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Ready for Peace? The Afghan Taliban after a Decade of War

Report


Type Of Work


  • Report

Abstract


  • This briefing paper argues that:

    The Taliban movement is in disarray. The new leader, Maulawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, is widely viewed as weak and ineffective.

    Several factions within the Taliban are vying for power. The Mansour network, which is based in Helmand and claims to be backed by Iran and Russia, has risen to become the most dynamic group within the Taliban.

    The levels of morale within the Taliban vary. The boost to morale from 2016 battlefield successes was dampened by the high cost at which they were gained, as well as the alienation of many Taliban from their leadership and the sense that many had no stake in those battlefield gains. The expulsion of Afghan refugees from Pakistan is putting added pressure on the Taliban.

    There is growing disaffection within the Taliban about the armed campaign. Many Taliban feel that the war has lost direction and purpose, and is corrupting the movement.

    A new approach to peace talks is needed. This would harness and mobilise the large numbers of disaffected Taliban, in order to get around the leadership’s stonewalling.

    These developments within the Taliban present an opportunity for ‘insurgent peacemaking’. The collapse of leadership authority under Haibatullah, the resurgence of factionalism and rise of the Mansour network, and the powerlessness of the Taliban leadership to stop Pakistan from expelling Afghan refugees, have all expanded the political space available to pro-peace insurgent Taliban.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Farrell, T. & Semple, M. 2017, Ready for Peace? The Afghan Taliban after a Decade of War, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, London, United Kingdom. https://rusi.org/publication/briefing-papers/ready-peace-afghan-taliban-after-decade-war

Url


  • https://rusi.org/publication/briefing-papers/ready-peace-afghan-taliban-after-decade-war

Place Of Publication


  • London, United Kingdom

Type Of Work


  • Report

Abstract


  • This briefing paper argues that:

    The Taliban movement is in disarray. The new leader, Maulawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, is widely viewed as weak and ineffective.

    Several factions within the Taliban are vying for power. The Mansour network, which is based in Helmand and claims to be backed by Iran and Russia, has risen to become the most dynamic group within the Taliban.

    The levels of morale within the Taliban vary. The boost to morale from 2016 battlefield successes was dampened by the high cost at which they were gained, as well as the alienation of many Taliban from their leadership and the sense that many had no stake in those battlefield gains. The expulsion of Afghan refugees from Pakistan is putting added pressure on the Taliban.

    There is growing disaffection within the Taliban about the armed campaign. Many Taliban feel that the war has lost direction and purpose, and is corrupting the movement.

    A new approach to peace talks is needed. This would harness and mobilise the large numbers of disaffected Taliban, in order to get around the leadership’s stonewalling.

    These developments within the Taliban present an opportunity for ‘insurgent peacemaking’. The collapse of leadership authority under Haibatullah, the resurgence of factionalism and rise of the Mansour network, and the powerlessness of the Taliban leadership to stop Pakistan from expelling Afghan refugees, have all expanded the political space available to pro-peace insurgent Taliban.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Farrell, T. & Semple, M. 2017, Ready for Peace? The Afghan Taliban after a Decade of War, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, London, United Kingdom. https://rusi.org/publication/briefing-papers/ready-peace-afghan-taliban-after-decade-war

Url


  • https://rusi.org/publication/briefing-papers/ready-peace-afghan-taliban-after-decade-war

Place Of Publication


  • London, United Kingdom