Taliban Revamping Strategy
In response to recent headway made by ISAF’s revamped counterinsurgency strategy, Taliban leaders have initiated a new campaign to regain civilian support. The Taliban have also dictated a new standard of treatment for civilians including “bans on suicide bombings against civilians, burning down schools, or cutting off ears, lips and tongues.” This effort comes after a devastating attack against Kabul last week. The attack killed thirteen civilians, but New Zealand’s SAS were able to neutralize the militants and prevent any further casualties.
By attacking urban areas where ISAF forces have a visible presence, the Taliban are openly challenging ISAF’s ability to protect the civilian population. The change in the Taliban’s tactics coupled with a renovated image could be an indication that McChrystal’s new and improved COIN strategy is affecting the Taliban’s ability to recruit and sustain operations.