Understanding the Taliban and Insurgency in Afghanistan

Johnson, Thomas H.; Mason, M. Chris
January 2007
Orbis;Jan2007, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p71
Academic Journal
Abstract: Afghanistan is in danger of capsizing in a perfect storm of insurgency that mimics operations and tactics witnessed in Iraq. This article assesses this insurgency and the re-emergent Taliban. The common view of the Taliban as simply a radical Afghan Islamist movement is overly simple, for that organization has been able to build on tribal kinship networks and a charismatic mullah phenomenon to mobilize a critical and dynamic rural base of support. This support, buttressed by Talib reinforcements from Pakistan''s border areas, is enough to frustrate the U.S.-led Coalition''s counterinsurgency strategy. At the operational level, the Taliban is fighting a classic �war of the flea,� while the Coalition continues to fight the war largely according to the Taliban �game plan.� This is resulting in its losing the war in Afghanistan one Pashtun village at a time.


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