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From the beginning, events in Andar had a surrealistic air.

The Battle for Schools in Ghazni – or, Schools as a Battlefield, Afghanistan Analysts Network

“Now it’s a bit of a mess,” said one Western diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It started as an anti-Taliban type thing, then Hezb-i-Islami moved in, then the government and the N.D.S. got involved and there are lots of different players, and that makes the people who started the whole thing suspicious.”

Ragtag Revolts in Parts of Afghanistan Repel Taliban, New York Times

The question, then, is whether this uprising started as an organic rebellion, remains one, or was never one to begin with.

An 'Afghan Summer' of Revolt, AfPak Channel


1979

Early resistance to the Soviet occupation is secular.

Most of the armed groups were formed locally and mobilized by local communities, landlords, and strongmen. Organized Islamist input was marginal.

Taliban Networks in Afghanistan, U.S. Naval War College

The revolt was secular and the leadership was secular. The local mullahs and imams might accompany the guerrillas, but seldom in a leadership role.

The Soviet-Afghan War: A Superpower Mired in the Mountains, U.S. Foreign Military Studies Office

Taj Mohammed Qari Baba, a religious scholar with Harakat-e Inqilab, begins armed resistance to the Soviet occupation. He is an early example of religious leadership of the insurgency.
 
Once engaged in resistance, he quickly gained a reputation for cruelty and mercilessness. Anybody suspected of being "a communist" – reportedly it would suffice to be a teacher, to wear pants, or to carry a mustache but no beard – would be killed, often in brutal ways.

Understanding Warlordism, Peace Research Institute Oslo

1989

After the Soviet withdraw, Qari Baba makes a ceasefire agreement with the Najibullah government. In return for the ceasefire, Qari Baba gets money.

1992

During the Mujahideen period, Qari Baba is governor of Ghazni.

He was reputed to be firm on his enemies – the "dictator" being one of his many nicknames – and he certainly played on this violent reputation to instill fear and respect. At the same time, however, Qari Baba aimed at building a proto-state, encouraging local business, promoting health and education services, and collecting local taxes.

Understanding Warlordism, Peace Research Institute Oslo

Qari Baba and the Harakat faction control most of the province. Some villages are under the control of Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin. The two factions are occasionally at war.
Commanders of the two factions would, at various points, shell villages controlled by the other.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

1995

The Taliban has taken Kandahar. Hezb-i Islami counters Taliban movement into the city of Ghazni. Qari Baba's second-in-command, Khial Mohammad Hussaini, negotiates for the Taliban to take the city.

Hekmatyar’s attack in Ghazni in 1995 forced a tenuous alliance between the province’s governor Taj Mohammad Qari Baba, a top Harakat-e Inqelab-e Islami commander, and the Taliban, which led to the Taliban’s takeover of Wardak and Logar.

The Insurgency in Afghanistan's Heartland, International Crisis Group

1996

Having taken Ghazni, the Taliban take Kabul. The Taliban make Qari Baba governor of Ghazni.

The objectives of the Taliban harmonized with the traditional Islamic order maintained by Qari Baba in Ghazni, and Harakat supporters in general seemed to integrate easily into the new movement.

Understanding Warlordism, Peace Research Institute Oslo

The United States-led military campaign that began on Oct. 7 has succeeded in eradicating most of the Taliban and Al Qaeda from Afghanistan, but it has returned to power nearly all of the same warlords who had misruled the country in the days before the Taliban.

Afghan Warlords and Bandits Are Back in Business, New York Times


December 2001

Hamid Karzai appoints Qari Baba as Governor of Ghazni.

From the beginning, Baba was critical to the presence of international forces, and this evolved into a major disagreement with Karzai. He served as governor only until late 2002, when Karzai removed him.

Understanding Warlordism, Peace Research Institute Oslo

June 2002

An aircraft carrying U.S. Special Forces crashes on take-off in Andar district, killing three.

