Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taliban 'fighting a war of liberation'

Taliban motivated by revenge against Western armies more than Islam: study
But 'Americans don't compromise, their model is winning'

The Canadian Press: A new report, partly funded by the Foreign Affairs Department, says western nations have misunderstood the war aims of the Taliban... The study, initiated by the US Institute for Peace with help from Ottawa's Global Peace and Security Fund... suggests many insurgent fighters have taken up arms in retaliation for perceived military aggression by NATO...

Researcher Matt Waldman, recently a fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School, conducted over 80 interviews in Kandahar, Kabul and Quetta, Pakistan, last spring... He says the longer the fighting has dragged on, the more the Taliban have convinced themselves and ordinary Afghans that they are fighting a war of liberation.

The Taliban see themselves as fighting in 'retaliation against perceived military aggression; resistance to perceived foreign invasion' and 'in opposition to abuse of power' by the Afghan government... 'It is not appropriate to define the insurgency as being about Islamic extremism.'... The insurgency is largely indigenous, rather than imported from elsewhere.

Waldman interviewed a number of diplomats in Kabul and he said some Europeans are skeptical 'that the United States would seriously support negotiations.' An unnamed diplomat quoted in the report argued: The Americans 'don't compromise, their model is winning... They have a radically different perception of what a political solution means.'
Image source here.