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CIAO Focus, October 2006: The Taliban Insurgency


In recent months Taliban insurgents have pushed their way back into portions of southern Afghanistan where they have fought several bloody battles with NATO forces. The fighting, centered mainly in and around Helmand and Kandahar, has resulted in the deaths of 3,000 people, including about 150 foreign soldiers.

Following the US invasion of Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, the Taliban fled across the border taking refuge in Pakistan's northern tribal areas. Since its expulsion, the movement has had time to regroup and rearm.

Experts say that much of the funding for the current insurgency is being provided by Afghanistan's drug lords with whom the Taliban has formed an alliance. Opium production has increased by 59 percent this year and the Taliban has offered protection to both the poppy growers and smugglers in exchange for a share of the profits.

Since 2001 the United States maintained a force of 19,000 troops in the southern and eastern sections of Afghanistan. This year however, the U.S. cut its troops to 2,500 and handed over control of the south to international forces. To fill the vacuum, NATO has redeployed many of its troops from the north to six provinces in central and southern Afghanistan.

This month CIAO examines the Taliban insurgency.


From the CIAO Database:

Afghanistan's Transition from Turmoil to Normalcy

From Soldier to Civilian: Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration in Afghanistan

Who is Responsible for the Taliban?

Pakistan and the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan: Choices, Pragmatism and Decision

Outside Links*:

Return of the Taliban (Frontline)

Afghan Insurgency Still A Potent Force (U.S. Institute of Peace)

Afghanistan and the US: selected internet resources (UC Berkeley)

Better paid, better armed, better connected - Taliban rise again (Guardian Unlimited),,1873769,00.html


* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.