Late 2002

Hamid Karzai appoints anti-Taliban commander Assadullah Khalid (Ittihad-i Islami) as Governor of Ghazni. Khalid is a Karzai loyalist from Nawa district.

2003

Ghazni province is relatively peaceful. Corruption and harassment by U.S.-backed security forces is growing. Stories of sexual abuse in U.S. detention are making the rounds.

[A] couple of farmers irrigating their farms at night in Pirzada village near Ghazni city were arrested after an American military convoy was ambushed nearby. What happened to them later is not clear, but the village people claimed the old "farmers were sexually abused in detention by the Americans".

Decoding the New Taliban, Columbia University Press

A Taliban insurgency begins making inroads in Ghazni.
In 2003, two years after the Taleban regime was forced from power, a new generation of Taleban, who had mostly been madrassa students during the Emirate, started to take up arms in Andar against the government and foreign forces.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

A United Nations refugee worker is killed by gunmen who had pulled up beside her car in Ghazni city.

Schools for girls are sometimes rocketed or burned.

April 2005

A U.S. helicopter crashes near Ghazni city, killing 16.

May 2005

A candidate for parliament is killed in Deh Yak district.

June 2005

Hamid Karzai appoints anti-Taliban commander Sher Alam Ibrahimi (Ittihad-i Islami) as governor. Sher Alam is previous governor Asadullah Khalid's brother in law.

Afghan government officials appropriate land near Ghazni, to create a "returnee village." The best plots of land are given to government officials. Sher Alam, Asadullah Khalid, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and others will work together in various land grab schemes.

The U.S. begins building a road from Ghazni through Andar into Paktika province. Andar Taliban commander Mullah Farouq negotiates to allow construction if government security forces are kept out. The government turns down the deal.

Qari Baba offers to take on security. His offer is accepted. Qari Baba's men, with government security help, fail to protect road construction from attack. The government quietly accepts the Taliban plan for no security guards.

The road was constructed with no or only random presence of security forces.

Decoding the New Taliban, Columbia University Press

August 2005

U.S. forces arrest Qari Baba.

Confirming the arrest, Major Dost Mohammad, operation chief of the 24-Thunder Battalion told Pajhwok Afghan News the ANA and coalition forces jointly raided Qari Baba's house and taken him into custody besides recovering some arms from his residence.

Former Ghazni governor arrested, Pajhwok

December 2005

Prisoners in Ghazni are held in a crumbling old fort. They cannot remember how long they have been in. They do not know the length of their sentence. They do not know the status of their case. No defense is provided. If judges resolve a case in a prisoner's favor, prosecutors do not let the prisoner out.

It's December on a high plateau in the mountains. Prisoners have no heat.

Predictably, Ghazni justice officials pointed out several shortcomings in the new facilities.

PRT Ghazni First Provincial Justice Conference Identifies Areas For Improvement, U.S. Embassy Kabul

February 2006

Qari Baba has been released from prison. The U.S. and Ghazni governor Sher Alam negotiate various schemes what to do with him.

Governor Sher Alam apparently proposed setting up Qari Baba (or one of his residual sub-commanders) at the head of a 100-person militia, which Sher Alam would supply with motorcycles and small arms.

Governor Considers Supporting New Armed Groups, U.S. Embassy Kabul

In another proposal, Sher Alam suggests Dawlat Khan to head his private militia.

Dawlat Khan, as chief of police in remote Nawa district, has been shaking down shopkeepers and engaging in other banditry. Sher Alam had wanted to replace Dawlat with someone more professional. The U.S., having good working relations with Dawlat, had wanted him retained.

[I]n recent weeks Ghazni Governor Sher Alam and Deputy Police Chief Colonel Ali have talked of replacing him with a more professional officer. PRT and maneuver commanders recommended against removing him at this time, but suggested monitoring and mentoring him more closely.

