacy and, in fact, its very existence is being openly challenged by an array of insurgent forces...
The way forward for Afghan women
M. Ashraf Haidari The Baltimore Sun (06/10/2009)
By enhancing attention to women's basic needs, such as education, more than half of our population can and should be enabled to make a significant...
Regional Summit Dismissed as “Elaborate Showpiece”
Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi in Mazar-e Sharif IWPR (06/04/2009)
Afghanistan is joining its neighbours to devise a regional solution to their common crisis – but will it amount to much?
Poets mirror feelings of Afghans caught in conflict
Hanan Habibzai Reuters Blogs (05/22/2009)
Intellectuals and poets have a commanding presence in Afghan society. It is the poets who often mirror the feelings of ordinary people, revealing much about the mindset of Afghans in ...
The warlords casting a shadow over Afghanistan
Patrick Cockburn The Independent (05/15/2009)
They are brutal, bloodthirsty – and becoming increasingly influential in Afghan politics...
Bombs for Pashtoons and Dollars for Punjab
Muhammad Nasir Khan Khattak PNS (05/14/2009)
Will international community ask USA and other powers to force Pakistani government to provide the grant directly to the effected people of the region?..
"Leveling the playing field" in Afghanistan's upcoming election -
Mahmood Karzai, the older brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the first vice chairman of the Afghanistan chamber of commerce,..
Drug Addiction, and Misery, Increase In Afghanistan
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR (04/16/2009)
A growing number of Afghans — including children — are escaping the pain of war and poverty by using opium or heroin, for as little as a dollar a day...
An Industry on the Line: Telecommunications in Afghanistan -
Knowledge@Wharton Network (04/01/2009)
With coverage throughout half the country but just 14% of the population using phones, Afghanistan remains a largely untapped market. Growth has accelerated,..
Don't Dumb Down Afghanistan
Gary Schmitt & Daniel Twining Weekly Standard (03/23/2009)
how likely is that? Would either the American public or its military support trying to establish a balance of power within Afghanistan by playing off one warlord or tribe against another? It seems doubtful. And, lest we forget, in the end it didn't work for the British either...
The Man Who Shouldn't be King
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould CounterPunch (02/24/2009)
The leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan has directed Pakistani militants to immediately halt attacks on Pakistani forces and divert their resources to defeat the US-led international forces in Afghanistan...
Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:
Daniel Markey Foreign Policy (02/13/2009)
Congratulations -- you are likely to be appointed U.S. special envoy to South Asia. Your new portfolio includes many of the world's most dangerous, intractable, and urgent threats...
Afghanistan will thrive if only we let it
Clare Lockhart The Spectator (02/15/2009)
Clare Lockhart, who has advised both the UN and the Afghan government, says that the international aid community needs to trust the Afghan people...
How Not to Lose Afghanistan -
The New York Times (01/28/2009)
More American troops isn't enough to succeed in Afghanistan. What else needs doing depends on why you think the Taliban have gained ground in the past 18...
The militia mistak
Michael Williams The Guardian (01/06/2009)
Expecting tribal militias to help solve Afghanistan's problems is a dangerous error by America..
Bribes Corrode Afghans’ Trust in Government
Dexter Filkins TIME (01/05/2009)
Kept afloat by billions of dollars in American and other foreign aid, the government of Afghanistan is shot through with corruption and graft. From the lowliest traffic policeman...
From crisis to conflict?
Raymond Whitaker The Independent (12/28/2008)
Afghanistan's rehabilitation has been crippled by the corruption and ineffectiveness of Hamid Karzai's government, which is fatally dependent on the support of former warlords whose greed and brutality spurred the rise of the Taliban in the first place...
The failure to end corruption threatens Afghanistan's future
Sarah Chayes The Washington Post (12/16/2008)
..we gave power back to corrupt gunslingers who had been repudiated years before. If they helped us chase al-Qaida, we didn't look too hard at their governing style. Often we helped...
Le président Karzaï tente de répondre aux accusations d'incompétence et de corruption visant son gouvernement
Jacques Follorou Le Monde (11/14/2008)
The Taliban militant leader has rejected an offer from Afghan President Hamid Karzai of safe passage for insurgent leaders who wanted to talk peace...
A surge of pessimism -
The Economist (10/19/2008)
America worries about Taliban advances and British despondency
Not my grandfather's country
Fatima Ayub The International Herald Tribune (10/31/2008)
Lucky to be released with his life under a surprise political amnesty, my grandfather fled. The rest of my family - parents, aunts, uncles - trickled out over the months and years following the 1979 Soviet invasion...
A New Strategy for Afghanistan
Dr. Assem Akram e-Ariana (12/01/2008)
To save Afghanistan from the current downward spiral, radical changes and serious...
Coming to terms with resurgent Taliban
M K Bhadrakumar GoDubai.com (10/07/2008)
A sensational expose by an investigative journalist, based on highly sensitive cable traffic last month between the French embassy in Kabul and Quai d'Orsay in Paris, has thrown light on the Afghan war. For...
Karzai’s Popularity Slips in Afghanistan
Spencer Ackerman The Washington Independent (09/29/2008)
Poor Economy, Corruption Will Make Aghan President's Re-Election Bid Next Year Difficult...
Better-organized Taliban roar back
Pamela Constable The Washington Post (09/27/2008)
Taliban's revival has been fueled by dissatisfaction with the government's failure to provide services and security and resentment over civilian deaths caused by U.S. and NATO airstrikes..
Remembering Afghan Refugees
M. Ashraf Haidari Eurasianet (09/13/2008)
..the international commitment to Afghanistan seems to have lost traction. One way that Americans can honor the September 11 victims is by keeping Afghan reconstruction efforts...
Taleban at Kabul's doorstep
Alastair Leithead in Wardak BBC (08/18/2008)
It is just an hour's drive south-west of Kabul on Afghanistan's main highway before you start to see dramatic evidence of how the insurgency is closing in on the capital...
Alarm Bells in Afghanistan
Caroline Wadhams &Colin Cookman Center for American Progress (07/18/2008)
Despite the fact that the United States has been in Afghanistan for almost seven years, the increasing violence in Afghanistan shows that the Afghan...
Defending freedom to abuse
Don Martin National Post (06/22/2008)
A few minutes after they returned, the selected kids were waved through the main gates and went straight inside the police station. An hour later, when I left the observation post, the boys were still inside...
Incompetence in Afghanistan -
Globe and Mail (06/18/2008)
In fact, Mr. Karzai's outburst over Pakistan on Sunday was well timed to deflect attention from international criticism, not only resulting from the jail break, but also...
Aid Effectiveness Key to Addressing Afghanistan’s Rebuilding Challenges
M. Ashraf Haidari EurasiaNet (06/12/2008)
The Paris donors’ conference that opened June 12 provides a pivotal opportunity to correct past mistakes in Afghanistan’s reconstruction effort. Already, Afghanistan’s supporters...
As Ills Persist, Afghan Leader Is Losing Luster
Helene Cooper The New York Times (06/08/2008)
Western diplomats said that Afghan drug lords and warlords had bought the freedom they exercise throughout the country by bribing members of Mr. Karzai’s government...
'I Wish I Had the Taliban as My Soldiers' -
Der Spiegel (05/02/2008)
President Hamid Karzai has come under fire for not doing enough to stem corruption in Afghanistan. He speaks to SPIEGEL about the coalition forces' ties with warlords, rumors about his family's influence and why he believes dirty deals are sometimes necessary...
Shifting Views on Afghanistan
Roohullah Rahimi e-Ariana (04/10/2008)
The continuation of the insurgency in the south of Afghanistan has put renewed pressure on the international community and the government of Afghanistan to provide security; seen as a prerequisite
Afghanistan: NATO's Most Critical Mission
M. Ashraf Haidari DiplomaticTraffic (04/05/2008)
When citizens of NATO allies look at the record of failure of military interventions in Afghanistan over the past century-and-a-half,..
Afghan Corruption a Growing Concern
Aryn Baker in Kabul TIME (04/03/2008)
"Corruption is the tree. Terrorism, destabilization, smuggling and poppy are its branches," says parliamentarian Hossein Balkhi. "If you cut down corruption, the rest will die..."
Women's Gains at Risk in Afghanistan
M. Ashraf Haidari nps. edu (03/23/2008)
Afghan women have now regained most of the freedoms that they lost under the Taliban’s gender apartheid, which ended seven years ago. Women have played a constructive role in...
Afghan city of party prohibitions
Charles Haviland BBC (11/12/2007)
"It's because of a suggestion from the religious scholars to the respected governor of our province," he says, referring to General Atta Muhammad Noor,..
Prosecutor Suggests 'Some People' Cannot Be Tried
Ron Synovitz RFE/RL (02/12/2008)
Afghanistan' s attorney-general says criminal charges are pending against Abdul Rashid Dostum -- a senior military adviser to the president and a powerful ethnic Uzbek militia commander who allegedly abducted his former...
Afghan Journalist’s Death Sentence “Political"
Hafizullah Gardesh in Kabul IWPR (02/04/2008)
Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh’s real offence may have been to have a brother whose frank reporting has exposd abuses in northern Afghanistan...
Beyond Security Issue, the Economy is Booming
M. Ashraf Haidari EurasiaNet (01/24/2008)
Beyond headlines that are increasingly dominated by the Taliban’s strengthening insurgency, there is some good economic news coming out of Afghanistan...
Opium Poppy Economy And Conflict
Roohullah Rahimi e-Ariana (01/18/2008)
The nexus of OPE and the continuing violence in Afghanistan perpetrated by the Taliban led insurgency is a disturbing development of a conflict spanning for...
Ali A. Jalali e-Ariana (01/12/2008)
On the sixth anniversary of the US-led military invasion, Afghanistan is faced with its worst crisis since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001. There...
Fixing the "Afghani"
Dr. Nour Ali e-Ariana (01/13/2008)
..in fact and contrary to the expectation almost all these industries are either suffering or dormant or vanishing or already vanished. Consequently unemployment is massive...
Britain's theatrical war against the Taliban
David Chandler spiked (12/28/2007)
British troops are not fighting the "good fight" in Afghanistan; they are hiding behind US airpower and taking towns from weak forces...
Britain's Neo-Imperial Dreams in Afghanistan
Bahlol Lohdi PNS (12/12/2007)
Paddy Ashdown has all the qualifications the British deem necessary to implementing Britain's neo-imperial agendas in Afghanistan, and Britain's return to playing the "Great Game" in Central Asia...
Cashing in on Karzai & Co.
Arthur Kent Policy Options SOPnewswire (11/11/2007)
“These people have hijacked a weak system,” says a senior member of President Hamid Karzai’s staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “People here initially welcomed diaspora Afghans with open arms and looked to them for guidance. But that’s changed...
British Get Blamed for Helmand Security Problems
Wahidullah Amani in Kabul and Aziz Ahmad Tassal in Helmand IWPR, UK (11/24/2007)
Allegations in an Afghan parliamentary report that British forces are actively promoting strife reflects lingering suspicions of a country many still see as a historical enemy...
Confronting the development challenges in Afghanistan
Roohullah Rahimi e-Ariana (11/09/2007)
The bluntness exhibited in the following stipulations might not befit the politically correct stance of many in the filed, but I am applying my personal judgments...
Herat Reeling from Violent Crime Wave
Sadeq Behnam and Sudabah Afzali in Herat IWPR (10/26/2007)
A spate of murders and kidnappings is denting the economic prospects of a formerly stable part of Afghanistan...
Women: The Pillars of Afghanistan
M. Ashraf Haidari CACI Analyst (10/23/2007)
Though six million Afghan children are now enrolled in school, millions of others are not, due either to security...
Will Washington’s New Counternarcotics Policy in Afghanistan Work?
Haroun Mir and Jens Laurson Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst (10/18/2007)
The issue of narcotics in Afghanistan should be dealt locally rather than nationally...
HuffPost's LiveChat with Afghanistan's Ambassador to the U.S., Said T. Jawad -
Huffington Post. (10/07/2007)
HuffPost's live chat with Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States, Said T. Jawad, is below. This Sunday marks six years since the U.S. invaded...
A political standoff tests Afghan leaders
Kirk Semple International Herald Tribune (09/26/2007)
The dispute is the most serious manifestation of the long-simmering tension between the Karzai administration and the warlords and former mujahedeen in the legislature, who want more control over policy making...
Afghan bridge exposes huge divide
M K Bhadrakumar Asia Times (09/10/2007)
Some 2,300 years ago, a dignitary from the Western world came to the foothills of the Pamir Mountains, and he wondered how he and his army would cross the mighty Oxus River to reach the Hindu Kush...
Don't fail Afghanistan -
Los Angeles Times (08/28/2007)
Iraq may be hopeless, but Afghanistan is worth defending. Here's why and how...
Help wean Afghans from poppy crop
M. Ashraf Haidari The Baltimore Sun (08/27/2007)
After decades of violence, the opium poppy crop remains one of the few stable income sources for poor Afghan farmers, who cannot be effectively persuaded to end poppy cultivation without...
How a "Good War" in Afghanistan Went Bad
David Rohde and David E. Sanger The New York Times (08/12/2007)
After months of arguing unsuccessfully for a far larger effort in Afghanistan, Mr. Dobbins received an unexpected call in April 2002. Mr. Bush, he was told, was planning to proclaim America's...
Evidence of Iranian Support for Afghan Insurgency Mounts
Sadeq Behman and Sudabah Afzali in Herat IWPR (07/19/2007)
Is Iran using Afghan soil to fight a proxy battle against the United States?
Iranian influence in Afghanistan
Alastair Leithead BBC (06/12/2007)
"Pakistan is kind of doing it openly but Iran is doing it behind the curtain in a secret way, helping the Taleban or the other opposition of the Afghan government..."
Canada Needs to Keep Its Troops in Afghanistan
M. Ashraf Haidari EurasiaNet (05/27/2007)
According to a recent public opinion poll, 55 percent of respondents favor a pullout of Canadian troops from Afghanistan, if the casualty rate continues to...
On the Road to Becoming a Narco State
Haider Rizvi IPS (05/27/2007)
Although fully backed by U.S. military might and support from other Western powers, the government in Kabul has failed to change...
New Alliance Threatens Karzai: Power Struggle in Afghanistan
Christian Neef Der Spiegel (05/27/2007)
In Afghanistan, an odd, new alliance of Mujahedeen, old communists, and royalists is threatening President Hamid Karzai's leadership. But can the motley crew solve the country's problems?
Mujaddedi: Prosecute elements behind mass graves -
The Afghan Senate chairman called for the prosecution of people behind mass graves unearthed in different parts of the country and commemoration of the martyrs' week started from April 27...
The National United Front
Mohammad Asef Weesa (04/25/2007)
The first defect in the front lies in its objectives. The front's objectives are, in the first step, in contradiction with the constitution...
The national front and Karzai's front -
Arman-e Melli (04/23/2007)
the spread of Islamic Party's influence in the Presidential Palace and Hekmatyar's possible entry in the government as a result of the endeavours of influential figures within the palace has caused further concern among the Panjsheri Front....
Security firms challenge state authority
Akmal Dawi e-Ariana (04/12/2007)
It was a meaningless and brief conversation, but it caused Bibi Fariha an extra 15-minute walk on a dusty road. As the 58-year-old woman walked through a public footbath in the Wazir Akbar Khan...
Amnesty or Impunity
Sefat Rahimi e-Ariana (04/17/2007)
..the present controversial law is not only a self-serving attempt by the law-makers but also step forward in creating a hindrance in the process of expanding rule of law...
Ariana set to collapse due to corruption, mismanagement
Jsaon Straziuso The Associated Press (03/30/2007)
Afghanistan's national airline could be days from collapse due to corruption, mismanagement and a crippling airplane lease that has drowned the struggling airline in debt...
Opium crop booms
Philip Smucker The Washington times (03/19/2007)
"This government has long since been hijacked by drug traffickers,.."
Amnesty for Afghan War Criminals?
Jared Ferrie TheTyee, Canada (03/12/2007)
In the play, a student has the last word. "If Karzai signs this bill, that means he is also a criminal," she tells the television reporter...
Afghanistan - US State Dept Report on Human Rights Practices -
US State Dept (03/08/2007)
Afghanistan is an Islamic republic with a population of approximately 30 million. In October 2004 Hamid Karzai was elected president in the country's...
