Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 24th, 2021

How to Tackle the Taliban

The security situation in our country continues to deteriorate; the insurgency is increasing and the International community and the Afghan government lack a clear direction. The insurgent groups, especially the Taliban, have made significant gains in different parts of the country, including in the North.
Since the Bush Administration, the United States, the International Community and the Afghan Government have tried to put an end to insecurity in the country and defeat the Taliban and other terrorist groups present in the Afghanistan. However, these measures have failed and insecurity has just increased here. In order to have a clear understanding of why the Taliban has survived and continue to pose threats to the national security of Afghanistan and even the United States and its allies, it is necessary to analyze the war strategy of the Taliban realistically. Thus, an analysis of the Taliban War Strategy, show that the main success factors of the group include the following:
The diversity of the insurgency confuses the local and foreign observers; in other words, the Taliban are not the only party who fights against the Afghan government and the International Community. According to the DNS there are more than 20 terrorist groups fighting in Afghanistan. What is clear is that almost all of these terrorist groups are supported by the Afghan neighboring countries and the cross regional powers to ensure their agendas and national interests by these terrorist groups.
The Taliban’s structure is resilient: The group has a centralized structure that lay out that main vision and strategy of the group, thus, it is flexible enough that enables the group to adapt to the local contexts of Afghanistan. For example, the Taliban have acted very pragmatically in terms of using criminal gangs and opium resources. Also, they act as the ethnic heroes in the Pashtoon areas and act as Islamic fighters in the other parts of the country where other ethnicities live there rather than the Pashtoon Ethnics. It is one of the opportunities for the Afghan government and the International community, to invest campaigns on it, in order to show the real face of the Taliban as claiming to establish an Islamic government, while they use double standards in practice. The people shall know the Taliban not only are the agents of the other countries waging war in Afghanistan to maintain their national interests by the terrorist groups like the Taliban, but they just misuse the Islamic rhetoric to fool the people in order to ensure their goals.
Local autonomy of the Taliban Commanders, this can be a weakness for an insurgent group, however, they have managed to use it as an opportunity as it is needed due to the nature of guerilla warfare. As a result, they are not confused in terms of who is in charge of a particular task or in charge of a certain area. The autonym of the Taliban commanders is the weakness of the group and as the experience of the International community show it can exploit competition among them or fuel infighting among the Taliban commanders. As a result, it requires more operative and spy vigilance to use this weakness and change it to a strength point for the Afghan government and the International Community fighting against the Terrorist groups, including the Taliban.
The Taliban has built on the discontent of the Afghans. Perhaps it is one of the most effective strategies that have helped the group survive and even increase its presence in the different parts of the country. The Afghan government and the International Community shall identify the root cause of the discontent of the Afghans and develop an applicable strategy to address them in the different parts of the country indiscriminately.
The Taliban Propaganda has been built on widely perceived corruption in the country. It is a clear cut fact Afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world and its anti corruption measures have not been much successful. As a result the Afghan government and the International community shall review their anti corruption measures. One of the key factors of anti corruption strategy failure in Afghanistan is lack of political will at the top, medium and low levels. Therefore, the Afghan government has developed several anti corruption strategies and institutions, but the final outcomes have been more or less the same: increase of corruption. Therefore, the Afghan government and its International community allies not only shall develop an applicable anti-corruption strategy but, shall take initiatives to create a holistic vision among all the actors to support the implementation of the Anti-corruption strategy as the back bone of ending insurgency, improving economic development and meeting the basic needs of the Afghan citizens.
The survival of the Taliban is not a magic. The Taliban group has survived thanks to the diversity of insurgency, resilient structure, misusing the Islamic teachings, local autonomy of its commanders, and public discontent and wide spread corruption in the country. The Afghan government and its international community allies must address these shortfalls by developing and implementing an applicable strategy mobilizing all the relevant actors at all levels in a systematic manner and avoiding preferential measures that have proven ineffective in the past, although such measures may ensure the interests of specific groups in the country.