Nawa, Ghazni's Lost District, U.S. Embassy Kabul

Sher Alam removes Dawlat after demands from a shura of Nawa elders. Sher Alam replaces Dawlat with a crony who comes with his own militia. Dawlat is then set up as a private militia in Gelan district.
Sher Alam provided Dawlat Khan's force with three motorcycles, an unknown number of AK-47s, and food.

Governor Considers Supporting New Armed Groups, U.S. Embassy Kabul

The private militia plan is short lived. Dawlat Khan is made official Gelan chief of police.

March 2006

Andar Taliban commander Mullah Farouq assassinates Qari Baba.

"He [Qari Baba] has told the governor [Sher Alam] last year that he will protect the road by his own force and will eliminate any Taliban fighter in Andar if they disturbed. Now, we showed that we are those who can eliminate, not him," said Farouq.

Decoding the New Taliban, Columbia University Press

On the same day, Taliban attempts to assassinate Sher Alam.

Full responsibility for the attacks is murky. Hezb-i Islami players may or may not be involved.

While few observers dispute the involvement of the Taliban, there are several versions of the story.

Understanding Warlordism, Peace Research Institute Oslo

“Taliban and Hekmatyar’s men are believed to be behind this cowardly attack,” Jan said.

Taleban Kill Former Governor Qari Baba, Agence France-Presse

Provincial security chief Abdul Wakil Kamyab rounds up suspects for questioning.
He said the detainees were being investigated to get clue about the terrorist incident.

Four arrested in Qari Baba murder case

May 2006

Taliban assassinate former Paktika governor Mohammad Ali Jalali in Andar district.

August 2006

A school headmaster is gunned down for refusing to stop educating girls.

September 2006

The U.S. launches Operation Mountain Fury.

Finally the US military ran out of patience with the fact that the Taliban could hit their main base in Ghazni city with rockets from a stronghold a few kilometers away.

Decoding the New Taliban, Columbia University Press

Over seven thousand troops are involved in Operation Mountain Fury, including a sizable contingent of Afghan security forces. "Approximately 4,000 Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Afghan National Border Police, along with approximately 3,000 U.S. Coalition forces in support, are conducting Mountain Fury in east-central Afghanistan," according to the Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan press release.

Operation Mountain Fury in Eastern Afghanistan, Long War Journal

Taliban leaders and most of the ordinary fighters stayed hidden in their homes and nearby villages. Some others went to Ghazni and Kabul cities, hiring rooms in hotels until the operation was over.

Decoding the New Taliban, Columbia University Press

September 2006

Ghazni governor Sher Alam is accused of involvement in the land-stealing plot in the Paghman district of Kabul. Sher Alam tries to hang on to power by threatening to take his militia with him if he is sacked. The U.S. military favors retaining him. Hamid Karzai sacks Sher Alam despite U.S. objection.

Hamid Karzai appoints Merajuddin Patan as governor.

Merajuddin has little money to run the province. He warns the U.S. that if he cannot get funds, he will have his men collect tolls from local roads.

The governor of Qarabagh district quits, after Taliban kidnap his son.

Spring 2007

Two Taliban factions control Ghazni province. A relatively less harsh group in central Andar district, and a harsher group to the southeast. Mullah Farouq with the Andar group targets NGO development projects. The southeast groups forces the closing of schools.

Taliban are growing corrupt. Rivalry between Taliban and Hezb-i Islami is increasing. Taliban are killing suspected government spies and collaborators.

Given recent conditions in the area, the United States is optimistic.

Ghazni's citizens are experiencing greater optimism and higher expectations.

PRT Ghazni: Six Month Report, U.S. Embassy Kabul

April 2007

Taliban fighters launch an assault on Giro district. They kill the district administrator, the chief of police, and three police officers.

July 2007

A group of Evangelical Christians from South Korea is traveling by bus from Kandahar to Kabul. They are stopped and kidnapped in Ghazni province. Media reports that this is by an armed group of Taliban insurgents.

“The Koreans got hijacked by basically one dude with a Kalashnikov,” Captain Hagerman said.

