Musadeq Sadeq/AP
Afghan soldiers prepare for a flight to the Arghandab district, which is partly controlled
by Taliban militants. (AP)

Taliban Shows New Signs of Life

June 18, 2008 05:36 PM
by Josh Katz
Canadian and Afghan forces moved against the Taliban in the southern district of Arghandab today, after learning of an increased presence of insurgents in the area.

30-Second Summary

NATO and Afghan forces have killed 39 militants in the district just outside the city of Kandahar. On Monday, the Taliban invaded Arghandab, causing more than 1,500 families to flee, and NATO military personnel feared that the Taliban was preparing for a strike on Kandahar.

Monday’s offensive combined with some other recent events reveal that the Taliban may be somewhat rejuvenated. Last Friday, insurgents freed more than 1,000 prisoners from a Kandahar prison. Then on Sunday, Afghan President Karzai expressed his frustration with the recent violence, and caused a backlash by announcing that he would pursue militants into Pakistan.

Reports vary as to how strong the Taliban really is, but there are indications that the Taliban, along with al-Qaida forces, are receiving support from certain elements in the Pakistani government, according to Time magazine.

Taliban commander Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani appears in a DVD recently released by the militants, claiming responsibility for the March 3 suicide bombing at an American base that killed two NATO soldiers, two Afghan civilians and wounded 19.

More troubling are reports that Haqqani and his son have forged deep connections with al-Qaida and have been able to recruit members from around the world.

The resurgence of Taliban attacks has worried many international observers, raising the question of whether the war in Afghanistan can be won. The Canadian Gazette and Jason Burke of The Guardian argue that the international troop sacrifice is too much when the Afghan government is operated so ineffectively.

Headline Links: The possible resurgence of the Taliban

Background: ‘Karzai Draws Rebuke, Praise for Pakistan Threat’

Opinion & Analysis: The future of Afghanistan and the Taliban


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