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The resurgence of the neo-Taliban (good article) Rate Topic: -----

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 09:12 AM

The resurgence of the neo-Taliban

A potent mix of ideology, ethnicity, strategy and social discontent fuels intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan, says Antonio Giustozzi. From openDemocracy.

By Antonio Giustozzi for openDemocracy (17/12/07)
http://www.isn.ethz....ls.cfm?ID=18466

The re-emergence of the neo-Taliban in Afghanistan is hardly breaking news, but the reasons for its spreading influence in the last two years have rarely been reported, much less explained.

Until 2006, its campaign was confined largely to the Pashtun heartland south of the Hindu Kush mountains, but as of late 2007 it has established communication- and supply-lines in the west, north and northeast of the country, through which are being channeled fighters and munitions in order to open new fronts against international forces.

Western observers have been puzzled how the neo-Taliban has encroached on areas inhabited mainly by ethnic minorities, where traditionally they have been viewed as a Pashtun movement and received lukewarm support - at best.

This brief article attempts a provisional answer to this question (for an extended study of the neo-Taliban, see Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Resurgence of the Neo-Taliban in Afghanistan [C Hurst, 2007]).

A strategy of expansion

The neo-Taliban's achievement in widening its sphere of influence is all the more remarkable given that the movement's fighters are recklessly brave - a fact remarked on by coalition troops - but tactically often na
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