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History not repeating itself in Afghanistan

By Javid Ahmad and Ahmad K. Majidyar- Twenty five years ago this month, the last Soviet soldier marched out of Afghanistan, bringing an end to a nine year occupation that cost the lives of 15,000 Soviet troops and more than a million Afghans. With the close of the Cold War, the West lost interest in…

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Hamid Karzai: The kingmaker?

By Omar Samad – The controversial release of 65 detainees this week from Bagram Airbase is only the latest bilateral bone of contention between Kabul and Washington. Like many of…

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Afghan Team Wins South Asia Football Championship

Afghan Team Wins South Asia Football Championship

(Photo by Kandahar Governor’s office) Afghan Analytica - Afghanistan won its first international football trophy ever on Wednesday, beating India 2-0 in the South Asian Football Federation championship in Kathmandu,…

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The two 9/11s

The two 9/11s

(Photo by Peikar) By Farhad Peikar , New York - For the past 12 years, the September 11 date has grimly powerful connotations in the annals of world history. But…

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Is Dobbins misreading the nature of the Afghan conflict?

By Omar Samad – The Afghan government on Sunday reacted angrily at the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins’ comment that there “ already is of course…

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Should India change its Afghan strategy?

By Farhad Peikar – President Karzai and Vice President Karim Khalili travelled to Islamabad and New Delhi in the past days respectively. The trips to the nuclear-armed arch-rivals were aimed…

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Regaining the public trust

By Omar Samad – Despite the recent repudiation of elections by the Afghan Taliban’s fugitive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, and despite the increased bloodshed experienced by Afghans this year, there…

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First Afghan-American Roundtable at the White House

Parnian Nazary – Special for Afghan Analytica On August 2, in an unprecedented move, more than 30 members of the Afghan-American community from various states were invited to a roundtable…

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U.S. Must Prioritize the Afghan Peace Talks

Farid Ahmad - In his annual Eid message on August 6th, the Taliban leader Mullah Omar said his militant group was willing to resume peace negotiations, even as he called…

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John Kerry’s Message to Pakistan

by Omar Samad Secretary of State John Kerry had several important messages to deliver to Pakistani leaders this week in Islamabad, but one stood out in terms of its strategic…

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Afghanistan: 40 Years of Hard Lessons

By Omar Samad - The fall of modern Afghanistan’s 225 year-old monarchy 40 years ago this week was a watershed moment in the country’s history. It defined, to a large…

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Election antics in Kabul

By Omar Samad – In less than nine months, the most important political event to happen in Afghanistan in four decades is expected to produce the first-ever peaceful transfer of…

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Nader Naderi on transition in 2014

Light News Bites

• Days before a planned visit by President Karzai to Islamabad, Afghan and Pakistani national soccer teams met for a match in Kabul—their first such contest in 37 years. A capacity crowd of around 7,000 filled the stadium amid heavy security. The Afghan side's 3-0 victory touched off a raucous street celebration, boosting Afghan national pride as foreign forces withdraw, international aid dries up and the Pakistani-backed insurgency keeps up its attacks. (WSJ)
At the sentencing hearing of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, Haji Mohammed Naim, 60, from the village where Bales killed 16 civilians in March 2012 testified: "That bastard stood right in front of me, I wanted to ask him: 'What did I do? What have I done to you?'" A jury will decide whether Bales will get life in prison or be eligible for parole. His guilty plea in June means Bales won't face the death penalty. (Newswires)
• On August 8th the Afghan Air Force (AAF) conducted its first independent air assault operation. In the past AAF helicopters were part of larger NATO air operations and under NATO command. Operating from Jalalabad airfield, over a dozen AAF helicopters (Mi-17 armed transports and Mi-35 gunships) worked with a brigade of Afghan infantry to clear two districts under the Taliban rule.. (Strategy Page)
• A music concert organized last week in Afghanistan’s central Bamyan province to mark International Youth Day drew an audience of thousands from all over the country. Masoud Hassanzada, singer for the rock band ‘Morcha’ said: “We perform rock music is a new way… but people understand our messages. The poetry we use is about the daily life of Afghans, social issues and politics.” He added: “I think no political process can be successful without cultural support.” (UNAMA)
• Afghan Attorney-General Muhammad Isaaq Aloko has kept his job despite a decision by an angry President Hamid Karzai to sack him over an unauthorized approach to the Taliban. Aleko denies the claim. (Reuters)