Counter-Terrorism: Taliban Get Desperate With Terror Attacks

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January 14, 2006: One result of the recent reorganization of the Taliban may be the increase in suicide attacks in the country. Suicide bombings were quite rare in Afghanistan until 2005, when they began to increase rather dramatically (though still not to the levels seen in Iraq). So far this year there have two suicide attacks, and it's likely that more will take place. The "Old Guard" Taliban leadership seems to have opposed suicide tactics, since they usually result in mostly civilian casualties. This is bad public relations, at least inside Afghanistan. But apparently younger Taliban, perhaps drawing inspiration and support fro Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq, see suicide attacks as useful, since they may prompt local tribes or warlords to decide it's better to cooperate with the Taliban than with the Government of Afghanistan. This form of coercion has backfired in Iraq, but the Taliban proponents don't appear to have noticed yet. Then again, desperation may be the driving factor here, as the Taliban has pretty much run out of ideas.

 


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