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Afghan War News > General Info > Roots of the Afghan Insurgency

The Roots of the Afghan Insurgency

The current insurgency in Afghanistan is caused by many factors.  Some of these factors include the religious extremism and ideology of the Taliban (establishing an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under Sharia law), a foreign occupation lasting over ten years, historic opposition to a centralized Afghn government, the overwhelming corruption of the current Afghan government, tribal and ethnic conflicts (Pashtun against the Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazara), incidents of civilian casualties caused by ISAF air strikes, and support to the insurgents by international actors like Pakistan (supplies, money, intelligence and sanctuaries).

Below you will find resources found on the Internet that help explain the roots and causes of the insurgency in Afghanistan.  Naturally, as with all things, there are many different viewpoints and some observers attribute more value to some factors than others depending on political orientation, country of origin, and experience in Afghanistan. Resources include:




News Articles

Haqqani Network

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

Quetta Shura Taliban.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). A Pakistani insurgent group.


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Publications and Reports on Insurgency in Afghanistan
(listed in chronological order by date of publication)

Seth Jones, Back to the Future: The Resurgence of Salafi-Jihadists, RAND Corporation, February 2014. Testimony presented before the House Armed Services Committee on February 4, 2014.

Dr Antonio Giustozzi, Thirty Years of Conflict: Drivers of Anti-Government Mobilisation in Afghanistan 1978-2011, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), January 2012.  Accessed here February 12, 2012.

John J. Malevich and Daryl C. Youngman, The Afghan Balance of Power and the Culture of Jihad, Military Review, May-June 2011.  Accessed here on Feb 2012.

Antonio Giustozzi and Christoph Reuter, The Insurgents of the Afghan North: The rise of the Taleban, the self-abondonment of the Afghan government and the effects of ISAF's 'capture-and-kill campaign', Afghanistan Analysts Network, 6 May 2011.  Accessed here Feb 2012.

Anand Gopal, The Battle for Afghanistan: Militancy and Conflict in Kandahar, Counterrorism Strategy Initiative Policy Paper, New American Foundation, November 9, 2010.  Accessed here Feb 2012.

Stephen Carter and Kate Clark, No Shortcut to Stability: Justice, Politics and Insurgency in Afghanistan, Chatham House Study, 2010.  Accessed here Feb 2012.

Thomas Ruttig, How Tribal are the Taleban? Afghanistan's Largest Insurgent Movement between its Tribal Roots and Islamist Ideology, AAN Thematic Report, June 29, 2010.  Accessed here February 2012.

Anne Stenersen, The Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan - organization, leadership and worldview, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), 5 February 2010.  Accessed here Feb 2012.

Najibullah Lafraie, Resurgence of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan: How and Why?, International Politics, Vol. 46, 1, 102-113, 2009.  Accessed here Feb 2012.

Thomas H. Johnson and M. Chris Mason, Understanding the Taliban and Insurgency in Afghanistan, Orbis, Winter 2007.  Accessed on here Feb 2012.

International Crisis Group, The Insurgency in Afghanistan's Heartland, Asia Report no 207, 27 June 2011.  Accessed here February 2012.

February 2006.  "Afghan Insurgency Still a Potent Force".  By Emily Hsu and Beth Cole, United States Institute of Peace.  Accessed here Feb 2012.


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Websites about the Insurgency in Afghanistan

Taliban Insurgency.  By WikipediA.

Haqqani Network.  By Afghan War News (internal link).

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).  By Afghan War News (internal link).



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Videos about Insurgency in Afghanistan

Situation for Women in Afghanistan.  By Feminist Majority Foundation on USA Today, February 10, 2012.  Accessed here on YouTube Feb 2012.


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News Articles about Insurgency in Afghanistan

March 2, 2015. "Afghanistans Transformation Decade Depends on the Taliban's Foot Soldiers". Foreign Policy. Article explores the differences in motivation between the high-level insurgent leaders and the rank and file of the Taliban.

February 10, 2015. "Afghan Militants Find Unemployed Make Easy Recruits". Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

September 20, 2010.  "The End of an Insurgency".  By Ben Connable, Foreign Affairs.

November 20, 2009.  "Taliban tap into Afghanistan's roots".  Asia Times Online.

July 17, 2009.  "How to End the Insurgency and Win the War in Afghanistan".  US News and World Report.

May 18, 2006.  "Afghan reporters focus on roots of insurgent's unrest". The Christian Science Monitor.



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