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I mean, it doesn't seem the Taleban are able to exercise effective control outside the Helmand and Kabul river basins, which more or less coincide with the Pashtun tribal areas. I fully developed this in a comment last year.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 08:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, they are still definitely active beyond. By November last year, they had permanent presence well beyond Pashtun areas in the Northwest.

Nov 2007:

Nov 2008:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they're basically advancing clockwise around the mountains in the middle of the country, like they did in the 1990's.

It looks like Iran (on the Western border) would be a very valuable ally if one wanted to cut the Taliban vanguard in the north from their bases in the South and Southeast (including Pakistan's frontier province).

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:17:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition to geography, there is the factor of Pashtrun minority areas. But, what should worry anyone counting on the NA, is the thrust North of Kabul. Last time, the Northern two-thirds of that area were the last gains of the Taliban, and they arrived from the West (from Mazar). This time, it looks like they would have a local base, bringing an attack on the ex-Massoud areas in the Northeast mountains much closer.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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