The Capital Interview: Afghanistan Lacks Capacity to Govern -
The Council on Foreign Relations (03/01/2007)
"Unless we enhance the capacity of the Afghan government to deliver services and provide protection," Jawad says,..
Bill of wrongs
Conor Foley The Guardian (02/28/2007)
The approval of an amnesty law covering 25 years of war crimes in Afghanistan will contradict the constitution and put the lives of British soldiers at risk...
Crimes of politics -
Los Angeles Times, Editorial (02/26/2007)
HOW does a government prosecute people for crimes against humanity when the suspects happen to be running the government?...
Turkey did it. Can Afghanistan? -
Toronto Star (02/25/2007)
Experts debate whether the Afghan poppy problem could be solved by following Ankara's strategy of diverting heroin production into legal medical products, writes Lynda Hurst...
Jawad says Pakistani army has power to counter terrorism, extremism
Barry Schweid The Associated Press (02/21/2007)
"The real institution in charge is the military," Said Tayeb Jawad said in an interview, sidestepping an assessment of the effectiveness of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf...
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Crimes of politics -
Los Angeles Times, Editorial (02/22/2007)
HOW does a government prosecute people for crimes against humanity when the suspects happen to be running the government?...
Karzai pleads with Italy on mission -
The Associated Press (02/22/2007)
President Hamid Karzai urged Italy Thursday not to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, after the Italian government resigned because of a parliamentary defeat over its plan to keep its 2,000 forces...
Reform and Function
Jason Motlagh The American Prospect (02/18/2007)
Rebuilding Afghanistan won't be possible without efforts to keep corruption in check...
Afghans in No Mood to Forgive Killers
Hafizullah Gardesh and Wahidullah Amani IWPR (02/22/2007)
A parliamentary resolution on immunity for war crimes has the country in an uproar...
The Other War -
Karzai bids for peace in furore with London
Christina Lamb, Kabul The Sunday Times (02/11/2007)
Some of Karzai's closest advisers have accused Britain of conspiring with Pakistan to hand over southern Afghanistan. The deputy head of mission at the British embassy was in such a heated argument with the president that it was feared he would be expelled...
Security and Stability in Afghanistan: Opportunities and Challenges -
Testimony of Professor Ali Jalali Before the Committee on Armed Services U.S. House of Representatives...
Gas pipeline: Iran elbows out Afghanistan
Abdul Rauf Liwal Pajhwok (02/04/2007)
The opportunity for Afghanistan was in the shape of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline but it was snatched by Iran as the three countries have agreed in principle to give implement the multi-billion gast project...
Taliban resurgence failure of US, Karzai govt
Lalit K. Jha Pajhwok (02/02/2007)
It is also because of their failure to strengthen the capacity of the new Afghan government to project its authority and provide public services, including security, to the population beyond Kabul, James Dobbins, who...
Afghan Ambassador Predicts a 'Bloody Spring'
Jeffrey Bartholet Newsweek (01/24/2007)
Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S. expects fresh American funds to help fight a resurgent enemy...
Iran in Afghanistan: Paving with good intentions?
David Rohde International Herald Tribune (12/27/2006)
American troops have turned responsibility for Herat over to the Italians, and this year, the United States cut aid to Afghanistan by 30 percent. Iran, meanwhile, has kept its aid money flowing steadily and continued to back its proxies...
Rebuilding Afghanistan: The Diaspora's Debt of Service
M. Ashraf Haidari e-Ariana (12/13/2006)
For the Afghan diaspora in the West, let us avoid getting bogged down with the day-to-day problems in Afghanistan but think about how we can help address the greater challenges facing our homeland...
Afghan Drug Boom Fuels Child Addiction Rates
Sadeq Behnam and Sudabah Afzali in Herat IWPR (12/12/2006)
Doctors estimate that there are more than 2,000 drug-addicted children in the western city of Herat alone...
Unemployment forces youths to go abroad
Abdul Matin Sarfaraz Pajhwok (12/12/2006)
Like rest parts of the country, hundreds of youths in the northern Takhar province are trying to test their luck abroad due to widespread unemployment...
Justice for War Criminals Essential to Peace -
Human Rights Watch (12/14/2006)
"The Afghan government and its foreign allies are finally moving against those who have brought such devastation for so long. Justice is vital for long-term stability. Afghans need to know the government can tackle the warlords and provide basic security, despite Taliban claims to the contrary..."
Karzai Discusses Worsening Security - Interview -
" It should be clear, perfectly clear, that I have given the prosecutor-general the authority to act according to Afghan law -- to work with full authority and all the possibilities available to root out corruption. And I am standing absolutely behind him. I have made that absolutely clear..."
CIA finds Karzai government losing support
David Rohde and James Risen The New York Times (11/09/2006)
A recent Central Intelligence Agency assessment found that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was significantly weakened by rising popular frustration with his U.S.-backed government, American officials say...
CIA finds Karzai government losing support
David Rohde and James Risen The New York Times (11/09/2006)
A recent Central Intelligence Agency assessment found that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was significantly weakened by rising popular frustration with his U.S.-backed government, American officials say...
Karzai's High-Risk Negotiating Plan
Hafizullah Gardesh in Kabul IWPR (11/07/2006)
A traditional assembly planned as a way of achieving an Afghan-Pakistani consensus on peace, but critics say success depends on whether Islamabad attempts to manipulate the process...
Afghan Wars -
National Army Museum, UK (10/28/2006)
An online exhibition to complement the forthcoming Afghan Wars Exhibition which opens at the National Army Museum on 1 September 2006...
Unsettled Afghanistan: Bright hopes, now dimmed
Phillip O'Connor St. Louis Post-Dispatch (10/28/2006)
"Anywhere the ministries of Afghanistan are working, things are not working,.."
"What went wrong, Your Excellency?" -
Zeba Magazine (10/23/2006)
"My goal is to empower young Afghan professionals to emerge as the new generation of Afghan leaders; to help them succeed in Afghanistan and here in the US. Nothing gives me more joy..."
In the land of the Taliban
Elizabeth Rubin The New York Times (10/26/2006)
I went to Afghanistan and Pakistan this summer to understand how and why the Taliban were making a comeback five years after American and Afghan forces drove them from power. What kind of experience would lead Afghans to reject...
Crime, corruption undercut investment in Afghanistan
Wahidullah Amani IWPR (10/22/2006)
According to the businessman, a member of the Ahmadzai tribe who did not want to be named, his cousin was kidnapped in Kabul and held for over a month. His abductors demanded $2 million, and sent the hostage's family videotapes of the victim being tortured...
A Poor Yield For Afghans' War on Drugs
Pamela Constable The Washington Post (09/29/2006)
As Opium, Heroin Trade Booms, Police Net Mainly Smaller Players...
Hamid Karzai, "Too Much of a Democrat" -
ABC News (09/21/2006)
"That's not true. There are no ministers that are involved in drugs, definitely not true. There may be people in the government who benefit from it. It's not a question of toleration. It is what it is that we can do about it..."
Karzai: "They Hate Our Way of Life"
By Romesh Ratnesar and Aryn Baker in kabul TIME (09/18/2006)
"My worry for Afghanistan is whether we will have leaderships emerging in this country to carry on the task. And that is what I am concentrating on. New leadership. Patriotic, aware of this country. Now if there is an alternative three years from now that I can be comfortable with, that I feel is patriotic, good and deserves to be elected, I would definitely quit..."
How U.S. dollars disappear in Afghanistan: quickly and thoroughly
Ann Jones San Francisco Chronicle (09/04/2006)
Last year, for example, when the president sent his wife to Kabul for a few hours of photo ops, the New York Times reported that her mission was "to promise long-term commitment from the United...
Afghan Iraqistan - Insurgents mire U.S. on second front
James Gordon Meek Daily News (08/24/2006)
The Afghan battle zone is derided as "Iraqistan" and "Vietstan" by many G.I.s - a wakeup call to those who deny the war is in danger of being lost...
The Punishment of Vitues - Access to the evils of warfare
Roy Gutman Newsday (08/23/2006)
Other than Kabul, the capital, there was no more critical place for the Americans to get things right after the Taliban exit than in Kandahar. Instead, U.S. forces helped install...
Drug Addiction Rates Soar in War-Torn Afghanistan -
For women the situation is even worse. The clinics are all reserved for men out of deference to Afghanistan's conservative social customs...
Hated Taleban Ministry Stages Comeback
Wahidullah Amani IWPR (08/16/2006)
Sense of dread grips Afghans as government resurrects notorious department that enforced oppressive Taleban laws...
Kabul Vice Squad: America hasn't been fighting for fanatics -
The Dallas Morning News (08/05/2006)
If that's the path Afghanistan chooses, however, the American people surely will wonder why we are risking the lives of our sons and daughters...
Afghanistan's Flowering Media
Aataai Gazi Mahbub OhmyNews International (09/08/2006)
The fall of the Taliban has led to greater press freedom, but just barely...
Vice versa -
The Baltimore Sun (07/28/2006)
Afghans would be great friends to have, living as they do between Iran and Pakistan. But it seems Washington can't be bothered to pay attention long enough to try to win their friendship. Yesterday found Mr. Karzai in neighboring...
Afghan Despair -
The Associated Press (07/26/2006)
Anger over the slow pace of reconstruction is palpable nearly five years since a U.S.-led invasion force toppled the Taliban...
Ariana Afghan TV frequency in Europe, Central Asia and Afghanistan -
Ariana Afghan Media (07/25/2006)
Ariana Afghan TV frequency in Europe, Central Asia and Afghanistan starting July 6th:
Losing Ground in Afghanistan -
The New York Times (07/23/2006)
Washington made the mistake of premature disengagement once before, after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal. That opened the door to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Sept. 11. If America now means to be serious about combating international terrorism, it cannot make...
M. Ashraf Haidar The Washington Times, Editorial (07/21/2006)
As we learned from September 11 and the suffering of the Afghan people throughout the1990s,afailed Afghanistan is not an option for the international community. Success is the only way forward...
Afghan Police to Hire Ex-Militia Men?
Wahidullah Amani in Kabul IWPR (07/21/2006)
The government says it is merely recruiting policemen from local communities, but there are fears it is legitimising armed militias by the back door...
Renewal of Vows
Alan Dowd The American Enterprise (07/10/2006)
Whether or not Karzai's allegations are true, this much we know: Musharraf is flouting both the letter and spirit of Washington?s post-9/11 doctrine, which is why it's time for a renewal of vows. Washington should measure Musharraf not according to his words, but against Powell's demands. The Pakistani leader is simply not living up to his post-9/11 promises...
Back in Washington
James P. Rubin The New York Times (07/10/2006)
Next time, the Democrats should try a different strategy. Instead of calling for troop cuts in Iraq, they should call for transferring forces and resources from Iraq to Afghanistan...
Poppy Eradication on the Cheap
Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi in Mazar-e-Sharif IWPR (06/04/2006)
Officials in northern province recruit schoolchildren to stamp out opium poppies...
The heroin trail
Alastair Leithead BBC (05/25/2006)
From the dusty trails that meander the desert crossings, opium and heroin are trafficked out to Europe and into the veins of Britain's heroin junkies...
Afghanistan's Buzkashi Parliament
Wahidullah Amani and Jean MacKenzie in Kabul IWPR (05/19/2006)
A recent fight in the legislature leads some to wonder whether Afghanistan is ready for civilised discourse...
Old guard loses out in Karzai cabinet
Business Day, South Africa Indian Express (04/27/2006)
Unlike previous cabinets, the new lineup contains few old-faction commanders and more well-educated technocrats...
Life ending before it's begun
Paul Garwood The Star, South Africa (04/27/2006)
"The morning she was born I became an aunt," said Shirinja, who goes by one name, as she cradled Fayruza in the cramped confines of an infant ward at Kabul's Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital. "But by the afternoon after my sister died I had become her mother..."
Ministers Under Attack in Afghan Parliament
Amanullah Nasrat IWPR (04/21/2006)
while most legislators maintained a semblance of decorum as they began questioning cabinet nominees in a series of sessions broadcast live over most...
Child Bride -
Kevin Sites (03/21/2006)
Married at the age of four, an Afghan girl was subjected to years of beatings and torture, finally escaping to discover that within all the world's cruelty, there is also some kindness...
Afghan child addicts bring the heroin problem home
Tim Albone in Kabul The Times, UK (03/20/2006)
SOAMAN is like any other four-year-old -- except that she used to be a heroin addict...
Pakistan seeks reform on Afghan border
Jason Szep Reuters (03/06/2006)
"When we sent the army inside in all tribal agencies, the objective was not to hunt al Qaeda. ... It was to integrate them into Pakistan" - Gen. Musharraf
Barriers Prove Insurmountable for Karzai
Wahidullah Amani in Kabul IWPR (02/18/2006)
The Afghan president has not been able to enforce his order to remove security barriers in the capital, leading many to wonder how much authority he really has...
Iran seeking to draw western Afghanistan into its sphere of influence -
The Associated Press (02/14/2006)
"Iran is a dangerous neighbor. We know that terrorists are being trained in both Iran and in Pakistan, and we are in the middle," says Ansari, whose town is in a southeastern swath of Herat Province that borders Iran and Pakistan...
The London Donors' Conference: Continued International Support Key to Afghanistan's Future
M. Ashraf Haidari Washington Diplomat (01/23/2006)
..as democracy solidifies in Afghanistan, popular expectations for better living conditions rise. Afghans increasingly demand dividends in return for their investment in democracy and partnership with the international...
Insurgency-hit Afghanistan faces a long fight -
Afghanistan's fight against militants behind a deadly insurgency will be a long-term battle, with an increase in attacks of great concern to NATO's force here, the Italian army chief said...
Reconstruction Aid to Afghanistan Halved; Or, "Don't Forget to Write!"
Juan Cole Informed Comment (01/07/2006)
How many times will the US get deeply involved there, help throw the country into chaos, and then just walk away?
Analysis - for Afghanistan, a Year of Unrest And Hope -
Asia Pulse (01/01/2006)
The scourge is seen as the third biggest challenge before President Hamid Karzai and the new parliament after security and drug trade. The president himself admitted the same while...
Women & Power In Central Asia: Women Increase Presence In Kazakhstan's Business Sector
Saida Kalkulova RFE/RL (12/30/2005)
"First of all, I am lucky that I was born in Kazakhstan," Rakhymbekova says. "I appreciate my parents, who educated me. I studied at a university where 90 percent of students were men. My husband always understands me and supports all my efforts..."
Can Central Asia regain its leading role in Eurasia?
Kalman Mizsei and Johannes Linn The Taipei Times (12/23/2005)
The region is isolated by history and geography, but although it has its fair share of problems, there are encouraging signs for the future...
Management and Leadership Developments in Afghanistan: An Interview with Ambassador Sayed Tayeb Jawad
Bahaudin G. Mujtaba The Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship (12/07/2005)
..Further stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan will re-establish the country?s role as a land bridge between Central Asia, South Asia, and Southwest Asia, a historic and growing market with a total GDP of $ 4 trillion...
Mini-skirts, dating in Afghanistan's Herat after warlord leaves -
"Under Khan you had to cover the faces of mannequins just as women cover their faces," recalls the 25-year-old who has himself had a style change, recently abandoning the traditional shalwar kamiz of baggy trousers...
Afghanistan to have disquieting parliament -
The post-war Afghanistan would have a disquieting parliament as the majority of the deputies outwardly affiliating with different rival political and ethnic groups, analysts believe...
Elections à l'afghane
Dominique Lagarde L'Observateur (10/23/2005)
Dans les faits, il n'y en a rien été?. Ou si peu. Les partis politiques sont pratiquement absents de la compétition : ils ont en Afghanistan une mauvaise image et le président Hamid Karzaï, très attaché à la culture du compromis qui...
24 hours in Kabul
Claire Boyer café babel (10/20/2005)
Why do I stay? To carry on learning about this culture that is so complicated, so contradictory and so surprising and to find out how the thriller novel that is the reconstruction of this country ends...
The whirling wind of God -
The Observer (10/17/2005)
Nusrat's family (originally from Afghanistan, a traditional centre of Sufism) have an unbroken tradition of singing qawwali for 600 years, yet you felt, somehow, as if you were plugging into something utterly modern. Nusrat became known world-wide and by the time of his death, aged 49, in 1997, following a...
Afghan voters show conservative side
Carlotta Gall The New York Times (10/11/2005)
A rough tally of results so far indicates that mujahedeen, or jihadi, figures have already won nearly 50 percent of the seats in the 249-seat lower house, the Wolesi Jirga...
