Thursday, March 5, 2015

News Report - Who Are the Taliban?

So just who are the Taliban? There are lots of opinions out there but one that comes closest to the truth is reflected in an article by Ankit Panda - "Afghanistan's 'Complex' Insurgency", The Diplomat, February 19, 2015. The group has lost its monolithic identity. The various Taliban groups have differing types of ideology and various degrees of religious viewpoints. Many are looking more and more like regional criminal networks. This provides opportunities and challenges. On one hand, it becomes more difficult to conduct peace talks with Taliban representatives who don't really represent the various insurgent groups. On the other hand, the fractured nature of the Taliban is a benefit for the ever-increasingly competent Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and for the possibilities of reintegrating small groups at a time back into Afghan society.

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