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What to Watch in the Elections (2): Polling station lists

Elections in Afghanistan can be overwhelming, surreal and utterly confusing, even for those who have followed the politics of the country for a long time. To bring those who were not here during previous elections up to speed, and to remind those who may have forgotten the details of what it was like, AAN’s Martine […]

Guest Blog: Reconciliation Reloaded in Khost

Once there was the Strengthening Peace programme, with it provincial branches, like here in Khost, to ‘reintegrate’ willing insurgent fighters. It failed because of corruption and a lack of political support. Now, there is its successor programme APRP, and it is unclear whether that’s just a new name on the same project. Our guest blogger […]

Destruction is Rebuilding, or: Fare thee well, population-centric COIN

Words and deeds differ more and more in the US strategy in Afghanistan. A blogger made AAN’s Senior Analyst Thomas Ruttig think about her question ‘Is This What Population-centric Counterinsurgency Looks Like?’, remember some reports he read recently and conclude that the answer is ‘no’. Yesterday, we added a blogdescribing – and carrying a photo of […]

A Taleban ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign

The recent string of attacks, seemingly aimed at hitting in the heart of Afghan cities in a spectacular and murderous manner, continues. Starting from the battle at the Kandahar central police station on 12 February, in a ten-day span four more attacks – unlike the former aimed at soft, largely civilian targets – hit population […]

2010 Elections 18: A look at the first Khost ballot sheets (updated)

Since a few days, the IEC posts – as promised in its pre-election transparency offensive – copies of the ‘result and tally sheets’ from the polling stations (PSt, vulgo: the boxes) on its website. This will make it difficult to tamper with the content of the boxes, i.e. stuff additional ballots into them post festum, […]

2010 Elections 10: The Case of Ahmadkhel

Up in the mountains along the border between Paktia and Khost provinces, where proud and strong tribes live and Taleban and HIG fighters roam, lies the district of Ahmadkhel. It is named after one particular branch of the large Dzadzi tribe(*), funnily enough after the one which is smaller in number there. Another subtribe, the […]

Finishing the unfinished election (1): Helmand, Khost and Farah

As the final provincial council results are being finally and gradually released, an early analysis of the figures shows that the fraud in the provincial council election has, unsurpisingly, been largely left untouched. The IEC audit that disqualified over a million votes focused solely on the presidential election and the need to arrive at some […]