Despite assurances, Karzai falls short on reforms -
The Daily Star, Lebannon (10/10/2005)
The current situation differs drastically from the hopes and visions for Afghanistan a year ago. After the presidential elections, Karzai promised to use the coming 12 months to carry out a vigorous reform agenda that would change Afghanistan from the bottom up. Instead...
Afghanistan: Few haves and so many have-nots
Farah Stockman The Boston Globe (10/09/2005)
..Yet even amid the hope engendered by the prospect of an elected legislature, Afghanistan hangs between stability and chaos, progress and stagnation, intermittent war and sputtering peace. Even signs of optimism are not always what they seem...
Après la mari, l'opium -
Kaboul et l'ONU ont aussitôt rejeté aussi rejeté l'idée, invoquant le manque de moyens de contrôle dans le pays pour empêcher le détournement des récoltes...
Why the Durand Line is important
W. P. S. Sidhu Indian Express (09/26/2005)
..Ever since then every government in Islamabad militaryand non-military has desperately tried to reach a bilateral agreement with successive regimes in Kabul to convert the Durand Line into the international border,..
The trees that vanished: crisis in the Hindu Kush -
The Independent, UK (09/25/2005)
With most of Afghanistan's forests already gone, the question looms: is the damage reversible? "To be honest with you, I don't know if it's reversible," says Mr Lefebvre. "We're just trying to save what's left..."
So mate, what did you reckon?
David Williams The Sydney Morning Herald (09/25/2005)
The rich get richer and the poor, well, they can't really get much poorer. But after billions of dollars pouring into the country it's clear there's a growing gap between rich and poor...
"Can't Afford To Be Hypocritical Anymore"
Amir Mir Outlook (09/21/2005)
So said Maulana Fazalur Rehman, often called the 'father of the Taliban', recently. Hamid Karzai couldn't agree more. His government insists that the top leadership of the Taliban military hierarchy lives and operates out of Quetta and Peshawar...
Afghanistan's slim chances
Justin Burke The Mercury News (09/19/2005)
It's hardly a surprise that today's elections in Afghanistan are expected to be chaotic. What's less certain is whether the new chapter in the fragmented country will bring calm and some amount of cooperation -- or even more chaos...
Warriors of bloody Afghan past fight for votes
Declan Walsh Paghman The Observer (09/18/2005)
Communists, warlords and former Taliban join in democratic election...
You stink: Afghan electorate gripped by high politics
Tom Coghlan and Colin Freeman The Telegraph (09/18/2005)
Farida Kuchi, an illiterate Kuchi nomad whose only possessions are a donkey and a black tent, was incensed recently when her posh, university-educated parliamentary rival Parweena Durrani said that she stank to high heaven. Like any good politician, however, she has now managed to spin the slur to her..
Pak hand looms over Kabul vote -
Indian Express (09/18/2005)
The question that's tantalising Afghanistan on the eve of its landmark Assembly and Provincial Council election is: what role is Islamabad playing in the UN sponsored vote...
Voters must choose between notorious and the unknown
Catherine Philp in Kabul The Times (09/17/2005)
..few pairs of faces amid the dizzying patchwork of election posters better sum up what is at stake: a choice between a new beginning or a return to the ways of old...
Législatives sous le sceau de la réconciliation en Afghanistan -
Une nouvelle grande étape sur la voie de la démocratisation attend l'Afghanistan dimanche, avec des élections législatives et provinciales placées sous le sceau de la réconciliation nationale et de la stabilisation...
Facts and figures about Afghanistan's elections -
Following are some facts and figures about the elections, being held nearly a year after President Hamid Karzai won a five-year term...
Les premières élections du genre depuis 36 ans -
Les élections historiques qui vont se dérouler dimanche en Afghanistan interviennent alors que le pays connaît une recrudescence de la violence. Les douze millions et demi...
Main steps in Afghanistan's Bonn agreement -
Following is a chronology of the agreement's main points...
Games in Afghan poppy land -
Calcutta Telegraph, India (09/06/2005)
The low is in the Great Game. It's between the Americans and the Pakistanis and the Indians. In that order. Each wants a bit of this strategic space, the road to the Khyber Pass, gateway to South Asia...
Pitfalls Precede Afghan Vote
N.C. Aizenman The Washington Post (08/28/2005)
Under Afghanistan's new electoral law, candidates with links to illegal militias are prohibited from running. But although complaints were lodged against more than 200 candidates on those grounds...
Afghan Human Rights Abuses: A Chance for Change
Ahmed Rashid EurasiaNet (08/07/2005)
In the immediate future, it is essential that the Election Commission has the courage to bar all warlords from standing in the elections. Only then will Afghanistan's future parliament and the political process have credibility and the war...
Popping up poppy in Afghanistan -
Asian Tribune, Thailand (08/04/2005)
Afghanistan clearly does not have the resources to do that. But some also say that corruption and a suspected lack of will among authorities are also to blame for failure to curb poppy cultivation...
Afghanistan Elections: Endgame or New Beginning? -
International Crisis Group (07/23/2005)
..the September polls will only succeed in stabilising Afghanistan's political transition if the elections are for institutions with properly defined roles and responsibilities; if the electoral...
Still a land of danger -
The Los Angeles Times (07/27/2005)
Not much had been heard of the Al Qaeda founder recently until President Bush quoted him in his Fort Bragg, N.C., pep talk two weeks ago, by coincidence the same day the helicopter crashed, killing...
In plain English: No more bilingual ed
Charles Krauthammer The Washington Post (06/17/2005)
The cure for excessive immigration is successful assimilation. The way to prevent European-like immigration catastrophes is to turn every immigrant ? and most surely his children ? into an American. Who might one day grow up to be our next Zalmay Khalilzad...
Diverse Afghan groups behind unrest
Halima Kazem The Christian Science Monitor (06/10/2005)
"What goes out in the press is mostly about Al qaeda and the Taliban, but there is much more..."
"Let humanity be your guide" - Karzai
Brian Fitzgerald B.U. Bridge (06/04/2005)
Urging BU graduates as future leaders to stand up for human rights, Karzai asked them to question the prevailing notion of ?national interest,? especially when it ignores human suffering...
Axes to grind in Afghanistan
Montague Walker The New Zealand Herald (06/07/2005)
There are many here who are not convinced that Afghanistan can afford the payments or fully understand the terms of the agreement....
Afghanistan's War on Narcotics
Hekmat Karzai e-Ariana.com (06/01/2005)
Invoking traditional values is an important element of our national counter-narcotics strategy...
Focus on warlordism in northeast -
In Badakhshan, despite the support of a 200 strong NATO-led group of international peacekeepers stationed in Faizabad, local police are often unable to defuse local feuds and disputes between armed groups...
India needs engagement, not hostility
Vijay Dandapani Rediff India (05/31/2005)
When it came to Afghanistan, Singh was far more scathing. Not only did he berate his American hosts for a lack of...
A sea change in Afghanistan's politics
Declan Walsh San Francisco Chronicle (05/24/2005)
Nothing unusual, then, in a culture that prizes deference to authority, except for one thing: The new boss is a woman...
Do not ignore others' pain, Karzai says at BU
Marcella Bombardieri The Boston Globe (05/26/2005)
"We must not turn away when we hear the cries of the hungry. We must not stand by when we see the killing and terrorizing of the innocent," Karzai told some 5,400 graduates...
Afghan President At B.U. -
The Associated Press (05/25/2005)
"Regrettably the world, the United States and other countries ... did not see it compatible with their national interests to address the plight of the Afghan people" before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, he said...
Misspent: A people's good will
Edward Girardet International Herald Tribune (05/21/2005)
Despite Kabul's burgeoning Dubai-style reconstruction, many Afghans see little real evidence of improvement since the collapse of the Taliban in the autumn of 2001. For them, aid is simply not reaching where...
Afghan Poppycock, Hamid Karzai's halfhearted jihad
David Bosco Slate (05/20/2005)
It's a dangerous game for Karzai. Having called for jihad, his credibility is on the line. In deference to the president's exhortations, some Afghan farmers may have decided not to plant poppies this year. They'll...
Marching to a Different Tune
Sayed Yaqub IWPR (05/18/2005)
In an unprecedented move, young people across Afghanistan have set aside ethnic differences to campaign for national unity...
What Is Fueling The Anti-U.S. Demonstrations?
Amin Tarzi RFE/RL (05/15/2005)
The trigger that launched the deadly and destructive student-led demonstrations which began peacefully on 10 May in the eastern Nangarhar Province and spread to at least eight other provinces...
Afghan "pipe dream" draws closer to reality
Scott Baldauf The Christian Science Monitor (05/13/2005)
It wasn't so long ago that the pipeline was thought to be dead. Taliban attacks in the south appeared to be on the increase, and other sources of energy, such as Iran or Qatar, were more attractive. But growing...
Afghanistan riddled with drug ties
Scott Baldauf and Faye Bowers The Christian Science Monitor (05/25/2005)
"Except for the minister of the interior himself, Mr. Ali Jalali, all the lower people from the heads of department down are involved in supporting drug smuggling,.."
Male, single: Get out of here
Juergen Dahlkamp Der Spiegel (05/12/2005)
"We take the people back, because it is our duty, but I explicitly said that we cannot assume responsibility for them," Dadfar said. Deportations? They would be "counterproductive" at the moment;..
An Afghan perspective on the British monarchy
Nushin Arbabzadah OpenDemocracy (05/11/2005)
Perhaps it was this lack of glamour which made the Afghan monarchy so easily forgetable even where the romantic printed images of the Iranian royals lingered on...
A "Greater Central Asia Partnership" for Afghanistan and Its Neighbors
S. Frederick Starr The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (05/10/2005)
..But victory should mark not just an end?in this case to civil chaos ? but also a beginning. To now, America has scarcely considered...
Afghan woman named international editor of the year -
This is the first time that any Afghan -- man or woman -- has been selected for the award. Shukria Barekzai says her selection as Editor of the Year is a major accomplishment not only for her but for all Afghan women...
Qanuni alleges pre-poll rigging
Syed Anwer Pajhwok Afghan News (05/05/2005)
The Tajik political heavyweight, who is fully supportive of the American military presence in his country, linked Afghanistan's economic revival to tight security and a just democratic order that represented all ethnic groups. Here are the excerpts of the interview...
Afghanistan - Annual report 2005 -
Reporters sans frontières (05/03/2005)
The good news in 2004 was the ousting of warlord Ismael Khan as governor of the western province of Herat. Known for his hostility to the independent media, he had...
Kabul street children may lose 'nest'
Tom Coghlan BBC (04/14/2005)
Afghanistan's internationally renowned charity for street children, Aschiana, survived the Afghan wars of the 1990s and the Taleban era. However, the free market economics of Kabul's post-war boom now seem a more potent enemy than rockets and bombs...
Meanwhile in Afghanistan
Ben Fenwick Reason (03/10/2005)
Meanwhile, rhetoric between Dostum and Karzai continued to boil. In mid-July, Dostum announced his candidacy for the presidency, jetting from his stronghold in Sheberghan to Kabul late on the night of July 17. He made the trip in secrecy after agreeing...
Afghanistan's dance with the Taliban
Golnaz Esfandiari Asia Times (03/18/2005)
Rahimullah, an Afghan citizen, believes that a successful reconciliation process with the Taliban will help boost reconstruction. He recently reacted to reports of talks between the Taliban and Afghan government...
"State building on the cheap" -
The Nation (03/16/2005)
This is what Ashraf Ghani, the chancellor of Kabul University and former minister of finance, rightly labels "state building on the cheap..."
The wrong voting system
Barnett R. Rubin International Herald Tribune (03/15/2005)
The electoral system recently chosen by the Afghan government, with little international scrutiny, for Afghanistan's coming parliamentary elections also risks potentially disastrous effects. Under the system, known as the "single nontransferable vote" within...
Seeking Redress for Past Wrongs
Due to the sensitive topic of this story, IWPR is withholding the name of its author IWPR (03/10/2005)
Recent appointments by the Karzai administration suggest that those accused of human rights abuses are unlikely to be held to account any time soon...
Fighting the narcotics industry with human security
M. Ashraf Haidari DiplomaticTraffic (03/02/2005)
The cover of Afghanistan's first Human Development Report is a graphic depiction of the plight of most Afghans. It shows hands reaching through a chain-link barrier to reach basic means of survival: water, food, electricity, shelter, sanitation and medicine in...
Pipelines Or Pipe Dreams?
Amin Tarzi and Daniel Kimmage RFE/RL (02/18/2005)
The on-again, off-again prospects of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan Natural-Gas Pipeline Project (TAP) have come alive once more with a recent decision by India's cabinet to authorize discussion of three pipeline routes to India, including TAP. Without the Indian market...
The Coming Wars
Seymour M. Hersh The New Yorker (01/18/2005)
The American task force, aided by the information from Pakistan, has been penetrating eastern Iran from Afghanistan in a hunt for underground installations. The task-force members, or their locally recruited agents, secreted remote detection devices...
An Afghan Quandary for the U.S.
Sonni Efron Los Angeles Times (01/02/2005)
Bush administration is split over a response to a likely record opium poppy crop: push for aerial eradication or let local officials handle it?..
New Afghanistan cabinet sworn in -
The new Afghan cabinet has been sworn in at a ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul. The line-up replaces some key warlords with reformers and technocrats...
Afghan President Names New Cabinet -
The list of the new appointed Ministers is indicated below...
Love and technology help Afghans talk to each other
Jim Farrell The Edmonton Journal (12/21/2004)
Why would a young Chinese-Canadian woman from Edmonton be working for an Afghan cellphone company? The short answer is love...
Where Democracy's Greatest Enemy Is a Flower
Ashraf GhaniThe New York Times, Editorial (12/12/2004)
Today, many Afghans believe that it is not drugs, but an ill-conceived war on drugs that threatens their economy and nascent democracy. The drug trade is worth more than $2.8 billion to our economy - more than a third of our gross...
Old Faces for Karzai's New Cabinet?
Hafizullah Gardesh IWPR (12/14/2004)
Observers fear that naming either Ismail Khan or Qanuni to the cabinet would signal that the central government still feels it has to cut deals with powerful provincial strongmen and their political allies...
Rape and torture of women - a weapon of war
Gideon Long Reuters (12/08/2004)
They are bearing the brunt of dozens of conflicts around the world from Iraq, Afghanistan and Nepal to Colombia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Irene Khan, secretary general of the world's largest human rights group, told...
Why America Needs Rumi
Maliha Masood Asia Times (11/01/2004)
Perhaps it is somewhat surprising then that one of America's most widely read and best selling poets has been a devout Muslim mystic born eight centuries ago in Afghanistan ? Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi. His verses in praise of Allah were set to music by Madonna; Donna Karan...
Who Rules Afghanistan
Christian Parenti The Nation (10/29/2004)
Commanders like Crazy Shafi do not restrict themselves to motorcycles, women and taxation. They also intimidate journalists, kidnap people for ransom and are engaged in widespread land seizures...
Rebuilding Afghanistan: The Diaspora Role
M. Ashraf Haidari The Ashian Magazine (10/09/2004)
If we think of development as a set of social, economic, and political freedoms, the vast majority of Afghans were denied and deprived of these freedoms for over two decades. We also...
Confusion Over Afghan Leadership
Rahimullah Samander IWPR (09/30/2004)
Survey reveals that many believe the president to be a king...
Afghans Dying for Lack of Healthcare
Belqis Omarya IWPR (09/27/2004)
In the mountains of Bamyan province in central Afghanistan, two men slowly lead a donkey along a narrow road. The dead body of a pregnant woman lies across the animal's back...
Afghanistan's Poppy Trade -
Philadelphia Inquirer, Editorial (09/27/2004)
It's time to abandon the "war" rhetoric when addressing the steps the world community must take in ending the illegal drug trade. Afghanistan's dependence on poppy crops isn't likely to end as a result of a military action...
The U.S. Has a Favorite in Afghanistan. That's a Problem
Carlotta Gall and David Rohde The New York Times (09/27/2004)
Analysts warn that if challengers drop out at the last moment and the process is seen as American-directed political theater designed to impress American voters instead of Afghan ones, a landslide could undermine Mr. Karzai's his legitimacy rather than enhance it...