Trouble on a Vital Road in Afghanistan, New York Times

The South Korean hostages are divvied up between the two Ghazni Taliban groups. The Taliban kills two male hostages when the government refuses an exchange for eight prisoners. Several weeks later, Taliban releases two female hostages as a sign of good will.

South Korean and Taliban negotiators reach an agreement. South Korea will withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. All South Korean missionaries will leave.

South Korea paid two million dollars to Taliban extremists in Afghanistan to secure the release of 19 hostages, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday.

Ransom paid for South Korean hostages, Agence France-Press

$4 million

A $4 Million Ransom?, Newsweek

$5 million

For the Taliban, A Crime That Pays, Newsweek

$10 million

Sending More Missionaries to Afghanistan Dangerous, The Korea Times

$20 million

EXCLUSIVE-Taliban Say S.Korea Paid Over $20 mln Ransom, Reuters

September 2007

Hamid Karzai appoints Faizanullah Faizan (Hezb-i Islami Gulbuddin) as governor. Faizan is from Andar district.

Karzai may be gambling that Faizan retains enough credibility with insurgent fellow-travelers in Ghazni to lure them into an accommodation with the government.

Four New Governors Appointed as New Governance Czar Takes Office, U.S Embassy Kabul

Early 2008

Taliban seek broader support. Young fighters from Hezb-i Islami families take up with them.

While the key figures in this resurgent local movement still remain the young men who were madrassa students under the Emirate, after 2007, they became more open to membership of the non-madrassa educated or the totally uneducated people. Among the newcomers were fighters from families who were traditionally not allied to the Taleban, due to their affiliation with former mujahedin factions. They included a few insurgents from Hezbi families.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

Two brothers, Rahmatullah and Abdul Malek, will later be the core of what gets called the Andar Uprising. At this point, they are among the Hezb-i Islami-affiliated group taking up with the Taliban.

Rahmatullah is arrested by the U.S. and imprisoned at Bagram.

March 2008

Hamid Karzai appoints Shir Khosti as governor. Shir Khosti has been an English-language broadcaster on television, and had lived in the United States for 30 years. He is liked by Americans.

Shir Khosti is a former lieutenant to previous governor Merajuddin Patan. Americans are hoping for improvement.

There was considerable skepticism among U.S. officers at the time [2004], in part due to his informal status, and in part due to his ties to Patan, who was suspected of large-scale corruption. However, Khosti's tenure should be an improvement over the five-month governorship of Faizan, who, early on, lost the confidence of the population in his management ability and was flagrant in displaying the fruits of his corruption.

New Governor Appointments Confirm IDLG's Role, U.S. Embassy Kabul

May 2008

Hamid Karzai appoints Usman Usmani as Governor of Ghazni.

A PRT platoon leader is killed by an IED.

July 2008

Aafia Siddiqui, a Brandis-educated neuroscientist and a Seven Most Wanted Terrorist, is wandering bedraggled outside the Governor's compound in Ghazni. She is brought in for questioning. Many American interrogators are brought in the next day. A gunfight occurs. Siddiqui is shot in the torso.

October 2008

Polish troops take charge of NATO operations in Ghazni province. Their approach is less aggressive than the Americans.

"For me the critical thing is to be non-kinetic," he said, employing Nato-speak for not shooting.

"After a couple of operations, we realised the less aggressive we were the more effective we were. I recommend not so many troops knocking down doors every night, but instead to sit down and drink tea, discuss what the people need, and bring them closer to the coalition," he said.

The reference to knocking down doors at night is clear to anyone who has spent more than a couple of days here. It is a dig at US special forces, who have a reputation for raiding Afghan houses in the middle of the night, on the basis of intelligence that can be accurate or inaccurate, causing a disproportionate number of civilian casualties.

Poles apart from the Americans' aggression, Guardian

December 2008

The Andar district governor is assassinated outside his residence in Ghazni city.

March 2009

Governor Usman Usmani, under fire for corruption, fires two district governors, and threatens to fire more.

