Sunday, October 11, 2015

News Article - Mullah Mansour

The new head of the Taliban - Mullah Akhtar Muhammand Mansour - is profiled by Joseph Goldstein in The New York Times (Oct 4, 2015) in this comprehensive news report. Some interesting tidbits - during the Taliban's reign in the late 1990s Mansour was the Chief of Aviation (when the govt had very little planes) and head of the Tourism Department (when there were very little tourists). However, since that time ". . . Mullah Mansour became central to the group's reincarnation as a powerful insurgency that survived NATO offensives to pose a grave threat now to the Western-backed Afghan government." Mansour's status as head of the Taliban has increased with the recent success of the Taliban in occupying a provincial capital (Kunduz City) for the first time since 2001. This should alleviate some of the leadership challenges he faces. He is also heavily supported by Pakistan's intelligence agency which is helping to consolidate his hold on power within the Taliban leadership. Goldstein's article is probably one of the more informative pieces of work on the new head of the Taliban. Read "Taliban's New Leader Strengthens His Hold With Intrigue and Battlefield Victory".

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