Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

How Taliban are evolving to compete in Afghanistan

< 1 min

Christian Science Monitor, 26 October 2017

In a report about an Afghan policeman in Logar pressure by the Taleban to qit his job, AAN’s Obaid Ali is extensively quoted about the changing character of the Taleban movement:

“This new generation is of course different from the Taliban of the 1990s,” says Obaid Ali, an insurgency expert with the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) in Kabul.

“They are locals, they are more radical, they are more religious-educated young people,” says Mr. Ali. “These people, while they study in religious schools, at the same time receive military training in Pakistan, and from there return to their home town, not only as a mullah, but also as a military commander.” (…)

Since 2008 the Taliban also began to portray themselves as multiethnic, and since 2014 began recruiting ethnic Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, and even Shiite Muslim Hazaras, says Ali from AAN. (…)

Crucially, the Taliban also began “to be more flexible with locals, with local concerns,” notes Ali. That included mediation with elders that resulted in the safe release of captured policemen and soldiers, instead of “killing them straightaway, without mercy,” as had been policy until 2014, he says.