April 2009

The Ghazni Provincial Council demands removal of Governor Usman Usmani, for corruption and abuse of power.

In a written complaint to the Parliament, the council said corruption in Ghazni included the smuggling of chromite; the theft of gasoline tankers; the sale of passports for $300; the sale of government jobs; and the support of illegal armed militias.

Afghan Lawmakers Accuse a Governor of Graft, New York Times

May 2009

The district governor for Ab Band is arrested for involvement in the food aid stealing plot.

A candidate for Ghazni Provincial Council is kidnapped.

Preparations for elections and related activity continued relatively peacefully in Ghazni during the month of May.

May In Ghazni: Governor Absent, U.S. Embassy Kabul

July 2009

Two Air Force Captains die when their F-15E crashes in Ghazni province.

August 2009

The Presidential Palace gives $160,000 to Governor Usmani, to pay for election day security militias. Usmani keeps $100,000, and divides the rest between district governors in the Pashtun districts. No election day security is actually provided.

elections in Zanakhan were "completely transparent" -- because no one actually voted and Hassan had stuffed the ballot boxes.

Ghazni Governor Fires Two District Governors, Hints At Further Dismissals, U.S. Embassy Kabul

A Polish helicopter is shot down by machine gun fire. Nobody aboard is injured.

September 2009

Afghan National Army soldiers drag popular anti-American Mullah Shams al-Din out of his mosque in Ghazni city. His bullet-riddled body is found the next day. Violent anti-American protests result.

December 2009

The BBC reports rumors that Osama bin Laden is hiding in Ghazni province.

Government corruption schemes are widely known. The schemes include misappropriating government land, chromite smuggling, theft of emergency wheat shipments and aid money, contractor shakedowns, and taking of militia funds.

These conversations paint a picture of criminal enterprise masquerading as public administration in Ghazni. Although the PRT has no capacity to confirm the allegations raised, the consistency of reports alleging corruption among senior government officials is striking. Long-standing criminal operations centered on Deh Yak District Governor Hajji Fazil, Ghazni City Mayor Hakimullah Ghazniwal, Meshrano Jirga member and Tajik community leader Mawlana Abdul Rahman, and Director of Reconstruction and Rural Development Sanai Mayel -- with significant involvement by current Ghazni Governor Usman Usmani.

Pervasive Corruption Undermining Ghazni Province’s Public Administration, U.S. Embassy Kabul

Late 2009

Hezb-affiliated powerbrokers get Rahmatullah released from Bagram.

Rahmatullah returned to the frontline, this time, as a mid-level local commander of the Taleban on the district level, leading a group of around one dozen men. But after a few months, they were disarmed and the group dismantled for what was termed 'jihadi misconduct’ – in this case, spreading ideas different from the mainstream local Taleban’s, especially on the issues of schools, development work and attitudes towards Hezb-e Islami.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

January 2010

The Kwaja Omri district governor is killed in a roadside bomb attack.

May 2010

Hamid Karzai appoints Musa Khan Ahmadzai (Ittihad-i Islami) as Governor of Ghazni.

June 2010

A Polish soldier is killed in an attack on his convoy.

A suicide car bomber kills six in an attack on the Andar police station.

July 2010

A NATO airstrike mistakenly kills five Afghan National Army soldiers in Andar district.

September 2010

Pashtuns in Ghazni almost entirely boycott the election, or are intimidated from participating, or have no polling station open.

After the election, the Moqur district chief resigns in protest: Governor Musa Khan had asked the district chief to work in support of particular candidates, and offered money for it. The newly-selected district chief had been a part of the scheme.

A Polish soldier dies from a roadside bomb attack.

A NATO airstrike kills four civilians in Andar district.

A suicide bomber kills Deputy Governor Mohammad Kazim Allahyar and five others.

In Kabul, after getting news of the suicide bombing of the Deputy Governor, Hamid Karzai delivers an address for International Literacy Day.  

"Our sons cannot go to school because of bombs and suicide attacks. Our teachers cannot go to school because of clashes and threats of assassination. Schools are closed," he said.

