The Taliban in Afghanistan
– Do the people of Afghanistan support the national government or the shadow government? If not, who do they support and why?
- A larger percentage of the people of Afghanistan (ninety-two percent) are in the support of the national government. This is because they are afraid of the extremism of the Taliban and would not want the organization to take control over their country. SOURCE: Chua, Amy. (2018) Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing.
- They thus support the US government’s intervention that seeks to restore control of the country back in the hands of the national government based in Kabul.
- They are wary that continued Taliban rule would expose them to further brutality and extremism because those are the methods that the organization is known for. SOURCE: https://www.thenation.com/article/what-the-us-military-still-doesnt-understand-about-afghanistan/
– Which people/groups are friends, tolerate each other, or are enemies? Why?
- People belonging to the same tribal ethnic groups are friends and loyal to each other. Generally, even though a huge majority of them support the national government, Afghans pledge more loyalty to their tribal ethnic groups. SOURCE: https://info.publicintelligence.net/MCIA-AfghanCultures/Pashtuns.pdf
- They believe that the groups are more concerned about their personal interests and represent stability.
- Enmity may emerge between various ethnic groups as they feud with one another over property, land, or resources.
- Members of the same ethnic group may also become enemies due to honor issues, family disagreements, and jealousy, but never ethnic discrimination. SOURCE: https://info.publicintelligence.net/MCIA-AfghanCultures/Pashtuns.pdf
– Is there known government corruption? Where are the corruption points?
- There is known government corruption in Afghanistan. The judiciary was rated by the citizens as the country’s most corrupt institution.
- The corrupt are going without being punished as per the law because the police and judiciary are dysfunctional.
- The decisions made by the judiciary about corruption cases are often biased towards parliament and government.
- Moreover, police investigations into cases of national interests get blocked by such powerful figures as politicians who want to protect their associates from facing justice (Transparency International, 2016).
- Many elected officials lack integrity. Many legislators in the country register and run large businesses not in their names but names of their relatives. SOURCE FOR THIS SECTION: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_in_afghanistan_what_needs_to_change
– Does the country produce/sell drugs (opium)? If so, how does this impact relationships between people, government, or groups?
- The country produces opium even though the crop was illegalized by the United States. Its production and sale is thus done in the black market which fetches huge revenues that do not benefit the government but individuals involved in the trade. SOURCE: https://qz.com/859268/americas-failed-war-on-drugs-in-afghanistan-is-threatening-to-doom-its-war-on-terror-as-well/
- Opium becoming a black market commodity in the country was occasioned by the ban that was placed on it by the U.S.
- There had been a 43% increase in the production of the crop over the year 2015 (Hall-Blanco, 2016). SOURCE: https://qz.com/859268/americas-failed-war-on-drugs-in-afghanistan-is-threatening-to-doom-its-war-on-terror-as-well/
- The production was further fueled by the capture of Helman province by the Taliban since the province is a major opium production area. SOURCE: Chua, Amy. (2018) Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing.
- As a result, warlords and tribal ethnic groups have been fighting each other over the production of the lucrative crop. SOURCE: Chua, Amy. (2018) Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Extra clarification… what tribes are most important/influential?
- The most influential tribe in Afghanistan is the Pashtun Tribe which doubles as the largest in the country. They believe they should continue ruling the country after having ruled it for over two centuries. SOURCE: https://info.publicintelligence.net/MCIA-AfghanCultures/Pashtuns.pdf
- The tribe is made up of two sub-tribes namely the Durrani and the Ghilzai. The Durrani are at the helm of political leadership in southern Afghanistan and believe the Ghilzai are inferior to them. SOURCE: https://ctc.usma.edu/tribal-dynamics-of-the-afghanistan-and-pakistan-insurgencies
- On the other hand, the Ghilzai occupy eastern Afghanistan and are aggressive fighters, with its most notable sub-tribe being the Ahmadzai. SOURCE: https://ctc.usma.edu/tribal-dynamics-of-the-afghanistan-and-pakistan-insurgencies
Hall-Blanco, A. (2016). “America risks losing the war on terror in Afghanistan unless it legalizes the opium trade”. Quartz. Retrieved September 4, 2018 from https://qz.com/859268/americas-failed-war-on-drugs-in-afghanistan-is-threatening-to-doom-its-war-on-terror-as-well/
Transparency International. (2016). “Corruption in Afghanistan: What needs to change”. Transparency International. Retrieved September 4, 2018 from https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_in_afghanistan_what_needs_to_change