Dana KingCBS 5 (San Francisco/Bay Area) (09/24/2004)
While most eyes are focused on Iraq, the story of Afghanistan has slipped off the front pages. But now, nearly three years after the U.S. led an invasion force to get rid of the Taliban, the country is at a pivotal crossroads. Join Dana King inside Afghanistan this Monday through Friday at 5pm and 11pm, then...
Ruthless Dostum a rival for Karzai
Carol Harrington Toronto Star (09/22/2004)
Northern warlord switches sides, ideologies at will -- Villagers report being beaten into voting for general...
Afghan vote threatens Bush's credibility
Carol Harrington and Jared Ferrie Toronto Star (08/17/2004)
In a country where the average income is $2 a day, some Afghans who heard that political parties and presidential candidates would pay up to $150 for voting cards, gladly lined up at registration centres several times to get multiple voting cards...
Much Hangs on Afghan Vote -
Los Angeles Times, Editorial (08/08/2004)
Afghanistan was pushed into the shadows by Iraq, but failed elections would bring it back front and center as the Taliban grabbed again for control...
The Iranian Connection
Hamid MirThe Rediff, India (07/16/2004)
Those were the days when bin Laden tried his best to bridge the gap between the Taliban and Iran, but the Taliban refused to heed his proposal. The Taliban depended on Pakistani help and the Pakistani establishment was helping them because their opponent, the Northern Alliance, was...
The Two Sides of Kabul
Christina Lamb The New York Times (07/10/2004)
Look, the swimming pool is in the shape of a martini glass," boasts Alex, as he shows several visitors around his soon-to-be-opened hotel-cum-blackjack lounge. Alex, an Afghan-American who used to be a mortgage broker in Las Vegas, is really named...
Bradford Plumer The Foundation for National Progress (06/19/2004)
Faced with a dire situation, Karzai can expect little in the way of international support, especially from the United States...
Let the Afghans vote when they're ready
Barnett R. Rubin International Herald Tribune (06/15/2004)
When President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan comes to the White House on Tuesday, the most convincing show of support he could receive from President George W. Bush would be a statement lifting the pressure on Afghanistan to hold its elections before the U.S. presidential election...
Afghan Ambassador Provides Candid Answers to Insight
Paul Rodriguez UPI (06/14/2004)
"Bear in mind that there is a direct connection between drugs and terrorism. We cannot fight terrorism effectively without also having a comprehensive strategy to fight the drug war at the same time. We see a direct connection between drugs, terrorism and warlords in Afghanistan."..
Violence, Voting Don't Mix
Ahmed Rashid Los Angeles Times (06/14/2004)
"Free and fair" democratic elections in Afghanistan may be good for President Bush's war on terror and his reelection prospects in November, but they are not what Afghans need now...
Karzai and warlords cement Afghan alliance
Carlotta Gall The New York Times (06/08/2004)
It is clear that Mr. Karzai, rather than testing his popularity by standing alone, has opted to join forces with the mujahedeen, men who fought the jihad, or holy war, against the Soviet occupation in the 1980's and who have been his traditional allies over the years...
Afghans wary of Karzai dealings
Scott Baldauf The Christian Science Monitor (06/04/2004)
Free elections had been touted as the turning point where ordinary Afghans could start to map their own future. That was the idea at least when Afghan leaders and UN mediators met in Bonn in December 2001 to decide on a political blueprint...
Karzai's Talks Raise Fears About Afghan Vote
Pamela Constable The Washington Post (05/30/2004)
The negotiations here with members of the Northern Alliance coalition have angered leaders of Karzai's Pashtun ethnic group and alarmed foreign diplomats and election observers, who say a deal with religious strongmen will send the wrong signal to a nation preparing to embark on its first democratic vote...
Afghan President Seeks Deals, But at What Price?
Mike Collett-White Reuters (05/28/2004)
On the same day U.S.-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai enacted a law paving the way for landmark elections, he struck a power-sharing deal with hardline holy warriors opposed to some of his most important initiatives...
What Could Have Been
Tamim Ansary Progressive Trail (05/07/2004)
Had the United States focused all its efforts at that moment on restoring Afghanistan to the course the Soviet invasion interrupted 23 years earlier - Had the United States focused all its efforts at that moment on restoring Afghanistan to the course the Soviet invasion interrupted 23 years earlier - Had the United States focused all its efforts at that moment on restoring Afghanistan to the course the Soviet invasion interrupted 23 years earlier...
Assault on Afghanistan's political soul
Syed Saleem Shahzad Asia Times (04/21/2004)
..the lines of communication between the HIA and the Karzai administration have been restored, and now both sides are exchanging views on how to extricate Afghanistan from its present chaos. The HIA is not banned in Afghanistan, and many of its members are positioning themselves to play a role in elections scheduled for September, assuming they go ahead after already having been postponed from June...
Upcoming Afghan Elections, Security, Fairness and Commitment
Dr. Assem Akram The Afghan Observer (04/15/2004)
The upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan represent a test not so much for the Afghan citizens but rather for the US, the UN and the US-backed Karzai Government...
We, The People of Afghanistan...
Said Tayeb Jawad The Ambassador's Review, U.S. (04/21/2004)
"We, The People of Afghanistan... for the creation of a civil society free of oppression, atrocity, discrimination and violence and based upon the rule of law, social justice, protection of human rights, and dignity and ensuring the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people... have adopted this Constitution in compliance with the historical, cultural and social requirements of the era...."
The Other War
Seymour M. Hersh The New Yorker (04/05/2004)
Why Bush?s Afghanistan problem won't go away...
Afghanistan: Urgent and Unresolved -
Center for American Progress (04/04/2004)
Tn Afghanistan - the original battleground against al Qaeda - the coming year will help answer critical questions about the nation?s long-term stability and political future. This month?s adoption of a new constitution was an encouraging step, as are recent signs of an expanded role for NATO allies...
Funds to secure Afghanistan
Said Tayeb Jawad The Washington Times (03/30/2004)
Slow action could be more costly. Consider our common fight against illegal narcotics. The cost of fighting this deadly trade that destroys lives all over the globe and feeds terrorism and warlordism in Afghanistan has increased significantly...
US Afghan allies committed massacre
David Rose The Observer, UK (03/22/2004)
The Afghan transitional government has decided to host the second Trade and Investment Conference of the region's major economic group, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), here next month, Afghan Commerce Minister SyedMustafa Kazimi said Monday...
Off The Cuff: Rendezvous with a warlord
Tanya Goudsouzian Gulf News (02/21/2004)
Commander Ali was patting his paunch to make sure he had not consumed too much food, when Aghajan entered the room carrying a duffel bag. After a brief exchange in their mother tongue, the duffel bag was opened and out came wads of US dollar bills...
To vote or not to vote ...
Jim Lobe IPS (02/19/2004)
"If you hold no election at all," warned US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in a Wednesday press briefing at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, in which he participated via telephone from Kabul, "the crisis of legitimacy could be severe"...
The peace goes to pieces -
The Globe and Mail (02/10/2004)
Thanks to their drug incomes, the warlords can outspend those who attempt to control them. Around the southern city of Kandahar, the Taliban is said to be paying their fighters $70 a week or more. Of course, many so-called "warlords" are just small players who operate checkpoints in remote areas and extort whatever money they can from civilians. But others are far more powerful: men such as Abdul Rashid Dostum, the ethnic Uzbek warlord who was part of the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance; Gul Agha Shirzai in the south; Ismail Khan in the west; and the most powerful, Defence Minister and Senior Vice-President of Afghanistan, Marshall Mohammed Fahim...
Warlords' crimes: Secrets of an Afghan grave
John Heffernan and Jennifer Leaning The International Herald Tribune (02/09/2004)
While the Bush administration publicly embraces accountability for Saddam Hussein and other alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity, warlords in Afghanistan continue to reign, exempted from punishment. Even as Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, struggles to control the wayward regional commanders, the United States is providing them with a perverse legitimacy...
The Mess in Afghanistan
Ahmed RashidNYRB (01/27/2004)
Nearly a decade later, this past autumn, I made the same journey again. What I saw was history repeating itself --in some respects in ways that were worse than before. "The Taliban are gathering again in the same places from where they started, it's like a rerun of an old movie," says Ahmed Wali Karzai, the President's brother, who is based in Kandahar. "They are," he said, "attacking reconstruction projects and educational establishments-- that is their main enemy...
Barry BearakThe New York Times - Magazine (06/01/2003)
His Excellency Ismail Khan - ruler of the ancient city of Herat, governor of the province, emir of the western territories and commander of Afghanistan's fourth military corps - seemed fascinated by the woman with no arms. ''It's amazing -- she eats with her toes,'' he said, looking my way. The emir had allowed me to sit at his shoulder during his weekly public assembly, when hundreds of supplicants come to the great hall of the governor's compound and plead for him to intercede in their behalf. As usual, Ismail Khan was wearing a spotless white waistcoat, whiter even than his famous fluff of beard, thick as cotton candy. He sat at a simple desk beneath the adoring light of a grand chandelier. Uniformed men hovered nearby, ready to be dispatched on sudden errands. Other aides in suits and ties periodically brought papers for him to sign, removing each one the instant the emir's signature was complete and then bowing before backpedaling away...
Hurray! A Constitution! (Tell It to the Warlords)
Carlotta Gall The New York Times (01/14/2004)
The irony of approving a new Constitution, while the rule of law is ignored countrywide, was not lost on the 502 delegates at the loya jirga. Sitting in the front row of the assembly for the three weeks of debate were the most notorious warlords of all, the leaders of the main mujahedeen factions ? Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Burhanuddin Rabbani, Sheik Mohammad Asif Mohseni and the former Communist, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum...
Why Afghanistan Still Hasn't Got an Air Force
James Dunnigan Strategy Page (01/03/2004)
Many reports have come out of Afghanistan on the efforts to rebuild the national army. But nothing has been heard about rebuilding the Afghan air force. That's because there is a struggle going on in the Pentagon between...
Appeal: Pashtun exiles stranded in tent city as bandits and warlords keep a grip on their homeland
Jan McGirk The Independent, UK (12/22/2003)
Jalozai Camp was supposed to be temporary, a no-frills sanctuary of DIY mud huts where Afghan families could take refuge while war convulsed their own country next door. But nearly a quarter of a century after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, this desolate camp, built on wasteland near the Peshawar city limits in Pakistan, has become a permanent fixture...
An Afghan Constitution -
The Washington Post - Editorial (12/24/2003)
These are serious issues. That the Bush administration appears not to be greatly troubled by them reflects the fact that its political strategy for Afghanistan is centered not on a document but a man...
Jonathan Steele The Guardian, UK (12/23/2003)
Thousands of Pashtun, who lived in northern Afghanistan where they were a minority, were harassed or even killed in the turmoil that followed the fall of the Taliban. The survivors fled. Changing its previous policy of accepting refugees, Pakistan only allowed a limited number across the border, and a huge mass of displaced people was left in no man's land until the UN urged them to move to Zhare Dasht...
Afghanistan's own opium wars
Sudha Ramachandran Asia Times (12/08/2003)
A report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel draws attention to "an open secret", which throws light on why action is not taken against the narcotics network. "Even the topmost member of the central government," it says, "is deeply mixed up in the drug trade." Describing the situation in the Kunduz province, where German soldiers of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been deployed, the report says that Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim's power in this part of Afghanistan "is in large part supported by drug money. Up to now, his commanders have been regulating the opium trade within their spheres of influence. It's their primary source of revenue...
Brewing power struggle in Kabul
Halima Kazem The Christian Science Monitor (10/17/2003)
Carving a pathway for travelers and warriors alike, Afghanistan's crystalline Panjshir River has long been the guide through the mountainous northern provinces. Today, many of the valley's lush fields are lined with rows of new Russian military tanks and rocket launchers. This new stockpile, along with most of the country's artillery reserves and a 50,000-strong militia, are under the thumb of the Afghan minister of defense, Mohammed Qasim Fahim...
What good friends left behind -
The Guardian, UK (09/27/2003)
The Taliban and the warlords of the Northern Alliance are two faces of the same coin. For America, it's a Frankenstein story - you make a monster and the monster goes against you...
Bush Should End Support to Warlords, Work to Expand ISAF -
Human Rights Watch (09/26/2003)
Karzai Should Insist on Equality, Stand Up for Rights. "President Karzai should ask the United States once and for all to end the supply of arms and money to the warlords who are destabilizing Afghanistan and intimidating Afghans throughout the country. President Bush should encourage President Karzai to do everything in his power to ensure that the new constitution protects women's rights and religious freedom while creating a judiciary that will ensure those rights have meaning in real life and are not just nice words on paper."..
Beyond the Veil - Time to Refocus Women's Rights Debate in Afghanistan
Fariba Nawa PNS (09/24/2003)
Afghanistan's grand council is completing its deliberations on an interim government, but the highly charged issue of women's rights -- inseparable from women's dress in Islamic countries -- will continue to simmer. PNS contributor Fariba Nawa considers how she, an Afghan-American in Kabul, should clothe herself, and asks if issues more important to Afghan women should be on the table...
Remove heavy weapons from Kabul, Canadian urges -
Globe and Mail (09/25/2003)
The artillery pieces, rocket launchers, large missiles, tanks and armoured personnel carriers belong to warlords who entered the city after the Taliban regime fell in 2001, Major-General Andrew Leslie said...
Time running out for Afghanistan
Arun Sahgal Asia Times (09/03/2003)
The delay in fully raising the Afghan National Army is exacerbating this situation. The Americans, who have the overall responsibility, have made a beginning by training a batch of 2,000-odd soldiers. However, the situation is complicated by delays in the assimilation of Northern Alliance troops into the army, at US insistence. As a quid pro quo, Faheem is unwilling to accept US-trained troops. This situation is obviously affecting operations against the Taliban...
We're losing the war in Afghanistan, too
John Sifton Salon (08/21/2003)
The question of who destroyed Afghanistan is a sensitive one. But the one historic fact that seems most relevant now is that Afghanistan today is ruled, to a great extent, by some of the same leaders who were responsible for reducing it to rubble. Many Afghans have not forgotten what happened in the early 1990s in Kabul, so they look at current leaders and they worry...
Thievery, Treachery, Treason . . .:
S. Frederick Starr National Review (08/18/2003)
The new Afghan government of Hamid Karzai is in deep trouble. The power of its domestic foes is growing daily. Inside the government, the minister of defense, Mohammed Fahim, is leading an unlikely Red- Green coalition of former Communists and jihadists from the Northern Alliance. Before the Karzai government could take power, Russia egged on the Northern Alliance to defy President Bush's orders - which it did, moving its forces into Kabul...
Without new thinking, Afghanistan will fail again -
The Economist (08/14/2003)
AFGHANISTAN was not supposed to be simply a dress rehearsal for the invasion of Iraq. It was meant to be a premiere, the blueprint for how to rescue a failed state without colonising it. Apart from America's starring role, it does not much resemble Iraq. It is poor; it has no oil. It became a danger only because it was allowed to be weak, not because it was allowed to be strong...
Afghanistan's alienated Pashtuns
Marcus George BBC (08/10/2003)
The alienation of ethnic Pashtuns in Afghanistan and their lack of representation in the political process could end in disaster...
Afghan royalists form movement to restore monarchy -
Supporters of former king Mohammad Zahir Shah announced the formation of a movement to press for the restoration of the Afghan monarchy on Saturday, hours after their 88-year-old champion returned from medical treatment abroad. ..
Warlords Implicated in New Abuses, Report Details Threats to Women's Rights, Freedom of Expression -
Human Rights Watch (08/06/2003)
"Human rights abuses in Afghanistan are being committed by gunmen and warlords who were propelled into power by the United States and its coalition partners after the Taliban fell in 2001. These men and others have essentially hijacked the country outside of Kabul. With less than a year to go before national elections, Afghanistan's human rights situation appears to be worsening."..
Troubled Northern Alliance meets to discuss new party
Senior members of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance faction have met to patch up differences and discuss forming a new party, a move seen as an attempt to prevent their possible marginalisation in the U.S.-backed government. Mohammad Fahim Qasim, defence minister and military leader of the alliance, Vice President Abdul Karim Khalili, Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah, Education Minister Yunis Qanuni and former Mujahideen leader Abdul Rabb Al-Rasoul Sayyaf all took part...
Losing Afghan ground -
The Courier-Journal -- Editorial (08/02/2003)
One result is that the men who pass themselves off as police and militia are often loyal to warlords, ethnic factions and commanders of the Northern Alliance that took control after the Taliban's defeat. A shocking...
