Decoding the New Taliban: Insights from the Afghan Field
Columbia University Press, Feb 10, 2011 - History - 420 pages
Antonio Giustozzi gathers a renowned cast of journalists, experts, and academics to answer the most pressing questions regarding the Taliban today. Each contributor possesses extensive knowledge of the insurgency's latest developments, decoding its structure and organization as it operates within specific regions and provinces. They analyze the new Taliban as it expands, from the mature south, where they hold sway, to the southeast, where they struggle to penetrate, from the west and northeast, now in the initial stages of infiltration, to the provinces surrounding Kabul, which have been unexpectedly and quickly occupied.
Along with these advances, contributors review current theories for defeating the strategies and propaganda of the new Taliban. Issues covered include the strengths and weaknesses of the organization; the nature of its networks and whether they are based on traditional ties of kin and ethnicity or more institutional chains of command; its success at maintaining unity, even when faced with attrition in the field; the consequences of unruly leaders and conflicts over rule; the group's exploitation of the opium trade; the factors that have contributed to a resurgence in Kabul; and the extent to which Taliban leaders have imposed strategy among the rank and file, despite immense geographical challenges and poorly functioning communication systems.
Guided by the wisdom and expertise of a celebrated, bestselling author, Decoding the New Taliban is a critical tool for comprehending this dangerously chimerical, cleverly resurgent threat.