What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An interesting addition regarding Nuristani developments...

... appeared in Newsweek before the latest bloody, large-scale insurgent attack there. It is the story of "Masihuddin," one of the guerrillas interviewed by Newsweek for their special project on an oral history of the Taliban (by Sami Yousafzai et al.).
Masihuddin's narrative of the insurgency, summed up bullet-point-style:
- He was studying at a Nuristani madrasa when the Taliban were chased out from the area in 2001. Left for Pakistan, to continue madrasa studies, ended up doing so in really poor conditions, near Peshawar. Local people were willing to help by bringing food for example, but couldn't always afford to do so, and Pakistani police were harassing them sometimes.
- Last summer, they attacked the US base in Barge Matal. Masihuddin was by this time a commander, having volunteers signed up for the mission. Postponed the attack for two weeks because of bad weather ill-affording fighting with the sort of gear they had. Then they moved, together with a filming crew which was documenting their advance and the attack. Says they lost 12 Taliban to US air support (helicopters) eventually. He sounds confident now they will never need to resort to the sort of more asymmetrical tactics that are typical of the fight in the south of Afghanistan.
(If you are asking whether these guys were HiG or Taliban, these are the sort of people to whom, socialised as they are into this new conflict, that sort of question could be practically meaningless. For now. So I would speculate.)

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