Petition - Seeking Answers to the Disappearance of Mr. Mohamadi and the Deaths of His Colleagues -
On February 24, 2003 Joma M. Mohamadi, an American citizen and the minister of Mines and Industry for Afghanistan was traveling on a Cessna 402B with his colleagues when their plane crashed into the Arabian Sea, 35 kilometers from Karachi, Pakistan. Mr. Ahmad Ratib Olomi, Mr. Rahmatullah Popal, Mr. Farhad Ahad, and Mr. Amin Sadiq accompanied Mr. Mohamadi on the official government visit to Pakistan to sign the final agreements for the construction of a 2.5 billion dollar transnational gas...
Scratch across Pashtun hearts
Mohan Guruswamy Deccan Chronicle (08/25/2003)
It is now only a question of time before the demand for the reunification of all their people becomes a rallying call for the Pashtun nation...
Border row clouds Afghan peace bid
Sean Federico-O'Murchu MSNBC (07/21/2003)
As a result, the border, which is not clearly demarcated in parts of the mountainous region, has not been recognized by many Pashtun tribes along the frontier. Also, the 100-year border treaty between the Afghan monarchy and the British Empire was never renewed after its expiration in 1993...
Negligence in Afghanistan -
The Boston Globe - Editorial (07/10/2003)
THE BUSH administration's failure to help Afghans rehabilitate their war-blasted land makes the United States appear either incompetent at the work of nation-building abroad or deceitful about its interest in the welfare of peoples Washington has claimed to liberate...
Afghanistan's Future, Lost in the Shuffle
Sarah Chayes The New York Times (07/03/2003)
The problem is, no matter what they say, these warlords aren't going to behave. They are not reformable, because it is not in their interest to reform. The warlords' livelihood depends on extremism and lawlessness. That's how they draw their pay; that's what allows them to rule by the gun in an unofficial martial law, looting villages under the pretext of mopping-up operations, extracting taxes and bribes, crushing opponents...
The Afghan disarmament trap -
Radio Netherlands (07/02/2003)
There seems to be a crying need for disarmament and Hamid Karzai's government is indeed planning to disarm tens of thousands of fighters this month. But an international think-tank has strongly criticized the plan, saying it could actually worsen the security situation...
Karzai Fails on Press Freedom -
Human Rights Watch (06/27/2003)
"The government's message to journalists is clear: 'You are not protected.' In Afghanistan today, dominant government officials or powerful clerics can order journalists arrested, and President Karzai won't stop them. The situation has grave implications for Afghanistan's future constitutional debates."..
Aftermath of War - Not exactly an eye for an eye
Robert Higgs The San Francisco Chronicle (06/25/2003)
In the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists killed more than 3, 000 people, some 90 percent of them at the World Trade Center, the rest on the hijacked airliners and at the Pentagon. The taking of life shocked many people the world over, not the least of them the president of the United States. Regardless of one's ethical, religious or political beliefs, no one could condone the murder of thousands of innocent people...
Kabul still needs intl aid - Time is running out -
The Yomiuri Shimbun - Editorial (06/24/2003)
Time is running out. If Afghanistan is to be reconstructed according to the agreed timetable, the Karzai administration will have to exhibit strong leadership and institute more self-help measures...
Afghanistan: Not Just A Failure, An Outright Humanitarian Disaster
Jay Shaft Scoop (06/12/2003)
Afghanistan, the country the U.S. invaded after 9/11/01 to root out al-Qa'ida and remove the repressive regime of the Taliban. In all respects the stated intentions of U.S. policy makers and leaders have gone terribly off course. This isn?t just a failure of U.S. foreign policy; it is an outright humanitarian disaster of monstrous proportions...
Can US quit the Afghan quagmire?
Effendi Aslam The News (06/10/2003)
The Afghan tribal system and monarchy which is so closely related to it, evolved as a result of the impact of different religions and political systems on this region, and among those factors that left their influence on the Afghan tribal society were Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, the Graeco-Roman system and many others, long before Islam knocked on the doors of Afghanistan. Although the Afghans are among the most fanatical Muslims, yet in some cases they give priority to their tribal customs over the Islamic laws. This being so, therefore, how can we expect the Afghans to give up their traditional system of Loya Jirga and monarchy overnight in preference to the western system of election and the republican form of government?
Walking a Fine Line - Hamid Karzai is a national treasure. But can he be president of Afghanistan?
Ron Moreau The Newsweek (06/01/2003)
Will he do as well with his professed friends, the internationals' Few donor nations have stood by Karzai when it counted. Last year at the Tokyo Conference, the international community pledged $5.25 billion over the next five years, just over one third of the funds that Karzai's economic planners believe is necessary to get the war-shattered country back on its feet. It's simply not enough. Some 60 percent of the just over $1 billion in aid delivered last year went for emergency humanitarian relief for drought victims and resettling refugees, rather than reconstruction. Karzai, though, is careful not to blame his international allies, especially the United States. After all, he is beholden to Washington for everything, development money, his country's security, even his own life...
UMRC's preliminary findings from Afghanistan & Operation Enduring Freedom -
Radiological measurements of the uranium concentrations in Afghan civilians' urine samples indicate abnormally high levels of non-depleted uranium. Radiological measurements of Afghan civilians' have high concentrations of uranium in a range beginning at 4 X's and reaching to over 20 X's normal populations. This is 400% to 2000% higher than the study controls and normal population baselines of the concentrations of nanograms of uranium per liter of urine in a 24-hour sample. UMRC has completed initial but still preliminary studies that corroborate these finding in biological controls and geological samples taken in Operation Enduring Freedom bombsites. These findings are significant in three ways...
On the Roads of Ruin
Peter OborneThe Observer, UK (05/26/2003)
Tony Blair vowed that the West would not walk away from Afghanistan. But in a remarkable journey, meeting militia leaders and the heavily guarded President, Peter Oborne found a nation left to fend for itself - and Taliban thugs undeterred...
Afghanistan and broken promises
Hooman Peimani Asia Times (05/26/2003)
Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to resign if Afghan warlords refused to transfer to his barely-functioning government over US$500 million in collected taxes. His "threat" only brought smiles to the faces of the warlords, the practical rulers of Afghanistan apart from the capital Kabul, who reportedly promised cooperation with the Karzai government only to add another item to their long list of unfulfilled promises. However, the event reminded the international community one more time how forgotten Afghanistan has been left on its own to deal with its numerous economic problems as most international donors have failed to honor their pledges of sustainable adequate financial aid...
This week in Afghanistan's history
Amin Tarzi RFE/RL (05/23/2003)
18 May 1960 -- Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Na'im protests to Pakistan and the United States the violation of Afghan airspace by a U.S. U-2 spy plane...
A Federated Afghanistan?
S. Frederick Starr CACI (11/07/2001)
The notion of a federalized Afghanistan is not only wrong-headed but dangerous...
Cluster Bomblets Litter Afghanistan -
Human Rights Watch (11/16/2001)
"These unexploded bomblets have in effect become antipersonnel landmines," said Mark Hiznay, senior researcher of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. "They pose an extreme hazard to civilians, not just now but for years to come." Human Rights Watch repeated its calls for the United States to immediately stop using cluster bombs in Afghanistan...
Taliban claim Mohmand Agency -
The Friday Times (Pakistan) (11/02/2001)
The Durand Line was demarcated by the British and signed into a treaty in 1893 with the Afghan ruler Amir Abdur Rehman. The treaty was to stay in force for a 100-year period. According to Afrasiab Khattak, a political analyst, the areas from the Khyber Agency northwards to Chitral, however, remained un-demarcated. Mohmand chieftains also gave the same facts to TFT, saying: "Mohmand Agency does not have a mutually accepted border between Afghanistan and Pakistan."..
How not to run a country
Paul Knox The Globe and Mail (05/20/2003)
People who travel to Afghanistan, meanwhile, return with tales of a country broken in pieces, with few of the pieces under Mr. Karzai's control. Mr. Bush held out the promise of a brighter future in Afghanistan as a serendipitous byproduct of America's post-9/11 pursuit of self-defence. But for many Afghans, especially outside Kabul, it remains little more than a promise...
Cracks Widen in Afghan Peace Process
Simon Denyer Reuters (05/09/2003)
On the ground in Afghanistan, aid workers and diplomats say U.S. rhetoric and the Afghan reality are dangerously out of sync. One of the core problems facing Afghanistan is the increasing alienation of the country's Pashtun majority...
Afghanistan: Undermined by warlords, Pashtun resentment, weak government -
Monday Morning, Lebanon (05/20/2003)
The "unfinished business" of reconstructing and stabilizing war-torn Afghanistan, 18 months after US-led forces crushed the Taliban regime, could spawn widespread hostility against President Hamid Karzai?s government, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) warned...
The Country of Her Father
Masuda Anna Mohamadi The Washington Post (05/19/2003)
Last fall Masuda Anna Mohamadi left her home in Northern Virginia for the struggles of war-ravaged Afghanistan, the country her family fled in 1979 when she was just 6. Her father had already returned to Kabul to serve as President Hamid Karzai's minister of mines and industry. In October, Mohamadi, 29, joined him, teaching English to government workers and reconnecting with her roots -- a journey that would bring her great joy, and, ultimately, even greater sorrow. What follow are her e-mails to her family and friends, which have been edited for length and clarity...
Afghan Carpet Weavers: Junkies from Birth -
Thousands of poor Afghan women surviving as carpet weavers in refugee camps in the north Pakistan city of Peshawar drug their children with a daily dose of opium, sparking an unending cycle of addiction and illiteracy which the government continues to ignore...
Mujahedin Victory Event Falls Flat
Danish Karokhel IWPR (05/04/2003)
Few Kabulis were enthusiastic about a celebration to commemorate the achievements of the city's former rulers...
Kuchis Losing Their Way
Danish Karokhel IWPR (04/26/2003)
The Kuchi tribes of Afghanistan are increasingly being thwarted from making their traditional migration due to hostility from local residents...
Afghanistan's new draft constitution: a sneak preview
Amin Tarzi (04/24/2003)
A copy of the preliminary draft constitution of Afghanistan prepared by the Constitutional Drafting Commission (CDC) has been obtained by RFE/RL. While the public consultation process on this document is due to begin on 1 May and last until 30 June, a brief review of the existing text reveals much about the nature of the constitution-drafting process in a country divided by two decades of war and the difficulties facing the CDC as it has tried to formulate the charter for a new Afghanistan...
Report card Afghanistan
Bill Berkowitz WorkingForChange (04/16/2003)
Take a deep breath and return to a place the Bush Administration would rather you pay no attention at all: Afghanistan 2003...
Drafting of New Afghan Constitution May Be "Meaningless Exercise" Without Greater Security -
A leading expert on Afghanistan cautioned April 11 that Afghanistan?s attempt to draft a new constitution could prove a "meaningless exercise" without concurrent efforts to improve security in the country?s provinces. The international community's top priority over the near term should be curtailing the power of Afghan warlords, the expert said. Failure to do so could result in renewed conflict...
The Constitution-Making Process in Afghanistan
Amin Tarzi RFE/RL (04/10/2003)
The constitution-making exercise in Afghanistan is an important step forward in the nation-building process. The people of Afghanistan are weary of war and hunger for peace. This process of making the constitution will actively involve the people of Afghanistan for the first time in the creation of their shared roadmap towards peace -- their future constitution. The Islamic Transitional State of Afghanistan (ITSA) is committed to a constitution-making exercise that will engage all segments of Afghan society, strengthen a sense of national identity, and aim for a consensual document acceptable to all Afghans. This commitment to an inclusive process adheres to...
Karzai's Taxing Problem
Marc Kaufman The Washington Post (03/19/2003)
Khan is funding the improvements with revenue from the bustling customs house just outside Herat. As much as $500,000 to $1 million in duties is collected daily on the cars, trucks, television sets, tires and other products imported from Iran and Turkmenistan and sold throughout Afghanistan...
Afghanistan needs to be disarmed
Said Tayeb Jawad International Herald Tribune (03/19/2003)
For the truth is this: Afghans are a moderate people. But the violence of the militias opens the door - as it did in 1992 - to fundamentalism and dictatorship by pushing a desperate population to seek refuge in groups like the Taliban...
Bombed and betrayed
Fariba Nawa The Nation (03/18/2003)
I had a friend I had known for 10 years, an Afghan-American with an MBA from the University of North Carolina who left the United States to work for the peace and stability of his homeland, ravaged by 23 years of war. Farhad Ahad was a role model for my generation of exiled Afghans holding on tight to our roots. Now he?s dead...
Dangerous line in the sand
Ramtanu Maitra Asia Times (03/12/2003)
The recent visit to the United States by the President of Afghanistan's transitional government, Hamid Karzai, made clear how fragile the stability in Afghanistan is today. Karzai's recent assurances to American lawmakers that Afghanistan's polity is on the right track, and that all he needs is more money to speed up the reconstruction work, fell on deaf ears...
Trans-Afghan Pipline: Looking to the future with lessons from the past
Amin Tarzi Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (03/02/2003)
Learning From The Mistakes Of Past Pipeline Projects...
Democratic and Republican Senators, Afghan Ambassador -
Feminist Daily News Wire (02/24/2003)
At a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic and Republican Senators criticized the Bush Administration for "sugarcoating" the situation in Afghanistan and expressed grave concerns that the US is not providing adequate commitment, resources, and security support for Afghanistan...
Sinking into the Afghan swamp
A Gizabi Jane's Security News (03/01/2003)
US forces have used tactics that are offensive to Afghans. They treated every Afghan with suspicion as if he was a member of Al-Qaeda; they entered houses without permission; they body-searched women - a taboo in the Muslim world, especially in Afghanistan; and they bombed innocent civilians and arrested and mistreated people, all because of mistaken identity or misinformation. They did not show sensitivity to Afghan culture...
The Pashtun prophet who shapes U.S. policy
Barrie McKenna The Globe and Mail (03/01/2003)
When U.S. President George W. Bush needed help on how to overthrow the Taliban, rebuild Afghanistan, plan for an Iraq without Saddam Hussein and arm-twist Turkey, Zalmay Khalilzad was there...
This Week in Afghanista'S History -
20 February 1995 -- Jamiat-e Islami forces wage fierce battles in Kabul with the Wahat-e Islami party as the United Nations envoy for Afghanistan, Mahmud Mestiri, admits failure of his plan to transfer power in Kabul...
Now, It's Business That Booms
Marc Kaufman The Washington Post (02/26/2003)
In a city that had a handful of shopworn eating places two years ago, a new Chinese or Italian or American hamburger restaurant opens almost weekly, as well as kebab shops by the score. Small hotels have sprung up, and a $40 million Hyatt is on the way. The food bazaars are bustling and there are downtown blocks filled almost entirely with bridal shops. Rebuilt homes are rising from the ruins, and every little storefront seems to be stuffed with bathtubs or fans or with men building and carving things to be sold...
Finding a workable strategy to rebuild Afghanistan remains elusive
Malcolm GarciaKRT (02/26/2003)
A national presidential election in Afghanistan is planned for 2004. But without the cooperation of warlords and the supportive clout of international aid, a new government may be no stronger than Karzai's...
Special report on displaced people in the south -
People like Nasruddin were desperate to get away from their homes. He is one of thousands of ethnic Pashtuns who fled northern Afghanistan a year ago. They claim they were harassed, robbed and threatened by Uzbeks and Tajiks...
Rex KendallHelena Independent Record - Opinions (02/17/2002)
And the news from Afghanistan? It's essentially Taliban Afghanistan, minus law and order...
Afghanistan at risk -
The Sacramento Bee - Editorial (02/14/2003)
Sporadic attacks against U.S. units continue; one powerful warlord seeks to overthrow the U.S.-backed government in Kabul led by Hamid Karzai; other ethnic-based factional rivalries fueled by arms and money from, among others, India and Russia, complicate matters further...
U.N. Representative Warns That Afghan Peace Is Fragile
Carlotta Gall The New York Times (02/23/2003)
Despite assurances from Washington that no matter what happens in Iraq, Afghanistan will not be forgotten - including a personal promise from Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in January - Mr. Brahimi says his experience leads him to believe otherwise...
"Government also to blame for aid delays, abuse" -
Erada criticized the Foreign Ministry in particular for its appointment of "non-professional" diplomats. The following is the text of the newspaper report, published on 3 February...
GO AS YOU PLEASE: Global democracy?
