Afghanistan: July 11, 2005

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Over the weekend, 22 soldiers and policemen were killed by groups of Taliban gunmen. Three Taliban were reported killed as well. Ten captured border guards were beheaded in the south. Since the cops and border guards were recruited from local tribes, this will, as it has in the past, trigger a revenge campaign by the victim's kin, against the Taliban. Eventually, there will be a bunch of dead Taliban, and protests from the Taliban that their brethren were killed in some barbaric way or another. This reminds us that the Taliban violence in the south is actually a tribal civil war, between factions that want to bring back  hard core Islamic rule for the region, and eventually the entire country. The majority of the tribes, and tribesmen, want a less conservative lifestyle, and have to fight to the death with the hard core Taliban to settle the issue. 

The government has won over most of the tribal leaders in the south, which has infuriated the remaining Taliban adherents. The Taliban factions have tried to persuade their fellow Pushtun tribesmen to get behind a Taliban comeback. That didn't work. So the Taliban have been trying terror. That hasn't worked. Now more of the Taliban are trying murder and mutilation (beheading and the like.) This is a desperate move that simply triggers a blood feud between the Taliban and the families of the men they kill. 

 

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