AAN in Media

Taliban hoist flags to build political brand


Stars and Stripes, 13 February 2017

The US-based newspaper picks up Borhan Osman’s dispatch for AAN about the Taleban establishing their brand – flag and name etc, quoting extensively from it:

Analysts say the Taliban are placing a new emphasis on symbols as a part of a wider attempt to portray themselves as a modern political force, hoisting their flag to stamp their mark on captured territory and flooding social media with videos designed to recruit and motivate a new generation of internet-savvy fighters.

“The Taliban appear to have woken up to the importance of organizational symbols,” the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network says in a new report. They “project an increasing consciousness of their ‘brand.’” (…)

Borhan Osman, author of the report by Afghanistan Analysts Network, said the new emphasis on symbols reflects the group’s desire to portray itself as a legitimate national movement.

“They are now dealing with countries like Russia and Iran,” he said. “When they are talking to these governments, they want to be viewed as a modern political force.” (…)

“Flying the flag is a way for the Taliban to demonstrate to the population that they, not the government, are the legitimate rulers,” the AAN report said. (…)

“It’s a different Taliban,” Osman said. Individual factions have developed their own power bases and funding streams. “They have become much more cumbersome to keep cohesive.” (…)

“The more a territory is dotted with flags,” the report said, “the more it persuades fighters of their influence.”

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