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Taliban in 72 Percent of Afghanistan, Think-Tank Says

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:40 AM
Original message
Taliban in 72 Percent of Afghanistan, Think-Tank Says
Source: ABC News/Reuters

NATO, Afghan Government Reject the Figure as Too High

KABUL
The Taliban hold a permanent presence in 72 percent of Afghanistan, a think-tank said on Monday, but NATO and the Afghan government rejected the report, saying its figures were not credible.

The findings by the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) come in the wake of a series of critical reports on Western-led military and development efforts to put an end to the seven-year Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The U.S. government is conducting a wide-ranging review of strategy aimed at countering the Taliban guerrilla and bombing campaign which analysts agree has grown in both scale and scope in the last year.

But while the trends in the ICOS report reflected prevailing sentiment on Afghanistan, many of its findings appeared flawed and contained some glaring errors, security analysts said.

"The Taliban now has a permanent presence in 72 percent of the country," ICOS, formerly known as the Senlis Council, said in the report, adding that the figure had risen from 54 percent last year.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/Terrorism/wireStory...
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:43 AM
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1. Um. .Are the Taliban not NATIVE to the territory?
Isn't the region their home-turf?

There is some serious conflating going on in that article.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. No, the Taliban are invaders from Pakistan
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 10:09 AM by Coventina
at least, the vast majority of them are.

The longer they are there, they do pick up more native Afghanis who have become radicalized. But the ruling regime, before the US invasion was 95% Pakistani.

on edit: typo
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. "Invaders from Pakistan." I don't think that's accurate.
I believe most of the Taliban come out of southeast Afghanistan. Many grew up in refugee camps in Pakistan after their families fled the Russian war of the 1980s and the wars of the warlords in the early 1990s. They took power in Afghanistan in 1996.

Also, while some may indeed be Pakistanis, they are almost all Pashtuns. When the Brits were dividing up their colonies, they drew the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1919, splitting the Pashtun nation into two. I don't think the Pashtuns give two shits about whether they're Pakistan or Afghan citizens or pay much attention to that invisible line; they're Pashtuns, and to some extent, this is a Pashtun nationalist rebellion.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I've done some more research, and acknowledge that you
are more correct than I was.

I distinctly do remember seeing the 95% Pakistani figure for the ruling group, but maybe that meant they had grown up & been educated in Pakistan before returning to Afghanistan to fight. I think we can all agree that elements within Pakistan have given them a lot of help and support.

Ultimately, the Taliban sucks, no matter what their origins or ethnicity.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. If we want Talibani help in getting rid of Al Qaida, it seems to me that
we'd better be damn clear who we're talking about. Thanks for the history. Everyone should "study up".
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