Separating the Taliban from Al-Qaeda: The Core of Success in Afghanistan | A CIC Study

Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn are researchers and writers based in Kandahar. They have worked in Afghanistan since 2006, focusing on the Taliban insurgency and the history of southern Afghanistan over the past four decades. This paper published by CIC, expands on the following key findings:

  • The Taliban and al-Qaeda remain distinct groups with different goals, ideologies, and sources of recruits; there was considerable friction between them before September 11, 2001, and today that friction persists.
  • Elements of current U.S. policy in Afghanistan, especially night raids and attempts to fragment the Taliban, are changing the insurgency, inadvertently creating opportunities for al-Qaeda to achieve its objectives and preventing the achievement of core goals of the United States and the international community.
  • There is room to engage the Taliban on the issues of renouncing al-Qaeda and providing guarantees against the use of Afghanistan by international terrorists in a way that will achieve core U.S. goals.

Read the full research study here

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