How does the Taliban wage war? How has its war changed over time? Firstly, the movement’s extraordinary military operation relies on financial backing. This volume analyses such funding. The Taliban’s external sources of support include foreign governments and non-state groups, both of which have affected the Taliban’s military campaigns and internal politics. Secondly, this is the first full-length study of the Taliban to acknowledge and discuss in detail the movement’s polycentric character. Here not only the Quetta Shura, but also the Haqqani Network and the Taliban’s other centres of power, are afforded the attention they deserve.
The Taliban at War is based on extensive field research, including hundreds of interviews with Taliban members at all levels of the organisation, community elders in Taliban-controlled areas, and other sources. It covers the Taliban insurgency from its first manifestations in 2002 up to the end of 2015. The five-month Battle of Kunduz epitomised the ongoing transition of the Taliban from an insurgent group to a more conventional military force, intent on fighting a protracted civil war.
In this latest book, renowned Afghanistan expert Antonio Giustozzi rounds off his twenty years of studying the Taliban with an authoritative sitrep detailing the evolution of its formidable military machine.