Understanding the Taliban, Easier Said than Done

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At an event last week at New York University, four men who know the Taliban better than most Westerners shared their perceptions of the group behind the insurgency fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan. What emerged was a portrait of shadowy figures, little understood by even those who have had close contact with the group. With “reintegration” now the “buzzword du jour” and calls for a negotiated settlement to the war gaining momentum, we have yet to understand just who it is we will be negotiating with. “We still understand very little about the Taliban,” said Alex Strick van Linschoten, echoing […]

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