Peter Laurie Barbados Daily Nation (02/02/2003)
Both Haiti and Afghanistan show the need for the West, not just to invoke democracy and human rights, but to help create the conditions for their realisation...
Afghanistan's new Constitution: towards consolidation or fragmentation?
Amin Tarzi RFE/RL (02/06/2003)
At the inauguration ceremonies of the CDC, the former king of Afghanistan, Mohammad Zahir, expressed the hope that the commission would consider both democracy and Islamic traditions in preparing a document that would set the standard for bringing success and prosperity to Afghanistan. But, so far, it is not clear what balance between these two ideals is to be achieved with the proposed constitution...
Patricia Gossman International Herald Tribune (02/05/2003)
It is well known in Afghanistan that the U.S. government has two "embassies" - one in Kabul and one at the military headquarters at Bagram. As long as they are seen to be pursuing two policies, Afghanistan will be secure neither for its own people nor for the rest of the world...
Afghanistan's Opium Production Fueling Addiction, Spread of HIV
Barbara SchoetzauVOA (02/04/2003)
The study finds that opium cultivation is not a countrywide problem in Afghanistan, but rather is concentrated in five of the nation's 32 provinces. Three quarters of Central Asian opium goes to Europe. Still, according to the new findings, opium cultivation is now creating serious addiction problems in Afghanistan, because traffickers are paying local communities with the drug instead of in cash. The study also finds the HIV virus is spreading due to the use of contaminated needles...
Division Between Islamists, Moderates Hampers Effort On New Constitution
Ron SynovitzRadio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (02/01/2003)
There are growing concerns about the process of drafting a new Afghan Constitution. The role that Islam will play in the country's legal system is at the heart of a political power struggle between religious conservative leaders and more moderate, pro-Western members of the Afghan Transitional Authority...
Establishing security in Afghanistan: The role of provincial reconstruction teams
Amin Tarzi RFE/RL (01/31/2003)
French estimates?a country involved with the United States in the training of the Afghan Army?indicate that under the current circumstances, Afghanistan can only hope for an army of 20,000 by the target date. Therefore, unless a major overhaul is done in the recruitment, training, and planning of the new Afghan Army?a task hampered by the presence of rogue elements within Afghanistan who are more powerful than the Karzai administration and have no incentive to relinquish their power?there is need for an alternative force to keep the peace...
A Look at Key Warlords in Afghanistan -
The Associated Press (01/30/2003)
Following are warlords in Afghanistan at a glance: Hekmatyar, Omar, Fahim, Rabbani, Dostum, Atta, Ismail Khan, Gul Agha, Khalis...
U.S., Russia and Iran: The unhappy triangle and the coming crisis
Ariel CohenThe Central Asia Caucasus - The Johns Hopkins University (01/29/2003)
Since the deal to sell natural gas to Turkey has not been particularly successful, Tehran is now planning to build a giant natural gas pipeline to Pakistan and possibly India. The gas pipeline project, however, will remain on a drawing board as long as relations between Islamabad and New Delhi will remain as tense as they are today. In addition, Turkmenistan has recently signed a memorandum for constructing a pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan. Such a project is more likely to be supported by the United States...
Jockeying for Influence, Neighbors Undermine Afghan Pact
Ahmed RashidEurasiaNet (01/17/2003)
International experts say the United States and France will probably lead the creation of the new Afghan National Army (ANA), a projected force of 70,000 men. But Zamir Kabulov, director for Asia at Russia's foreign ministry, pointedly states that old treaty obligations between the two countries allow Russia to steer aid toward Fahim's existing army, composed largely of Tajiks, which currently maintains law and order. Western intelligence believes some Russian spare parts and even tanks are arriving from Tajikistan and being transported down to the Panjshir Valley, Fahim's home base...
Afghan lesson -
Union-Tribune - Editorial (01/21/2003)
The job is not done, far from it. The Taliban and al-Qaeda ringleaders have never been found, the international peacekeeping process does not exist outside Kabul, and little has been rebuilt...
Highlights of the recent Bilateral agreements between Iran and Afghanistan -
Afghan Ministry of Commerce (01/24/2003)
Bilateral agreements between Iran and Afghanistan:...
On the trail of phantoms in Afghanistan
David Zucchino The Los Angeles Times (01/12/2003)
With the American public and U.S. policymakers fixated on Iraq, the Special Forces are locked in an unseen war here. A year ago, the teams tracked and targeted the enemy for devastating airstrikes, working closely with commanders of the Northern Alliance militia. Today, their mission is radically different - an ungainly mixture of combat patrols, intelligence- gathering, nation-building and efforts to win hearts and minds...
Why Feminism Is AWOL on Islam
Kay S. Hymowitz SF Bay Independent Media (01/15/2003)
Feminists in the West may fiddle while Muslim women are burning, but in the Muslim world itself there is a burgeoning movement to address the miserable predicament of the second sex-without simply adopting a philosophy whose higher cultural products include Sex and the City, Rosie O'Donnell, and the power-suited female executive...
This Week in Afghanista'S History -
14 January 1929 - Reformist Afghan King Amanullah Khan abdicates the throne after a rebellion that started against his rule ostensibly because of his modernization plans for the country, part of which were reflected in the 1923 constitution...
Culture of revenge stalks U.S. in Afghanistan
Scott BaldaufThe Christian Science Monitor (01/14/2003)
It's this eye-for-an-eye code of Mohammad's Pashtun ethnic group that al-Qaida and its allies are exploiting to create new suicide squads in Afghanistan, say Afghan intelligence officials. They are drawing recruits from families who have suffered losses in the past year of war. With motives and methods copied from Palestinian suicide bombers, the young men pose the newest, and perhaps gravest, threat to the young government, to American aid workers and to U.S. troops...
Afghan Editors Test Freedom's Boundaries With Cartoons
Carlotta Gall The New York Times (01/12/2003)
It looks like a typical Afghan party, with music and dancing and dollars being thrown at the dancers. But the cartoon in a recent issue of a Kabul weekly that showed President Hamid Karzai leading a song and dance number, sent the magazine's editor to jail for two nights last month...
Ahmed RashidFar Eastern Economic Review (01/07/2003)
Afghanistan's power-hungry neighbours threaten to revive the ruinous civil war of the early 1990s that gave rise to the Taliban...
Bush's "Afghan Solution" for Post-Saddam Iraq
Dennis Hans Scoop - News (12/26/2002)
Not reported by Woodward or the Observer, and revealed here for the first time, is that U.S. agents are smuggling out of Iraq the ?best and brightest? of the tribal leaders. Their destination is Herat, Afghanistan, where Ismail Kahn ? hailed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "an appealing person" ? runs the American-funded Warlord Democracy Academy...
Deja Vu in Afghanistan
Eric Margolis Wisdom Fund (12/26/2002)
On the frigid night of 24 December, 1979, Soviet airborne forces seized Kabul airport. Elite Alpha Group commandos sped to the presidential palace, burst into the bedroom of Afghan President Hafizullah Amin, and gunned him down. Columns of Soviet armor crossed the border and raced south towards Kabul...
A World's Shame: Child Soldiers -
A new UN report listed 23 groups including governments and rebel factions in five countries where child soldiering is common - Afghanistan, Burundi, Liberia, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Colombia, for instance, irregular forces started a recruiting campaign in public schools located in the outskirts of the largest cities...
Opium: A Threat to Afghanistan's Reconstruction
Nicoletta WagnerNeue Zürcher Zeitung (12/18/2002)
This year's output of opium poppies in Afghanistan comes close to the record harvests of the late 1990s. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has sounded the alarm, and its chief, Antonio Maria Costa, notes that the drug trade could have a destabilizing effect on that country....
How we forgot about the women of Afghanistan
Natasha Walter The Independent, UK (12/19/2002)
There is a stony sadness in the words of some women in Herat today. One is quoted in the report, saying: "The leadership here is very bad for us. It is not much different than the Taliban."..
We Want to Live as Humans: Repression of Women and Girls in Western Afghanistan -
Human Rights Watch (12/26/2002)
When the Taliban were driven from power in late 2001, many Afghan women were hopeful. The Taliban-never popular in Afghanistan's cities and ultimately despised by almost all Afghans-had been especially hated and resented by Afghan women. The Taliban's collapse and a new promise of peace and legitimate governance gave hope that Afghan women and girls would soon enjoy greater rights and freedoms. Around the world, international actors promised improvements in the lives of Afghanistan's long-suffering women and girls, who had borne some of the worst abuses of the Taliban regime and the effects of twenty-three years of war...
Afghan governor de facto ruler in west "Warlords" like him hold fate of central government
Andrea Stone The New York Times (12/19/2002)
In interviews in teahouses, taxicabs and the living rooms of professionals and Khan's own government officials, few dare to allow their opinions to be published. One well-known activist for women's rights, a former provincial official, refuses to be identified for fear she will be "kidnapped and arrested" if she speaks out...
Same old story -
New Orleans Time - Editorials (12/18/2002)
The Taliban have been toppled, but new reports out of Afghanistan suggest that their legacy of oppressing women remains...
Mystery swirls around missing Afghan gems
Elliot Blair Smith USA Today (12/14/2002)
The prime suspects are the Taliban commanders who fled Kabul last November and the Northern Alliance warlords who swept into the capital on their heels, ahead of U.S. ground troops. Officials in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government are reluctant to discuss the heist, particularly if it means casting suspicion on the Northern Alliance. Karzai can't afford to alienate the alliance factions that have joined his administration. Any effort to seize the mines could provoke a confrontation between Karzai's weak central government and northern warlords, who are believed to have pocketed up to $5 million a year from sales of the blue stone. To reassert Kabul's control, Karzai probably will have to risk rupturing his government by sending the untested, undermanned Afghan National Army into a Northern Alliance stronghold...
Aiming for Kabul's eye
Yashwant Raj Hindustan Times (10/20/2002)
Karzai is well-dressed, suave, charming and speaks several languages. He is a rarity in a country like Afghanistan. The problem is he is getting rarer. He rarely leaves his palace now and never strays too far from his American guards. He has already lost two cabinet colleagues in the last nine months to assassins, and is not about to risk his life playing brave heart. Sensible. But why hide behind American guards?
Rebuilding Akokolacha -
The Christian Science Monitor (12/11/2002)
Why America must get more involved - not less - in Afghanistan...
Warlords Are Afghanistan's New Worry No. 1
Mike Collett-White Reuters (12/14/2002)
A visit to Ismail Khan's fiefdom in the ancient city of Herat is enough to explain why he decided not to join Karzai in Kabul...
The United States, Afghanistan, and Central Asia
S. Frederick Starr NIAS (12/01/2002)
Assuming the successful completion of this military effort, what are the long-term prospects for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and the broader Central Asian region of which Afghanistan is the hub? Two radically different schools of thought on this important question have emerged...
A year later, Analysis and Perspective of US Engagement in Afghanistan: Time for a Change
Dr. Assem Akram e-Aiana.com (12/02/2002)
It seems that when it comes to the Afghan-American relationship, the United States suffers from myopia. A quick glance at the past relations of the two countries remind us that Washington has always belittled the importance of Afghanistan in the regional or international game and very sadly history has each time proven it wrong...
Wishful Thinking on Afghanistan
Sebastian Mallaby The Washington Post (11/26/2002)
The message is that Pentagon and NATO strategy is hopelessly wishful. At the Prague summit last Thursday, NATO's leaders declared that "responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout Afghanistan resides with the Afghans themselves."..
where is the United States now?
Paul Harris Daily Times (11/21/2002)
About a year ago, the forces of the United States descended upon Afghanistan like a plague of locusts. They had come for revenge following horrible events that occurred in the US on September 11, 2001. They had come looking for one Saudi man who they believed had orchestrated an attack on American soil. While they were at it, they thought they would pick off a few of his friends as well: Muslim clerics who had vowed death to the Americans and had probably delivered on their vow in more than one instance; and, fundamentalist rulers of Afghanistan who were targeted because it appeared the bad guys were probably living there with impunity and, besides, these fundamentalists weren't very nice dudes anyway...
Afghanistan: It Is Time for a Change in the Nation-Building Strategy
Mark Sedra Foreign Policy in Focus (11/18/2002)
Events of recent months demonstrate that a shift in the nation-building strategy adopted by the international community in Afghanistan is needed. Reconstruction and development have been alarmingly slow and the security situation across the country is gradually deteriorating. Spoiler groups, most notably former Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami party and the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda have proven to be more resilient than earlier anticipated and are regrouping...
Afghanistan's women continue to sing - from exile -
Times, India (11/29/2002)
There used to be a musicians' district in old Kabul. But it became the frontline during the mujahedin fighting of 1992-96. And by the time the Taliban swept to power in 1996, imposing a medieval brand of Islam that abhorred music, the district was in ruins and its inhabitants were either dead or had fled the country. "There are no more masters to teach a new generation of musicians," explained Ustad Mahwash, one of Afghanistan's best-known female singers, as she prepared for a concert in Paris this month...
Herat's Treasures Can't Compensate For Atmosphere Of Fear
Grant Podelco RFE/RL (11/30/2002)
The 16th-century Moghul emperor Babur, writing in his memoirs, said "the whole habitable world had not such a town as Herat." That was when the western Afghan city was celebrated as a center for the sciences and the arts. Today, Herat is better-known as the home of Ismail Khan, the governor of the province and an independent commander with a large private army, enormous wealth, and loose ties to the central government in Kabul. On a recent visit to Herat...
Afghan Women: Enduring American "Freedom"
Sonali KolhatkarForeign Policy in Focus (11/15/2002)
It has become axiomatic that the issue of women's rights is always politically manipulated by the powerful, to justify almost anything. In the late 70s, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and claimed to be saving Afghan women. Then they began assassinating men who opposed the invasion, leaving thousands of women widowed. The U.S. backed the mujahedeen resistance (many of whom now comprise the Northern Alliance) and claimed to be saving women, from the "godless" communists. Then these U.S.-designated "freedom fighters" routinely raped women, forced them into marriages, and tortured their husbands. The Taliban took over from the mujahedeen, claiming to save Afghan women. Then they forced them to stay at home (for their own good), stop going to school, and be denied access to medical care. And finally, George Bush organized a crusade to save Afghan women...
Can Karzai control Afghanistan?
Rahimullah SamandarThe Billings Gazette (11/14/2002)
There is a growing concern both within the country and among members of the international community that President Hamid Karzai is unable to exert effective control over much of the country he has been chosen to govern...
King is ready to sacrifice all for Afghanistan
Ben MacIntyre The London Times (11/14/2002)
Increasingly frail, he did not have to come back. But last April, with the Taleban removed, he returned and has since played a pivotal role, more emblematic than political, in the fledgeling transitional Government, for Zahir Shah is one of the few unifying figures in Afghanistan widely perceived to be above politics...
Afghanistan's unfulfilled dreams
Baqer Moin BBC (11/13/2002)
The fall of Kabul, for many Afghans, was a cause for celebration as the beginning of the fulfilment of this dream. But as it turned out it became the beginning of a new era of uncertainty...
Abandoned Afghanistan -
The Boston Globe - Editorial (11/04/2002)
If Bush wants to prevent Afghanistan from descending again into civil war, if he wants to strengthen the government of President Hamid Karzai and keep the reactionary religious warlords at bay, he will recognize that Afghans expect practical help from Americans and that the United States has a strategic interest in helping build a sound and stable Afghanistan. That means nation-building...
Torture and Political Repression in Herat - U.S. and U.N. warlord strategy fails the Afghan people -
Human Rights Watch (11/05/2002)
"The international community says it wants to reduce the power of the warlords and bring law and order back to Afghanistan. But in Herat, it has done exactly the opposite. The friend of the international community in western Afghanistan is an enemy of human rights." - Human Rights Watch
Afghanistan struggles to rebuild
David Loyn BBC (11/05/2002)
President Hamid Karzai has done little to shake off the widespread view that he is just a convenient figurehead, a Pashtun puppet imposed by the Americans to placate Afghanistan's biggest tribe, which backed the Taleban. Beneath him is an administration where Tajiks from the north-east hold all the key positions. Some were directly involved in the murderous tussle for power in Kabul in the early 90s. There has been suspicion that the Defence Minister, General Fahim, has been given a specific warning by the Americans after widespread suspicion that he was involved in the assassination of a prominent politician...