Referring to his three-year-old son, he added: "I want him to go to school here, I swear to God I'm worried, I'm worried, oh people, I'm worried."

Weeping Karzai laments Afghan woes, BBC

U.S. newspapers begin playing up stories that Hamid Karzai is manic depressive.

December 2010

Afghanistan's election commission, defying Hamid Karzai, certifies election results giving all of Ghazni's seats to Hazara minority members. The Afghan attorney general opens a criminal probe against Afghan and international election commission members, accusing them of accepting bribes and falsifying vote tallies.

Hamid Karzai nominates Ghazni province Hazaras for the national ministries of commerce and public works. The nominees are voted down. One of the nominees had decided he didn't really want to be caught between Hamid Karzai and Mohammad Mohaqiq anyway.

April 2011

The United States has forced South Korea to renege on its deal with the Taliban. A South Korean military base falls under frequent attack from rocket-propelled grenade.

The attacks seem a Taliban statement against South Korea's presence in Afghanistan. Seoul promised in 2007 to withdraw troops in exchange for the release of South Korean missionaries who were taken hostage by the Taliban. However, in 2009 the South reneged on its pledge, and at the request of the United States has sent an increased number of personnel.

   
South Korea revisits Afghan hostage horror
, Asia Times

May 2011

Taliban kill the Andar district police chief.

Six police are killed in an ambush in Deh Yak district.

Motorbikes are banned in Deh Yak. The Taliban responds by closing schools. The government relents on the motorbike ban.

Watan Risk Management is a private security firm with Karzai family connections. Amid corruption allegations, and after a civilian shooting in Wardak, the government bans the firm. One thousand trucks sit stalled on the endpoints of the Kabul-Kandahar road. The government relents on the ban on the security company.

June 2011

A suicide bomber attacks a police checkpoint in Qara Bagh district, killing six.

July 2011

Taliban kill a nine-year-old girl in a rocket attack on Ghazni city. The level of rocketing of the city had been negotiated with governor Musa Khan.

"[P]eople might be surprised by what I am saying, but yes I permitted [the Taliban] to fire two rockets at the city. Those people whose minds we have won over and those people who had contacts with us did not want to fire rockets at this Muslim city but they were under pressure from their command centre. They contacted me and I told them that they should exercise all caution and that it is OK to fire a couple of rockets at the city."

Tragedy of a Secret Deal, Afghanistan Today

The rocketing deal had been arranged in an effort to bring two Taliban commanders into the peace process.
“Negotiations with the [local] Taliban have been going well and 200 opposition fighters under two Taliban commanders will join the peace process in the very near future,” said Akbarzada, who has been criticized for his lack of results in brokering any reconcilliation with local insurgent groups or individual fighters.

Tragedy of a Secret Deal, Afghanistan Today

August 2011

Taliban kill four members of Watan Risk Management in Ghazni. Dawlat Khan now heads the private security firm.

September 2011

The Ab Band district police chief is killed.

The Waghiz district police chief is killed in a bomb attack.

November 2011

The Rashidan district police chief is killed.

Taliban kidnap two dozen Afghan National Police in Khogyani district.

December 2011

Five Polish soldiers are killed by a roadside bomb.

Early 2012

Taliban rule in the area is exceptionally harsh.

The Taleban in Andar had imposed exceptional rules that are probably applied nowhere else in Taleban-land.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

March 2012

The Ghazni provincial head of rural development escapes from prison. He had been sentenced to six months for bribery, embezzlement and corruption.

April 2012

The Taliban forces closing of schools in Andar and Deh Yak district.

“Taliban closed the schools because the Afghan government banned biking in the area,” he said, adding if the government does not cooperate to reopen the schools thousands of students would be deprived of education.

“I was teaching in the school when Taliban came and ordered us not to come to school,” said Abdul Malik, a teacher in Andar district.

