Taliban Spreading


It’s a bit odd that Pakistan’s security services are warning Musharraf about the spreading Taliban problem when, to the best of my understanding, Pakistan has gone back to its previous policy of seeking “strategic depth” in Afghanistan by backing Taliban forces. I should also add, though, that at least some people I’ve communicated with who are familiar with Afghanistan object to characterizing the forces in question — ethnically Pashto, strongly traditionalist — as “the Taliban,” arguing that Pashto nationalism is a larger and longer-lasting phenomenon than the specific institutions and individuals we came to know by that name.