Anne Stenersen has written a new FFI report on the organizational structure and ideology of the Taliban. The report is based on field research, analysis of online Taliban propaganda and a thorough review of the secondary literature. This is essential reading for anyone working Afghanistan.
One of her conclusions caught my eye: “For the time being, it looks like any attempt to negotiate with the Taliban leadership directly would serve to strengthen the insurgent movement, rather than weakening it. A more realistic approach is probably to try to weaken the Taliban’s coherence through negotiating with, and offering incentives to, low-level commanders and tribal leaders inside Afghanistan.”