Karzai's tricky move -
United Press International (11/05/2002)
Apparently to dispel the impression that he was only acting against Pashtuns, Karzai also fired some security officials in Mazar-i-Sharif, a city dominated by Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek ethnic groups. But this move may not be enough to head off perceptions that Karzai -- initially chosen to head the interim government precisely because of his appeal to his fellow Pashtuns -- has now turned against his ethnic kin...
Afghanistan: a sacrificial goat among nations
Aslam EffendiJang (11/04/2002)
Afghanistan is among those unfortunate countries that have served the selfish interest of other countries. For example during the 19th century she served the interest of British India as a shield against Czarist Russia; during the 20th century she served British India as a shield against the Soviet Union; and yet again during the 20th century she served the interest of the US, enabling her to become the world's single, super-power. For all these services she was always punished by the very countries that used her for their selfish needs...
"All Our Hopes Are Crushed: Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan" -
Human Rights Watch (11/01/2002)
"Ismail Khan and his followers-their hands are bloody. For them, killing a bird is the same as killing a man". -Herat Resident
Karzai's Crisis of Legitimacy
S. Frederick Starr The Korea Herald (11/01/2002)
Why do Afghans perceive as illegitimate a government put in place by an agreement to which all factions assented, a government that was confirmed by a duly constituted National Assembly (Loya Jirga) held under international patronage? The reason is that Karzai's government, and Karzai himself, are controlled by a small group of powerful men associated with the former Northern Alliance and dominated by Minister of Defense Marshall Fahim...
Drug trade flourishes again in Afghanistan
David Filipov The Boston Globe (10/31/2002)
International drug control officials refuse to name names. But privately they say that every major warlord and every provincial governor in northern Afghanistan is involved. ''Look at anyone who is wealthy, and ask yourself, what in Afghanistan produces wealth, other than drugs and smuggling," said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity...
Debate Over Federalism in Afghanistan Continues
James Purcell SmithThe Central Asia-Caucasus (10/30/2002)
The current central Afghan government has faced an uphill battle cementing its position. The international community has largely failed to deliver on their promises of large-scale assistance made in Tokyo, weakening the financial strength of the government and thereby its ability to exert influence in the regions. Moreover, the legitimacy of the central government has suffered heavily from the perception that one minority group, the Panjshiri Tajik Shura-i-Nazar group, is dominating the current government. As a result of these processes, the central government has so far been unable to assert itself, and its influence seems to be declining rather than increasing...
Terror crackdown may push more to extremism
David FilipovThe Boston Globe (10/27/2002)
In the year since they helped the United States defeat the Taliban, the authoritarian leaders of four former Soviet Central Asian republics have turned the war on terror into a convenient excuse to crack down on political and religious opponents at home, according to US officials and other specialists in the region...
Afghans ask: "Whose army is it?"
David Buchbinder The Christian Science Monitor (10/18/2002)
Concern inside the defense establishment about the ANA goes far beyond competition for resources; it is more a question of survival. The minister of defense, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, controls a private army of 18,000 men. They are mostly ethnic Tajiks from the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital. His narrow interests as a faction leader are at odds with the sweeping mandate of the new Army ? to replace regional militias with a single force answerable to the civilian-elected government...
"Emir of Herat" lords over the strategic Afghan west
Mike Collett-White Reuters (10/09/2002)
The competing interests in Herat have led commentators to dub it the new "Great Game", referring to the 19th century strategic rivalry between Russia and Britain played out in the rugged mountains and deserts of Afghanistan...
India, Russia, Iran to counter Pak in Afghanistan -
Diplomats said that the Indian government would find the goings-on in Afghanistan bizarre but Pakistan was back to its "great game" and had plenty of resources to continue its subversive activities...
Why "Trade, Not Aid" Isn't Enough -
Business Week (10/11/2002)
"Afghanistan isn't where it is because of the Soviets and the Taliban. The Soviets and the Taliban were there because Afghanistan was what it was."..
Kabul's Cynical Beggars
Mohammad Naseem Shafaq Institute for War & Peace (10/10/2002)
Desperate Afghan beggars exploit children to bolster their earnings...
A tale of two cities
Behrouz Afagh New Internationalist (10/22/2002)
(The article was published in September 1990)- It was over a year since the Soviet troops had withdrawn but all the ingredients of a city at war were there, neatly displayed, on the bright sunny day I arrived in Kabul. At the airport, the burnt-out wreckage of a transport plane shot down while trying to land two weeks earlier was still lying near the runway. The terminal building was a dilapidated empty hall. partitioned with cardboard. The roads were riddled with big pot-holes. Buildings damaged by bombs and rockets were left unrepaired...
Grading The Other War
Romesh RatnesarTime Magazine (10/15/2002)
So what happened to the victory parades? The simple answer is that while the fighting is finished, the U.S. hasn't won yet...
Badakhstan Faces Opium Crisis
Shoib Safi Institute for War & Peace (10/13/2002)
Drugs lords are leaving their southern strongholds for a remote province far out of the reach of the authorities...
POW Atrocities: an Ugly Lesson
Holly J. BurkhalterLos Angeles Times (10/14/2002)
The U.S. did not delegate to the Northern Alliance the task of winning the war against the Taliban. It did, apparently, delegate responsibility in one realm: complying with Geneva Convention obligations to treat captured combatants humanely...
Wasted: the Drought That Drugs Made
Alex PerryTIME Asia (10/14/2002)
Ask the villagers of Dalicharbolak how bad things are in the desert and they show you a boy named Saifudden. He is five, but looks two. He is too weak to walk, crawl or do anything but loll in his bearer's arms. He is bald, and his arms and legs are like sticks. Mohammed Akbar, 48, says Saifudden is an orphan. "Well, soon anyway." Akbar explains that Saifudden's father fled this ravaged village three months ago because of the drought and that his mother is dying fast. Ask about food and the villagers say that, born in the year the rains first failed, Saifudden has never tasted fruit, vegetables or meat. Ask about water and their anger boils over. "They're killing us here," says Akbar, pointing over the horizon to the lush plains upstream. "They're taking all the water. I haven't seen water in our ditches for four years. And all for chaars."..
Afghanistan- no alternatives -
Asia News Network - Editorial (10/09/2002)
We've seen the joy when we liberated city after city in Afghanistan," US President George W Bush declared two months after the fall of the Taleban. "None of us will ever forget the laughter and the music and the cheering and the clapping at a stadium that was once used for public execution. Children now fly kites and they play games. Women now come out of their homes from house arrest, able to walk the streets without chaperons." It was some nice imagery. Too bad that even back then...
A year of living on the edge
Jason Burke The Observer (10/07/2002)
On a Sunday exactly 12 months ago Jason Burke saw the start of a US-led war on al-Qaeda: now he returns to see how a fragile peace is clinging on...
Ahmad RashidThe Nation (10/08/2002)
There are mounting fears in Afghanistan that President George W. Bush's war against Iraq will seriously compromise further attempts by the US-led Western alliance to stabilize Afghanistan--even as the US Defense Department appears to be finally acknowledging its failures in helping to rebuild the country...
No Shortage of Suspects in Kabul Bombing - Some explosions are set by Taliban and al-Qaeda types. Others may be a product of government power struggles
Michael Ware/Kabul Time (10/02/2002)
The defense ministry building against whose wall the bomb had been left was not an empty set of offices; it's the headquarters of Afghan military intelligence. At the time of the explosion General Zahir Akbar, the country's military intelligence chief, was at his large varnished desk scribbling orders on scraps of paper. Though the building was all but empty, it seems as if someone knew he would be there. "He was the target," one of his aides told TIME amid the debris of the general's office minutes after the bombing. "We had been expecting this explosion."..
'I Yelled at Them to Stop'- U.S. Special Forces are frustrated. Kicking down doors and frisking women, they say, is no way to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan
Colin Soloway Newsweek (10/02/2002)
On Aug. 19, American commanders sent some 600 action-hungry members of the Army's 82d Airborne Division, Third Battalion, charging into Zormat and the Shahikot area. "Those guys were crazy," said one Special Forces NCO who was there. "We just couldn't believe they were acting that way. Every time we turned around they were doing something stupid. We?d be like, 'Holy s?t, look at that! Can you believe this!' " Another said: "They were acting like bin Laden was hiding behind every door"...
Afghanistan: History of the War -
Human Rights Watch (10/01/2002)
The U.S- led military intervention in Afghanistan marks the fourth phase in the country's twenty-three-year-old civil war. In every phase foreign powers have intensified the conflict by supporting one side against another...
Instability and Fragmentation in Afghanistan: Can It Be Reversed?
Dr. Azmat HayatThe Central Asia-Caucasus, The Johns Hopkins University (09/30/2002)
In the current geopolitical environment, with a heightened focus on Central Eurasia, Afghanistan's importance has increased after the fall of the Taliban, as the country serves three purposes. First, it is a jumping pad for foreign powers to get access and influence in Central Asia and Xinjiang. Secondly, it serves as a trade outlet for Central Asian resources, including oil and gas, but also traditional commerce. Third, it serves as an outpost to guard and preserve the natural resources of central Asia...
Afghan lawman knows he's marked for death
E.A. Torriero The Chicago Tribune (09/27/2002)
"We keep a good eye on Shorty," one of Wardak's bodyguards said with nod toward Jurat, who was standing near Wardak during a recent public appearance. "We know we can't trust him."..
Tompkins Ptolemy Time (10/07/2002)
Since 9/11 last year, America's best selling poet has been a devout Muslim mystic?what gives?
Compromised From The Start: The Afghan Interim Administration and The Drugs Trade
Tamara MakarenkoThe Central Asia-Caucasus (08/02/2002)
Members of the Northern Alliance appeared to have established direct control over aspects of the trade in their areas of operation. Prior to losing territory to the Taliban, the Northern Alliance were linked to opiate production. By 2001, the NA was well positioned to capitalize on the Taliban ban.
Feminism as imperialism
Katharine Viner - The Guardian (09/21/2002)
George Bush is not the first empire-builder to wage war in the name of women...
The Tangled History of the Soldier Who Tried to Kill Karzai
James Brooke The New York Times (09/18/2002)
The soldier who recently tried to assassinate Afghanistan's president here enlisted in a guard unit shortly after winning release from the nation's most notorious prison for Taliban captives, Afghan officials say...
Pepe Escobar Asia Times (09/17/2002)
Everybody and his dog is on board the new jihad to "kick out the foreign invaders": infamous Pashtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; extra-well-connected Arab protege "Professor" Sayyaf; the "Emir of the Southwest" Ismail Khan; Mullah Omar (hidden in the depths of Kandahar province), the Taliban leadership and their former military commander, the formidable Jalaluddin Haqqani; and vast mid-level sectors of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)...
Struggle for balance in Afghan Army -
Frontier Post (09/15/2002)
Reorganisation of Afghan National Army (ANA) has become a matter of dispute between Afghan Defence and Interior Ministers. The difference of opinion is aggravating day by day and has become a stumbling block in the way of this important item of international agenda...
Afghan massacre haunts Pentagon
Luke Harding in Dasht-i-LeiliThe Guardian (09/14/2002)
The dead are not hard to find. Turn left into the desert after the town of Shiberghan and they lie all around - some in shallow graves, others protruding from the sand...
Sarah Miles - New Internationalist - issue 227 - January 1992 (01/01/1992)
It's dangerous for Afghan refugee women to talk, let alone write, about life under Islamic fundamentalism. But Zahra shared her experience with fiction writer Sarah Miles - who now tells the story. (The story was published in January 1992)
In need of the Northern Alliance
Steve Chapman The Chicago Tribune (09/12/2002)
The Northern Alliance's stunning success in pushing back the Taliban has won it lots of attention, not all of it favorable. As the prospect of victory looms, Americans are being informed that the people on our side in Afghanistan are not necessarily folks you'd want baby-sitting your kids...
Afghanistan's fragile peace -
The Economist (09/11/2002)
There is Mr Fahim and his ambitious secret police. A western diplomat in Kabul reckons that he is a real enemy to peace. He accepts that you have to initially work with the enemy. "For the coalition to fight the Taliban, you need the help of warlords and Fahim". But this is not good for the long- or even medium-term stability of Afghanistan...
Karzai brothers' fury at US failures -
The Scotsman (09/15/2002)
"I'm afraid that my brother Hamid is behaving like Mother Teresa in a war zone," said Mahmoud Karzai, a prominent US businessman, who along with Hamid's older brother, Abdul Kareem Karzai, has been working in southern Afghanistan to help pacify a region still seething with extremism...
The Burkas Come Off, but Equality Falters at the Edge of Kabul
Amy Waldman The New York Times (09/11/2002)
..Then came Sept. 11, the American bombardment of Afghanistan, the Taliban's flight and the installation of the interim Afghan government. The events reverberated around the globe, but registered as barely a tremor in her life. "There are the same difficulties, with or without the Taliban," said Mishgan, who, like many Afghan women, uses only one name...
Ahmed Rashid/ Far Eastern Economic Review (09/13/2002)
HE WAS ONCE Washington's most important ally in Afghanistan, but today Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is seen as one of the biggest threats to internal stability and to the rule of beleaguered President Hamid Karzai. And the fugitive warlord appears to be gaining support among Islamic extremists and the majority Pashtun population, who feel that they are being discriminated against...
The Roving Eye Part 1: Exit Osama, enter Hekmatyar
Pepe Escobar Asia Times (09/10/2002)
Make no mistake. This is it. One year after September 11, this is the ultimate frontline, the last, crucial battle in the new Afghan war - as the best Pakistan-Afghanistan insiders have been predicting for months. Or maybe the battle is just beginning. The fact is that now between 300 and 400 American Special Forces - according to different estimations of local Pashtun commanders - are now based in Kunar in hot pursuit of the newly-promoted number one "dead or dead" enemy in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan: Hekmatyar...
One Afghan's tale of torture
Scott Baldauf The Christian Science Monitor (09/10/2002)
The experiences shared by Sadiq and 300 other Pashtun men, picked up by Afghan intelligence agents on April 12, say human rights experts, is an unsettling sign of how little Afghanistan has changed...
Bamiyan still feels abandoned -
Whatever the complexion of the government in Kabul, the Hazara region where the giant Buddhas once stood has always been the poor cousin among Afghans...
Masood Anniversary Unites and Divides Afghans
Mike Collett-White Reuters (09/08/2002)
The "Lion of the Panjsher" has been an inspiration to the people who fought alongside him, but he does not have the universal appeal to unite a nation where ethnic divisions and memories of bitter war are very much alive...
Newsweek exposé of war crimes in Afghanistan whitewashes US role
Kate Randall WSWS (09/04/2002)
The August 26 edition of Newsweek carries a special report entitled "The Death Convoy of Afghanistan.? An underline on the front cover of the magazine reads: ?In November, America?s Afghan Allies Suffocated Hundreds of Surrendering Taliban Prisoners in Sealed Cargo Containers. Where Were US Forces?"...
Revealed: The Taliban minister, the US envoy and the warning of September 11 that was ignored
Kate Clark The Independent (09/07/2002)
Weeks before the terrorist attacks on 11 September, the United States and the United Nations ignored warnings from a secret Taliban emissary that Osama bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil...
Descartes, Pashtuns and President Bush
Dr. Whitney Azoy The Bangor Daily News (08/29/2002)
What's a 17th-century French philosopher doing in our 21st-century War on Terror? Think about it.
Afghanistan's future - New thinking by the Americans? -
The Economist (08/29/2002)
WHILE the United States is mulling over what to do with Iraq, Afghanistan provides a case study of the difficulties of providing a stable alternative to an undesirable regime?and how much the Americans are willing to contribute to the messy business of reconstruction. After appearing to be interested primarily in hunting down the last of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, are American defence officials now warming to the idea of so-called nation-building?
Political Realities Impeding Full Inquiry Into Afghan Atrocity
John F. Burns The New York Times (08/29/2002)
A statement issued by the government of President Hamid Karzai last week dispensed with ambiguity in describing the deaths of as many as 1,000 Taliban and Qaeda prisoners last winter while being taken in airless shipping containers to a prison at Shibarghan in northern Afghanistan...
One Brick at a Time
Phil Zabriskie Time (09/03/2002)
In the Afghan capital, residents rebuild their broken lives after' 23 years of strife...
The British in Afghanistan
Linda MacDonald The Guardian (08/28/2002)
1880s As the British and Russian imperial powers compete for influence in central Asia, Afghanistan is caught between the empires. British fears over Russian advances culminate in the first Anglo-Afghan wars, in 1839-42. The British invading forces are destroyed. A second war from 1878-90 is sparked by the Afghan king's refusal to accept a British mission in Kabul. This time the British forces capture Kabul but withdraw in 1880 after the new king agrees to surrender control of his foreign policy in return for London's recognition...