Taliban Shut Schools After Govt Ban Bikes, Pajhwok

From the beginning, events in Andar had a surrealistic air. A ban on motorcycles – or better, a comprehensive attempt on the part of the government to reduce the number of unregistered bikes in circulation – may sound a strange casus belli. But bikes are a main means of transportation of the insurgents. So, in late April, the Taleban responded to the motorcycle ban by ordering the closure of all schools in the province.

The Battle for Schools in Ghazni – or, Schools as a Battlefield, Afghanistan Analysts Network

Rahmatullah splinters from the Taliban. This is the beginning of the Andar Uprising.
Almost all of his group members, around 14 people, had Hezbi links and had been convinced by him to fight according to a new strategy, one that was different and even in opposition to the Taleban’s. They would not attack Afghan security forces, nor would they prevent development work in the area. They quickly even went a step further: to put a halt to those preventing development work and closing schools.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

Early news reports and official statements describe the uprising as a Hezb-i Islami movement.
What further strengthens the notion that it was a Hezb confrontation with the Taleban based on their different approaches and doctrines of jihad in the beginning are statements issued by the insurgent branch of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb weeks after the first skirmishes took place.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

Taliban capture Rahmatullah's bother, Abdul Malek.

May 2012

Taliban launch an assault on Rahmatullah's forces. The Taliban is repelled. Rahmatullah is wounded, and goes to hospital in Kabul. He will stay in Kabul and not return home.

The Andar Uprising starts gaining support from Hezb-i Islami and other local and national officials. Former governor Faizanullah Faizan gives support. Former governor and soon-to-be National Directorate of Security head Assadullah Khalid is a major power behind the movement. The uprising expands control. Combined U.S./Afghan forces provide assistance to the expansion.

As higher-level players become involved, and with U.S. backing for the uprising, U.S. and Afghan media drop mention of Hezb-i Islami in their reporting.

The whole media, including those who reported the first skirmish as a Hezb versus Taleban battle, also quickly switched to the official account. All mention of Hezb quickly faded, however, and the dominant and indeed only narrative soon became that of a popular uprising.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

Daud Sultanzoi, a former member of parliament from Ghazni, believes the movement is wary of accepting support from the government for fear that it could damage its legitimacy and its standing as a grass-roots movement.

"Anti-Taliban movements cannot have a sponsor and be identified with this government," he says. "As soon as this government touches anything it turns into evil. The government doesn't have the credibility to be the backbone for such uprisings. These uprisings need energy, which has to come from the people. But people cannot become energized because they say if we fight against the Taliban if the alternative is this government."

Afghan Villagers Hit Back Against Taliban, Radio Free Europe

U.S. Special Forces launch a clearing operation in Zana Khan district. A local shura is held. District Governor Musa Khan is helicoptered in. Media coverage by embedded reporters is arranged.
Within 30 minutes after the shura—or community meeting—ended in this village in eastern Ghazni province on Wednesday, we came under mortar fire from the Taliban.

“We have contact!” shouted the Polish International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander who was escorting us to the helicopter. “Run!”

Run we did, huffing and puffing under helmets and heavy body armor, a group of over-aged pretend soldiers—actually, just reporters--trying to understand a war that barely seems to exist most of the time. Until all of a sudden it does, rocketing in from nowhere.

‘Run!’ A Day on the Front Lines of Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, National Journal

The mortar rounds came in from the hills, spraying shrapnel as they sank into the red earth; long bursts of machine-gun and Kalashnikov fire followed, all aimed at the helicopter landing strip. The attack just missed its target – the aircraft in which the governor was leaving after a public meeting to celebrate the defeat and expulsion of the Taliban from this area.

Afghan Surprise in Ghazni Province, Independent

Afghan National Army units make deals with the Taliban to not protect NATO convoys on Ghazni roads.
“We lost seven men in an ambush when I first arrived at the base,” explained Afghan army lieutenant Mohammad Wali, who commands 18 men. “So I thought, why risk my life when there’s another way?”

