Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Taliban return to Afghan town that rose up and drove out its leaders

< 1 min

The Guardian, 27 October 2014

Article on the recent fighting in Gizab quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert:

“The US military expected most Afghans to turn against the Taliban when they realised that government forces were the stronger part. In Gizab, however, residents waited in vain after the revolt for the government to exert control, said Martine van Bijlert, an Uruzgan expert with the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

“Instead, they just felt like a lot of local commanders were given a lot of power,” she said. “And it wasn’t necessarily better.” Corruption, nepotism and hard-handed treatment of residents remained the order of the day.

International forces also underestimated the fluctuating nature of Afghan politics, expecting local power-brokers to throw their lot behind those that booted out the Taliban. “In reality, the US military were dealing with commanders who have a history of going back and forth between the different sides,” said Van Bijlert.”