The Taliban resurgence in the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan poses a critical challenge for U.S.and NATO forces. This report says that much of the tribal hinterland that has proved so fertile for the recruitment efforts of the Taliban have seen little or no development works from either foreign forces or the government in Kabul, and that only when the tribes living in these regions can see a benefit for themselves from a stable and democratic Afghanistan, will the Taliban be undermined. The report also highlights the fact that in fiscal year 2006, the United States spent slightly less than one billion dollars on development in Afghanistan, or less than forty dollars per Afghan, most of which spending never leaves the United States, being spent on studies, consultants, and administrative costs.
This article attempts to delve into the morass that is developing for American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Only through a proper understanding of the motivations and multiple identities that the Taliban lays claim to can their rapidly-growing insurgency be defeated and peace reestablished. By examining the historical and tribal facets of the insurgency, the nature of the Taliban is laid bare. This understanding is absolutely critical if the U.S. and NATO hope to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.