Afghan Troops and Taliban in Pact to Loot NATO convoys, Sunday Times

June 2012

Khial Muhammad Hussaini, Qari Baba's former right-hand man, emails journalists about Hezb-e Islami, U.S., and other involvement in the uprising. He singles out Assadullah Khaled as a backer. Khail had earlier been involved in the uprising, but has turned against it.

He felt further betrayed when three of his involved commanders were killed and two wounded about two weeks after the Payendi battle. Sources close to Khial in Ghazni explained the fallout as a conflict over factional influence and that he smelt a coup against him by his Hezbi counterparts in Andar which deprived him of the agreed upon credit and privileges linked with the arbakai.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

A high school principal is assassinated.

Andar district residents march to the provincial capital and protest the fact that the Taleban had burnt down houses in Andar to punish the rebels.

A bicycle bomb in Ghazni city kills a student.

Taliban and militias fight in Andar and Dek Yak. Most schools are reopened.

Local residents in Ghazni province said they have started fight against the Taliban militants to reopen schools, clinics and resume other social activities which were blocked by Taliban fighters. They also said that no one has motivated them for the action.

Afghan villagers fighting Taliban militants killed in Ghazni, Khaama

The ‘rebel’ group in Andar is no traditional arbakai – where reliable elders select the members then ask for approval by the district government. In this case, recruitment to the militia has been based, rather, on personal relations with local strongmen like Faizan.

Who Fights Whom in the Andar Uprising?, Afghanistan Analysts Network

A U.S. helicopter is shot down in Qarabagh district, killing two.

Dawlat Khan is now police chief for nearby Paktika province. ISAF selects him to lecture on the acceptable behavior of local police.

July 2012

Uprising and Taliban forces temporarily settle into a stable stalemate about control of villages.

The U.S. launches a raid on Taliban in uprising-held Qadamkhel in Andar district.

The Ab Band deputy police chief is killed.

A suicide bomber targets the funeral for the father of a provincial intelligence official.

Uprising forces kill nine Taliban in Maqur district.

August 2012

Uprising forces attempt to take a new village. They are repulsed.

Faizanullah Faizan, former governor, and now the uprising’s self-proclaimed leader, is wounded in a suicide bombing assassination attempt.

The provincial council chief is assassinated.

Taliban assaults a Hezb stronghold village. They torch houses of uprising supporters and kill five.

Uprising forces begin splintering and fighting each other.

U.S. Special Forces attack a Taliban house.

an insurgent attack

US Forces-Afghanistan casualties, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan

Two U.S. Special Forces soldiers are killed.  

September 2012

Some uprising supporters are surrendering their weapons to the Taliban. A few are rejoining with it.

Two guards of a private security company are killed in a roadside bomb attack in Andar district. The guards were escorting a NATO convoy.

The Andar district police chief survives a bomb attack near the governor's compound in Ghazni city.

Somewhere in Ghazni province, U.S. Special Forces are conducting a security meeting with unidentified Afghans. Taliban opens machine gun fire on the meeting. One person is injured.

On the same day, U.S. Special Forces are operating a checkpoint on the Kabul-Kandahar road, in Wardak province near the border with Ghazni. Afghan National Army soldiers are nearby.

Only two days after joint operations between American and Afghan forces were said to be returning to normal, five people — two Americans and three Afghans — were killed when a pitched battle broke out between soldiers of the two sides, American and Afghan officials said Sunday.

5 Are Dead After Clash Between U.S. and Afghan Troops, New York Times

Americans might have fired first, or Afghans. Insurgents, who might or might not have been present, and might or might not have been Taliban, might or might not have fired mortars to trigger the battle. Accounts of the battle are conflicting.

Sergeant First Class Riley Stephens is the 2000th U.S. combat death in Afghanistan. And no one really knows what happened.

[T]he gunbattle was the result of a "misunderstanding".

US and Afghan forces clash, leaving 5 dead, Associated Press

Originally posted to Garrett on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH and Group W: Resisting War.

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