Disarmed Pashtuns Make Easy Target in Afghan North
Simon Denyer Reuters (08/27/2002)
In the days and weeks after the fall of the mainly Pashtun Taliban, Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan fell victim to rape, robbery and pillage from armed men from other ethnic groups...
The Looting of Turquoise Mountain
Rory Stewart NY Times Magazine (08/25/2002)
In a deserted maze of narrow gorges in the central mountains of Afghanistan, I turned a corner and saw a tower. It rose 200 feet, a slim column of intricately carved terra cotta set with a line of turquoise tiles. There was nothing else. The mountain walls formed a tight circle around it, and at its base two rivers, descending from high mountain passes, ran through the ravines into wilderness.
Seeking The Truth In Afghan Graves
Leonard S. Rubenstein The Washington Post - Editorial (08/21/2002)
For months, evidence has accumulated that many of the Taliban fighters who surrendered after the fall of Mazar-e Sharif and Kunduz last November were killed by Northern Alliance forces under the control of Gen. Abdurrashid Dostum. Eyewitnesses report that the prisoners died of asphyxiation after being transported in sealed containers to the Shebergan prison. The number of dead is not known, but the current issue of Newsweek, citing the accounts of survivors and drivers of the container trucks, estimates hundreds or even thousands of deaths.
Evidence Mounts of Allied Massacre -
Radio Netherlands (08/21/2002)
The US says it will press the Afghan government to investigate reports of a massacre of Taliban prisoners by Northern Alliance troops last November. Human rights groups have questioned the validity of any such investigation, and claim American troops are implicated in the deaths.
Stirrings in Kabul
Anthony Borden & John West The Nation (09/02/2002)
Without his own power base, Karzai is seen by some as less a real chief executive than a liberal opposition figure against his own Cabinet--offering no apparent strategy for securing and unifying the fractious country. "The only question," according to Paul Bergne, a former British special envoy to Afghanistan, "is whether this is because he has no interest, or simply a reasonable interest, in staying alive." Especially with the exclusion from power of former King Zahir Shah, the majority Pashtuns, concentrated in the south, where the Taliban emerged, feel disfranchised and demoralized. Rubbing salt in the wound, pictures of the martyred Ahmed Shah Massoud, the rebel leader killed by the Taliban on September 9, adorn every checkpoint, office and street corner, and even prayer mats on sale in the city markets...
Monsters of our own creation
Robert Scheer Salon (08/21/2002)
Karzai, the token representative of the country's Pashtun majority and hand-selected by the United States, is no match for the Northern Alliance thugs and will be gone the day their Iranian sponsors give the word. Thus the warm greeting extended by Karzai to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on his visit to Kabul last week.
When does a massacre matter?
Michelle Goldberg Salon (08/20/2002)
Evidence that American allies in Afghanistan slaughtered captured Taliban soldiers first surfaced last spring. Will a Newsweek cover story force an investigation, So far, the U.S. and U.N. say no.
Focus on displacement in the western region -
She fled the western Afghan province of Badghis with her husband and mother in January, when ethnic Uzbek militias looted their livestock - the only source of income for most Afghan nomads. "We were used to moving around and now we are confined to one place," she said.
The Death Convoy of Afghanistan
Babak Dehghanpisheh, John Barry and Roy Gutman Newsweek (08/18/2002)
Witness reports and the probing of a mass grave point to war crimes. Does the United States have any responsibility for the atrocities of its allies? A NEWSWEEK investigation
CNN documentary on Mazar-i-Sharif prison revolt: film footage documents US war crimes
Kate RandallWSWS (08/17/2002)
"House of War: The Uprising at Marzar-e-Sharif," broadcast August 3 on CNN, documents the events at the Qala-i-Janghi prison fortress in northern Afghanistan last November. Broadcasting footage shot by German, American and other film crews, much of which has never been seen by a US audience, the program records events that, by their conclusion, would leave at least 400 captured Taliban soldiers dead.
Afghan Rift Threatens Government -
Radio Netherlands (08/15/2002)
The US has been playing down reports of a split between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his defence minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim that threatens to destroy the fledgling Afghan government.
Afghans still suffering as American cash goes to bribe warlords, not help people -
Media Monitors Network (08/17/2002)
A month after 54 Afghani civilians were killed when American planes bombed a wedding party, the Times (London) newspaper published details of a report written by UN officials who visited the village two days after the bombing. Although the report has not been published, Times reporters saw it and their accounts of its contents have been widely accepted.
Kabul's prisons in real bad shape -
Some 50 prisoners are kept in each small and dark cell of the camp, which is many times the real capacity of those dirty rooms. The prisoners have told the Bakhtar reporter that the prison authorities provide no clothing or food for them, and its the prisoners' families who provide them, while those who have no visitors share that of their roommates. Until a short while ago the prisoners even had to buy the drinking water they needed.
The conspiracy theory that wouldn't die
Damien CaveSalon (08/16/2002)
Did a shadowy group of American diplomats threaten the Taliban last year, provoking the 9/11 attack? Many on the left think so. Now the diplomats tell their side of the story.
Eyewitness confirms atrocities by Northern Alliance -
Eyewitness accounts from different sources confirm earlier reports of mass scale atrocities of Northern Alliance in the north and west of Afghanistan.?I was counting bodies when we opened the first container,? says an eyewitness who, till recently, was allied with Dostem.
Advising the Northern Alliance -
The Hindu - Editorials (08/14/2002)
India and Iran have vital stakes in Afghanistan and both have invested heavily over the years in sustaining the Northern Alliance which is now such a key component of the Government in Kabul. The Northern Alliance, as represented by the Defence Minister, Mohammed Fahim, who is the first among the triumvirate that leads this group, has locked itself into a power struggle with Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai. This premature struggle for dominance is...
Robert Fisk: Afghanistan is on the brink of another disaster -
The Independent (08/14/2002)
The Americans now leave the beatings to Afghan allies, but the CIA are there during the beatings
Ismail Khan is a castle in his stable corner of Afghanistan
M.J. Akbar Arab News (08/13/2002)
What comes first during breakfast at the Jihad House in Herat? The chicken or the egg?
Child labor an indispensable support for Afghan families after years of drought and war
Burt Herman The Associated Press (08/18/2002)
More than 2,000 children are working in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, plus thousands more across the country, said Robert Ffolkes, head of Afghan operations of Save the Children, a British charity.
Afghans practice old craft in new land
Larry Kaplow Atlanta Journal (08/15/2002)
Barakatullah Salim is a reciter of the Quran who looks every bit the holy man. Blind since birth, he has memorized Islam's sacred text and sings it from behind his dark glasses and beard at official events.
In Afghan Region, Appeals for Justice - Slaying Probe Tests Confidence in Karzai
Pamela ConstableThe Washington Post (08/11/2002)
If his slaying remains unsolved, nowhere in Afghanistan will the disillusionment be sharper than in Nangahar. Karzai, also a Pashtun, had asked Qadir to come to Kabul as a model for bridge-building between the country's weak central authorities and its often rebellious provincial bosses.
Abusing the "War on Terrorism" in Central Asia
Hooman PeimaniCentral Asia-Caucasus (08/16/2002)
The post-September 11 emergence of a global consensus on fighting terrorism has created grounds for an opportunistic use of this broad objective by Central Asian countries, which have expanded suppression of opposition groups under the pretext of fighting terrorism. While the iron-hand policy towards...
The Afghan gap -
The Washington Post (08/13/2002)
There continues to be a mismatch between Bush administration rhetoric with regard to Afghanistan and Bush administration policy. The rhetoric evokes George Marshall and draws comparisons with the great American rebuilding of Europe after World War II. The policy is a lowest-common-denominator effort to buy short-term peace...
Tajikistan back to gloom after moment in the sun
Sebastian AlisonReuters (08/15/2002)
For a few brief months last year, Tajikistan,s hot, dusty, sleepy capital found itself suddenly and unexpectedly on the map.
A Nascent Free Press Seizes the Moment (Carefully)
Borzou DaragahiColumbia Journalism Review (08/14/2002)
The explosion, in the Northern Alliance stronghold of the Panjshir Valley, also badly injured Fahim Dashty, a distant relative of Massoud and the warlord?s designated propaganda filmmaker. His hands, arms, and legs badly burned and bloodied, Dashty was airlifted to Tajikistan and later flown to Paris for treatment...
Iran Coerces Afghan Refugees to Return to Afghanistan in Violation of International Agreements / Areas of Return Insecure -
Physicians for Human Rights (08/08/2002)
Returning Afghan refugees will likely end up in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and overwhelm the limited resources of food, water, and shelter in Afghanistan, the medical group said. Furthermore, the security situation, particularly in the North and the West, documented by PHR and others, has been unstable. In May 2002, a PHR survey of internally displaced Afghans from the Shaidayee Camp in Herat study showed a shocking prevalence of attacks against ethnic Pashtuns and ongoing deprivation of basic needs.
U.S. Fears Grow Over Turmoil In Afghanistan
Glenn KesslerThe Washington Post (08/08/2002)
Less than two months after the Bush administration helped engineer the election of an interim government in Afghanistan, U.S. policymakers are growing increasingly concerned that the country is entering a more dangerous period and are unsure what steps to take next to prevent a spiral of factional violence.
Iran - Al Qaeda Suspects Handed Over to Saudi Arabia ? But Why?
Breffni O'RourkeEurasiaNet (08/13/2002)
One possible explanation is that Foreign Minister Prince Saud is seeking to nudge Washington into making a return gesture toward Iran. So far, the United States has maintained ? at least publicly ? a consistently cold pose toward Iran, which it includes in what it calls an "axis of evil," along with North Korea and Iraq.
Remember Afghanistan? -
Mother Jones (08/09/2002)
While the Bush administration attempts to drum up support for a war against Iraq, some are reminding Washington that it still has some work to do in Afghanistan. Just how much work was made clear this week, when 16 people were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked an Afghan security post south of Kabul, Newsweek reports.
Holy war engulfs Afghan feminist
Geoffrey YorkThe Globe and Mail (08/07/2002)
She was dismissed from cabinet and is now a graphic symbol of how Afghan women can be persecuted, even after the fall of the Taliban regime.
Counting the Dead - Attempts to Hide the Number of Afghan Civilians Killed by US Bombs Are An Affront To Justice
Marc HeroldThe Guardian of London (08/08/2002)
When the US bombing of Afghanistan started on October 7 2001, an official "counting of the dead" was deemed unnecessary. The public was assured that American and British military planners would go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. The combination of newer, precision-guided munitions and the fact that bombing would take place in remote areas would mean that, in this war, only the "bad guys" would get killed. Subsequent events have proved these claims wrong. But how wrong?
The return to Afghanistan: Collateral damage
Robert FiskThe Independent (UK) (08/06/2002)
In his first dispatch from Afghanistan, Robert Fisk relates the untold story of Hajibirgit, a tiny village in the south-west of the country, where a raid by US Special Forces left a tribal elder and a three-year-old girl dead . . .
What Do Afghan Women Want?
Noy ThrupkaewThe American Prospect (08/05/2002)
A dramatic and militant Afghan feminist group has captured the West's imagination. But does it offer what the women of a shattered society need most?
Tension Rises Between Two Key Afghans: Defense Chief Is Seen As Threat to Karzai And Nation's Stability
Susan B. Glasser and Pamela ConstableThe Washinton Post (08/05/2002)
"For six months Fahim dictated to Karzai, and he was the most powerful man in Afghanistan. Now he is worried that may change," said a deputy minister who is close to Karzai. "The president has gotten [foreign] protection now, but I still think he is in danger. Fahim and his friends are warlords, and you cannot make peaceful men out of them. If the situation remains as it is, I think we are headed back to civil war."
Karzai & Associates Budget: Print Money [quietly] and Hope for Foreign Largesse
Marc W. Herold globalresearch (08/01/2002)
The Karzai regime has said it can come up with internal funds amounting to $83 million through taxes. But most of these tax receipts and license fees depend upon regions furnishing resources to the Kabul government, a very dubious proposition. A much more likely source of internal funds will come simply from printing money...
Iran sowing seeds of hatred to destabilize Kabul -
The frontier Post (07/30/2002)
There is mounting evidence that Iran is taking pains to fan anti-Pakhtoon sentiments among the ethnic minorities of Afghanistan.
Evidence points to US cover-up of Afghan massacre
Peter SymondsWSWS (08/01/2002)
The latest revelations, based on a preliminary report written by UN officials who visited the village on July 3-4, were published in the British-based Times newspaper on Monday. Neither the report nor a later more comprehensive UN document has been made available publicly. But Times reporters saw a copy of the draft which, they explained, was produced by a team of ?experienced and reputable UN people, who have been in the region a while and know it well?.
Afghan warlords threaten security and reconstruction
Ron SynovitzRFE/RL (07/29/2002)
Human Rights Watch says it has received unconfirmed reports of active support for different warlords by Iran and Pakistan. Significantly, the fighting this week broke out along the transport corridor that passes through Kandahar and Herat to link western Pakistan to Turkmenistan and the rest of Central Asia.
Persecution of ethnic Pashtuns continues in northern Afghanistan
Ben Nichols and Peter SymondsWSWS (07/26/2002)
With no militia of their own, ethnic Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan, many of whom have roots going back generations, have been the subject of torture, rape and murder. The extent of the violence was brought to light in a lengthy Human Rights Watch report.
After the Victory: America's Role in Afghanistan's Future
James Phillips, Jack Spencer, and John C. Hulsman, Ph.D.The Heritage Foundation (08/01/2002)
In spite of the favorable military situation, however, the political situation in Afghanistan is increasingly troubling.
United States Faces Fault Lines in Building Afghan Army
Ahmed RashidEurasianet (07/30/2002)
Even Fahim has called for a 200,000 strong army in which his largely Tajik troops would be the core. "Only the Americans can deal with Fahim," says an Afghan cabinet minister. Fahim and his confidantes from the Panjshir valley led the war against the Taliban, and Western intelligence officials also say that Russia and Iran are still funding Fahim.
Frustration boils in Afghanistan's Pashtuns
Paul WisemanUSA TODAY (07/30/2002)
Their villages have been bombed by U.S. warplanes. Their leaders have been murdered in broad daylight. Their beloved king has been confined to a ceremonial role while their traditional enemies have grabbed the most powerful posts in the land.
US-grown feminist's pace of reform riles Afghan women
Fariba Nawa The Christian Science Monitor (07/31/2002)
Few women in Afghanistan dare to be as bold as Nasrine Gross. In front of hardline clerics outside the grand assembly tent, a bare-headed Mrs. Gross in a black pantsuit lights her cigarette and takes a puff.
Realistic Plan To Save Afghanistan
William J. DurchThe Washington Post (07/30/2002)
Afghanistan, the front line in the U.S. war on terrorism, remains a dangerous place. As the fight against al Qaeda continues, the second struggle ? to keep Afghanistan from lapsing back into anarchy ? shows signs of stalling.
Killing Of Pashtun Minister Qadir Leaves Karzai Vulnerable
Ron SynovitzRadio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (07/08/2002)
The list of potential suspects named in the Afghan and international press includes remaining fighters of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, numerous business and political rivals in Qadir's native Nangarhar Province, members of the Panjshiri-led faction of the former Northern Alliance, Afghan drug-smuggling cartels, and even Pakistan's ISI intelligence service.
Afghans fill up Bamiyan caves with life
Mark MemmottUSA Today (06/28/2002)
The giant Buddhas that looked down on this valley for centuries are gone. Only huge holes remain.
In Afghanistan, think small
C. Helton The Christian Science Monitor (06/25/2002)
The chaos around Afghanistan's raucous loya jirga (grand assembly), which ended late last week, reflects the messiness of state-building. Insecurity remains rampant there, and consensus has not yet emerged for the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force beyond Kabul. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has asserted that American forces would not be part of any peacekeeping force. Instead, Western governments plan to help build an indigenous army and police force to suppress quarreling warlords and bandits already exploiting the post-Taliban security vacuum. But building an effective police force will take years, and security is an urgent concern.
The politics of oil
G Parthasarathy Rediff.com (06/22/2002)
As the Bush administration proceeds with its war against terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, it has found that apart from the ever reliable Tony Blair, it also has a valuable friend and ally in Russian President Vladimir Putin.