Author Archives: Kate Clark

About Kate Clark

The ‘Other Bagram’ (1): A Memorandum for handover

President Karzai’s legal advisor, Nasrullah Stanekzai, has confirmed to AAN that there will be detention without trial of Afghans by Afghans when the Detention Facility at Parwan (DFIP), also referred to simply as ‘Bagram’, is handed over to Afghan government control, at the latest, on 8 September 2012. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by […]

Afghan New Year: Sal-e Naw Mubarak

Three swallows were sighted in the skies over Kabul by members of the AAN team this week – a welcome harbinger of spring after this year’s long, cold winter. They disappeared again, as a dust storm racked Kabul on the last day of the Afghan year. Nawruz has now dawned, even with grey and gritty […]

The End of the Affair? Taleban Suspend Talks

The Taleban have announced that they are suspending talks with the Americans, only six weeks after the opening of their political office in Qatar. In a statement, they described the US approach as ‘shaky, erratic and vague’ and accused the Americans of breaching a memorandum of understanding which had been previously arrived at. This decision […]

Freeing the ‘Guantanamo Five’ 2: Kafka in Cuba

Five Taleban prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, whose release is a key demand of the Taleban, prior to/as part of peace talks, have said they are willing to be transferred to Qatar. President Karzai had said they had to be handed over to his government, but after a high level visit by Afghan officials, both Taleban […]

Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the Prisoners (amended)

Releasing Taleban from Guantanamo Bay is on the agenda – in the context of finding a negotiated end to the conflict. Four senior and one junior Taleban official may be freed, or exchanged for the captured US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl. The idea has caused consternation among some in the US Congress, as well as consternation […]

Talks Have Not Stopped Killing of Afghan Civilians

The number of Afghan civilians being killed in the war has risen yet again, according to UNAMA’s yearly assessment of civilian casualties for 2011. The eight per cent increase since 2010 (25 per cent increase since 2009) is largely due to the actions of ‘anti-government elements’, as the UN refers to the insurgents who are, […]

The Emperor’s New Clothes: The leaked NATO report on the Taleban

The BBC and The Times have obtained a classified NATO assessment of the Taleban. The leaked report, which has made headline news, has informed us that NATO thinks Pakistan is supporting the Taleban, that the Taleban are defiant and enjoy widespread support, that Afghans frequently prefer them to their corrupt government and that Afghan government […]

Talking and Killing in Early 2012

A series of suicide attacks have left dozens of people killed and injured in the last few days in southern Afghanistan. There was inevitable carnage among civilians when suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowded bazaar in Helmand on Wednesday (18 January) and at the entrance to the NATO base in Kandahar on Thursday. […]

Bargaining over US bases: Will they stay or will they go?

US intentions – what it wants or plans or thinks it might possibly do in Afghanistan after 2014 – are again in the news. Will Washington want bases? Will US soldiers ‘just’ be training Afghan troops or participate in fighting? And how many soldiers might remain in Afghanistan? On the Afghan side, both President Karzai […]

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